A coalition of progressive groups on Monday launched a new campaign to highlight the country's "utterly rigged" tax system epitomized by President Donald Trump's recently revealed financial records showing everyday Americans have paid far more in federal income taxes over the past several years than the president.
The campaign, dubbed We Paid More, is led by Tax March with partners including Public Citizen, Patriotic Millionaires, and Indivisible.
"Donald Trump is worth $2.5 billion right now, according to Forbes," Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, said in a statement. "It's shocking that he's paying less in federal income taxes than nurses, teachers, and bus drivers—basically less than anyone making under $30,000 a year."
"While Trump may be one of the worst tax cheats, the richest 1% are typically paying far less than they should be because the tax system is rigged in their favor. Major reform is needed so we can move from 'We Paid More' to 'Fair Share Taxes,'" said Clemente.
Nurses paid more. Teachers paid more. Working families paid more.#WePaidMore in taxes than the president because of a rigged tax code that puts billionaires and corporations first. pic.twitter.com/A7n5k7DR7T— Tax March (@taxmarch) October 5, 2020
The groups point to the bombshell reporting from the New York Times last week on Trump's tax records that revealed, among other things, that in 2016 and 2017 the president paid a mere $750 in federal income taxes, and in 10 of the 15 years prior to his presidency, he paid nothing in federal income taxes.
A further indictment of the tax system, said the groups, is the GOP tax scam Trump signed in 2017, which was shown to have "delivered big benefits to the rich and corporations but nearly none for working families."
What's more, a recent analysis found that American billionaires' collective wealth rose by nearly $800 billion since the coronavirus pandemic struck.
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"Donald Trump's taxes are the clearest example of how broken and corrupt our tax system truly is," declared Tax March executive director Maura Quint.
"As a private citizen and as president," Quint said Trump "manipulated and maneuvered every opportunity to avoid contributing to our country through taxes, all while enriching himself at our expense."
"The system that allows the wealthy to force hard-working Americans to shoulder their tax responsibilities is simply unacceptable," she said, "and we can't let it continue."
In addition to a six-figure ad campaign, the campaign is encouraging everyday Americans to highlight their tax story on Twitter with the hashtag #WePaidMore.
Simply by virtue of paying our fair share of taxes, the majority of Americans contributed more to invest in our communities than our “billionaire” president. We want to hear your story. #WePaidMore pic.twitter.com/sfA0Lvf2vS— Tax March (@taxmarch) October 5, 2020
"Donald Trump's tax returns should be a call-to-arms for hard working Americans who pay their fair share to stand up and demand a tax system that treats everyone fairly, no matter how rich they are," said Morris Pearl, chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and former managing director at BlackRock, Inc.
"No more special treatment for freeloading millionaires," he said.