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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: His Taxes

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Matthew Lancaster
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Unsplash

A poll taken after the first presidential debate showed that by two to one, viewers thought Biden had won. The President's bullying made a travesty of the debate. His constant interruptions prevented Biden from describing his views, policies and plans. And the President's rants and insults were a way to avoid talking about anything. So distraction may have been the point.

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Only days earlier, the New York Times ran an article detailing 18 years of the President's personal and corporate tax returns, most recently from 2017. The findings were shocking. He paid no federal income taxes in 11 of those years, and only $750 in 2016 and '17. How is this possible?

The returns show that his businesses consistently lost millions of dollars, losses that he used to lower his taxes. He took tax deductions on many questionable personal expenses and wrote off huge consulting fees.

It was after Nixon cheated on his taxes that candidates and presidents began releasing their tax returns. Barack Obama and George W. Bush paid more than $100,000 a year. Jimmy Carter paid $6,000 in 1977 when he owed nothing after buying equipment for his peanut farm.

The current president has worked very hard to avoid releasing details about his taxes. Though probably not as hard as he has worked to avoid paying them.

I'm Deborah Booth and that's my perspective.

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