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When it comes to taxes, Trump can’t lead by example

As a veteran, I reluctantly accept that the current candidates for commander in chief have not served in the military. But I was aghast at the revelation in the first debate that Donald Trump apparently pays no federal income tax.

Each April, I wince when I see the total amount of federal income tax I pay. However, like most Americans, I write out my check and sign my tax return because I see it as my obligation as a citizen in the greatest nation on earth.

Trump smugly asserts that his unwillingness to pay federal income tax is proof that he’s “smart.” Although he claims to possess great wealth, he apparently does not feel any responsibility to contribute to the common good. He appears to believe that his superior business acumen entitles him to benefit from the governmental services and security for which the working people of America pay dearly.


Trump’s refusal to meet the basic obligations of citizenship might prove that he’s “smart,” but it also reveals a self-centered individual who views himself as superior to the hard-working taxpayers he hopes to lead. Can we afford to elect a president who cannot lead by example?

Paul Gregory Smith

The writer is a retired brigadier general.