Irony, thy name is Donald Trump.
Although the self-proclaimed billionaire reportedly paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and nothing in some previous years, he was griping to “Fox & Friends” back in 2012 that his fellow Americans weren’t paying enough.
A video clip from that year unearthed by Media Matters For America editor John Whitehouse features the then-future president railing against a tax system that he said allowed low-income Americans to pay less in taxes than the wealthy.
That was a big talking point during the 2012 presidential campaign after then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney released tax returns showing he paid an effective 14.1% tax rate.
In the “Fox & Friends” clip, co-host Steve Doocy pointed out that half of the country doesn’t pay federal income tax and tossed this softball to Trump: “Is that fair?”
“No, it’s not,” Trump responded. “It’s even more than that, as I understand it, and it’s not fair,” he said.
Here’s Trump and Fox & Friends in 2012 complaining that too many Americans don’t pay enough in taxes pic.twitter.com/CxBp2ixJq0
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) September 28, 2020
A little context: During the 2012 campaign, Romney was secretly recorded telling an audience of donors that 47% of then-President Barack Obama’s supporters “believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”
Trump apparently had a problem with that, based on tweets he posted that year.
HALF of Americans don’t pay income tax despite crippling govt debt…http://t.co/gDAUj0Kt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2012
Trump also seemed miffed that Obama paid what he considered to be an insufficient amount of tax on his presidential salary, adding, without irony: “Do as I say not as I do.”
@BarackObama who wants to raise all our taxes, only pays 20.5% on $790k salary. http://t.co/bqF26mQf Do as I say not as I do.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2012
Obama in 2011 paid $162,074 in federal taxes on gross income of $789,674, according to the return he released that year.
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