THREAD on why Trump's tax return makes the case for wealth taxes:

1/I think we all suspected that the Trump tax returns were going to show that he is absolutely terrible at business.
2/ But what they also show is something else. Something that most of us who don't own millions of pounds of assets don't immediately think of when thinking about the tax system.
3/ And that is that if you do have millions - or indeed billions - of pounds of assets - or even if you can just claim to have them - you can get away without paying any tax.
4/ Because the tax system allows you to offset losses against income you can claim that your assets have lost lots of value. Then, like #Trump, you can get away with paying somewhere between $0 and $750 in tax in a year!
5/ Most of us think that taxing income is the most progressive thing to do. Indeed through most of the 2000s there was a campaign for more tax on income to replace the #CouncilTax (the Local Income Tax championed by both Lib Dems and SNP).
6/ This would have replaced one of the very few taxes on assets in our system.

And yet there's an increasing volume of work that suggests that inequalities in our system aren't due to a lack of income taxes. They are due to a lack of taxes on assets.
7/ Income taxes hit people earning small amount of money who are honest enough to pay. Asset taxes would mostly be paid by the ultra-rich.
8/ The fact that #DonaldTrump's wealth is mostly inherited from his father is typical of our system. It's not Trump's business genius that allowed him to become president. It's the fact that his father was a successful slum landlord.
9/ @PikettyLeMonde has evidenced extremely thoroughly how #inequality is driven by the ownership of assets rather than unequal income. And that ownership of assets is almost all inherited rather than earned.
10/ We shouldn't be asking why Donald Trump has paid too little tax without also asking how it is is we can create wealth taxes. Especially when large accumulations of private wealth are damaging both society and environment and are needed to address the #ClimateCrisis.
It's time for a very substantial new tax on assets and inherited wealth to pay for the #greentransition that we now need to save ourselves from #climatebreakdown. It's the perfect way to pay for a #GreenNewDeal.
You can follow @PeterMcColl.
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