Trump’s Tax Dodging Goats

During the 2016 presidential race to the White House the tax affairs of Donald Trump have come in for some considerable scrutiny.  One thing that’s not in doubt is that Donald knows how to work the US tax system to his advantage.  The law allows generous tax breaks to developers who can show that their land serves an agricultural purpose.  So the wily Trump popped a herd of goats on two of his New Jersey golf courses and, hey presto, his tax bill for the two sites fell from $80,000 to less than $1,000 a year!


Such creative application of the law is nothing new of course.  In his day Jesus was scathing of those who ‘dedicated’ their money to the Temple, putting it off limits for secular use, and thereby dodging their obligation to give financial support to elderly parents1!


While in both cases the law may allow such behaviour, the question is whether its use in this way is a good thing.  Clearly it was never the intent that money given to God should leave parents in poverty, and no doubt US lawmakers didn’t have Donald’s golf course grazing goats in mind when they framed their legislation!


As Jesus made clear our focus should never on what we’ve managed to keep to ourselves, but rather on what we’ve managed to give away.


1Mark 7:10-13

Share this story