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Giant Inflatable Chicken Appears in D.C., and It's Not Happy About Tax Cuts

"Chicken Don" is gearing up for a fight over tax reform.

Christian BritschgiChristian BritschgiDonald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns on the campaign trail didn't block his presidential aspirations. But now, nearly seven months after his inauguration, Trump's tax chickens have finally come home to roost.

This week a giant inflatable chicken bearing a striking similarity to the 45th president has appeared in Washington, D.C., and it is not happy about Trump's lack of personal tax transparency, nor about the possibility of cuts to individual and corporate tax rates.

On Wednesday the chicken and a clutch of supporting activists from the Tax March Coalition nested outside the White House. When those same activists and their inflated avian mascot migrated over to DuPont Circle—a couple of blocks from Reason's office—we decided to check out the bird and his message for ourselves.

Nicole Gill, executive director of the coalition and spokesperson for "Chicken Don," said the bird had served as the group's mascot since the April 15 anti-Trump Tax March in D.C. "We are gearing up for an intense fight in the fall to stop what the Republicans in Congress want to do, which is pass devastating tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations," she tells Reason, adding that "the chicken doesn't support tax cuts for rich people."

Whatever tax reform plan Republicans finally cobble together will likely include tax cuts for high income earners, and possibly corporations (an idea with bipartisan support). Why is Chicken Don so opposed to letting the wealthy keep a few more of their golden eggs?

"The rich and wealthy and wealthy corporations are already gaming the tax system to their advantage. There are a number of corporations that don't even pay any taxes whatsoever," says Gill. "Donald Trump himself actually tweeted that corporate profits are at a record high. If that's true, those companies should pay more in taxes. They should pay their fair share."

A Tax Foundation report found that the top 10 percent of income earners paid 70 percent of all income taxes, despite earning only 47 percent of all taxable income.

"High income earners have ways of getting around paying their taxes. The hard-working people of America are not afforded that luxury," she responds. "They deserve to have access to the services that our taxes go toward. Things like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and education funding."

The United States already spends a bundle on the programs Gill listed. Combined Medicare and Medicaid spending inked out to $1.19 trillion in 2015. Does Gill think that these programs need to be funded more?

"What we're witnessing right now is historic lows for funding for those programs," she replies, adding that she might have to double-check those numbers, but "any tax cuts that are passed by the Republicans will have to be paid for somehow, and they will end up cutting those programs in order to pay for them."

For the record, the United States does not spend a historic low on anything. Federal government spending as a percentage of GDP has been hovering around the 20 percent mark since the end of World War II. Entitlement spending of the type Gill referenced takes up about 15 percent of GDP, well over the 5 percent it was at in 1962.

And while its every libertarian's fever dream that tax cuts might actually be paid for with cuts to spending, that is rarely the case, instead being financed by more debt and deficit spending.

Aside from some Tax March staffers and a few other reporters, Chicken Don did not seem to be attracting many pro-tax passers-by to the cause. Reason interviewed a few bystanders happily taking pictures of the mascot. None wanted to go on record, but several sources close to the chicken said their attendance was driven by curiosity, not politics.

Photo Credit: Christian Britschgi

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  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    "They should pay their fair share."
    "any tax cuts that are passed by the Republicans will have to be paid for somehow"

    She's a keeper.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    No, no, the KEEPERS are the sane ones. She's an inmate.

  • Jerryskids||

    I have a highly-placed inside source, a colonel no less, who tells me that chicken doesn't want to release its tax return because it lists a secret blend of 21 deductions and exemptions that it considers trade secrets.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Resentment is never a good look, Ms. Gill.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Excellent post Brit.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "The rich and wealthy and wealthy corporations are already gaming the tax system to their advantage. There are a number of corporations that don't even pay any taxes whatsoever," says Gill. "Donald Trump himself actually tweeted that corporate profits are at a record high. If that's true, those companies should pay more in taxes. They should pay their fair share."

    "High income earners have ways of getting around paying their taxes. The hard-working people of America are not afforded that luxury," she responds. "They deserve to have access to the services that our taxes go toward. Things like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and education funding."

    This chick's got game. That is maximum derp packed into two small paragraphs.

  • geo1113||

    There is no max derp. Let me prove it.

    "Things like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, climate change, and education funding."

  • B.P.||

    A tax march? So many marches, so much marching.

    At least these schmucks are getting a little exercise.

  • John C. Randolph||

    devastating tax cuts for millionaires

    A tax cut certainly wouldn't devastate me, why would it bother a millionaire?

    -jcr

  • John C. Randolph||

    "They should pay their fair share."

    ...which is zero. Taxation is theft.

    -jcr

  • BYODB||

    One and done, son!

  • Domestic Dissident||

    DuPont Circle? He'd better watch out with all the Weigel/Citizen Crusty chicken-fucker types nearby.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Now you're getting SIV mixed up with me and Crusty? Goddamn, you're a dumb motherfucker.

  • BYODB||

    I was like 'what retard wants to pay more in taxes' but then I realized these yahoo's just want to raise taxes on other people. Or in other words she wants some of that sweet, sweet redistribution. Because 'they can afford it' it should be given to her.


    I can, at least, agree as far as noting that tax cuts without spending cuts is a terrible idea that Republicans seem to love, but I say slash spending and cut taxes. Maybe if these 'pro tax' retards get to keep more of their money they won't want to steal more from other people.


    It seems that Trump is indeed the exact kind of asshole who believes in cutting taxes but spending a shit ton of money. So there is that. But who really gives a shit about his taxes anyway? Before someone is elected I can kind of understand wanting to see them, but Trump gave people the finger then and I suppose he'll give them the finger now and there's no requirement for him to tell 'We the People' jack shit about his taxes.


    Unless of course you suspect that the IRS is partisan, but I've been told by Democrats that the IRS is absolutely trustworthy and non-partisan, so which is it? The left is basically Chicken Little at this point, and they've screamed that the sky is falling so often that I'm simply disinclined to care about their latest pants-load.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Maybe if these 'pro tax' retards get to keep more of their money they won't want to steal more from other people.

    Yeah, I don't think there's much correlation between those two things. Their class envy knows no limit.

  • BYODB||

    Yeah, I figure I'm giving them too much of a benefit of the doubt just because I already know that the odd's are pretty great that they don't pay any income tax at all as it is.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Exactly. And to prove they're genuine, they'd gladly pay twice that.

  • Ken Hagler||

    "pass devastating tax cuts"

    And that right there tells me that those people aren't worth listening to.

  • BYODB||

    The temptation to open-hand slap someone when they say something that stupid is almost impossible to repress.

  • Microaggressor||

    Thief wants other people's stuff.
    Reducing the thief's ability to take their stuff is devastating to the thief.
    And the thief will blame them for being greedy. For not wanting to be robbed.

  • Sevo||

    "On Wednesday the chicken and a clutch of supporting activists from the Tax March Coalition nested outside the White House."

    No one is stopping them from paying every penny they wish to.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    But Congress is stopping you from paying every penny they want you to. That's their issue.

  • IceTrey||

    The Trumpken has become a conservative meme.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I just think we need more diversity in taxpayers. Surely she won't have a problem with more diversity.

  • KerryW||

    +1 nice parry there

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    One of the things I have in common with her is that both of us want to spend all my money.

  • KerryW||

    There is some truth to what they say -- there are a lot of deductions that are just social engineering, and they should be axed. By eliminating those you could reduce rates and increase revenues. Of course reducing spending would be even better.

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