11 photos of what America might look like if we all followed Donald Trump's tax advice.

Former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society."

For Donald Trump, it seems a little light anarchy might just be the price of a really sweet deal.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.


Following the bombshell New York Times report that in 1995, the businessman and current presidential candidate claimed losses so staggering that he might not have paid federal income taxes for 18 years, two possibilities have emerged:

One is that Trump truly did lose almost a billion dollars in one year. The other — the one Trump would prefer we all believe — is that the former casino, university, vodka, and steak mogul is so adept at gaming the system that, with one genius pen-stroke, he was able to avoid any of his hard-earned dollars going to Uncle Sam for nearly two decades.

It's a dubious claim, at best. But suppose we take Trump at his word. Suppose we extrapolate that out a little. I mean, I like to think I'm smart. You seem smart too. And Trump has a point: Not paying out 10-40% of our annual income is certainly tempting. If taxes are optional, why shouldn't we all benefit?

What if we were all so smart that we didn't pay our taxes?

Here's a snapshot of what that version of America might look like:

1. The George Washington Bridge at rush hour might look like this.

Without the Federal Highway Administration and various state and local port authorities and departments of transportation, commuters would have to cross rivers the old-fashioned way.

On the plus side, the plastic kayak industry would boom and your upper body would be much stronger.

2. Your house might look like this.

Even worse? If your house ever caught on fire, no fire department would come because fire departments cost tax money. Pretty, though!

3. Yellowstone National Park might look like this.

For a mere $3 billion per annum, the National Park Service provides every American with the opportunity to stare slack-jawed at a bison out of their rental-car window as often as they like for as long as they like.

Without it, America's most iconic hydrothermal hotspot would just be another empty plot of land. Maybe not entirely empty. Someone would probably put a parking lot there. Who knows?

4. Aretha Franklin performing "A Natural Woman" would look something like this.

Aretha Franklin photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images. Background image via iStock.

Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opened in 1971, eight years after Congress authorized $23 million of federal funds to build it. Which means that without your tax dollars, Franklin's iconic late-career performance of "A Natural Woman," which brought President Obama and Carole King to tears, never would have happened.

Actually, the performance might have still happened, but it would have happened in an empty field with no one around to enjoy it. Sad!

5. The Purge might be real.

Without the hundreds of millions of dollars we contribute in taxes to state law enforcement budgets, there would be no police to stop The Purge from happening.

True, even well-funded police aren't perfect, but if there's one thing cops are probably good at, it's keeping the crazed cannibal armies at bay. And for that, we at least owe them our thanks and a small cut of our paychecks.

6. After eating eggs from the supermarket, you might look like this.

Photo via iStock.

Who doesn't enjoy a round of salmonella roulette?! Without the $1 billion we send the Food Safety and Inspection Service annually, it wouldn't matter because you wouldn't have a choice but to play!

7. Ducks might look ... kind of like this.

A small but not insignificant 0.48% of federal spending goes to funding America's critical scientific infrastructure, including the Duck Research Laboratory in Eastport, New York, which studies basic duck care, duck nutrition, and duck housing and management.

Suffice it to say that you don't want to think about how America's ducks would be doing if we didn't pay taxes.

8. Your boat after a boating accident might look like this.

When no one is paying taxes, don't expect the Coast Guard help you flip your turtled sailboat. Your nautical accidents are your own damn problem. Up by your bootstraps! Self-reliance!

9. Yankee Stadium

We can debate the merits of funding private sports stadiums with taxpayer money all night and all day, but if you thought the beer selection was terrible at Yankee Stadium now ... yikes.

10. The internet might not exist.

W-E-L-L A-C-T-U-A-L-L-Y. Photo by Javier Capella, U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons.

Your tax dollars helped build the internet, which means probably no email, definitely no Facebook, and super-definitely no cat-stands-on-two-legs-cause-it-thinks-it's-a-person GIFs.

You would finally finish that screenplay with all the time you'd save, though.

11. And Washington, D.C., might look a little something like this.

National defense makes up nearly a quarter of the federal budget. It's an important quarter because (good-faith disagreements about appropriate levels of military spending aside) without that money, we'd be sitting ducks for a Norwegian invasion force. They wouldn't even have to send an army. A bunch of children could do it. Here is their victory parade.

Taxes pay for a lot of cool stuff. Necessary stuff. Most Americans, it turns out, agree with that.

Sure, you might think taxes are too high. Or you might think they're too low. You might object to some of what they pay for. But hey, it's nice to have highways! And schools. And relative safety. And society.

Maybe Trump's right and it takes a genius to get away with not paying taxes. Lucky for America, we're not all so smart.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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