In light of Donald Trump’s stubborn unwillingness to release his federal income tax filings, it’s fair to ask. Did he even file them in the first place? (Failure to file, I’ve read, is a far less serious offense than filling out something wrong or patently false.)
Without any evidence to the contrary, it’s an open question. The best we can come up with is his claim he’s being audited. Not that other candidates under audits didn’t release theirs anyway. Even Richard Nixon.
It’s also fair to assume that if Trump did file, he paid little or no taxes – embarrassing numbers in comparison to everyday Americans.
Without any evidence to the contrary, it’s an open assumption.
Now, though, support for that claim grows. As the Washington Post reported on Aug. 1, “What we know about Donald Trump and his taxes so far,” he paid no federal income tax in 1978 and 1979, and little or none in 1984, 1991, or 1993. That from a man worth an estimated $4.5 billion by Forbes or $10 billion by his own bloated claims.
Think about it: you or I paid more than a billionaire! Wanna talk about fair? Or sacrifice?
The Post article, among others, cites court cases where Trump claimed deductions without documentation. Another case of “believe me”? The judges weren’t impressed.
I’m beginning to believe we’ll see state secrets thrown open in the release of Hillary Clinton’s emails long before we see Trump’s shady taxes – and remember, the Clintons had no reservations in making their filings public.
Why haven’t the Republicans been howling about Trump’s cover-up, then? And that’s just what it is. Not that they mind howling “Crook!” and “Liar!” over far lesser matters. at least when it’s not one of their own.
While we’re at it, consider his mockery of self-made billionaire Michael Bloomberg while boasting of his own business success. The mayor of New York City manages a budget of $82 billion in the full glare of public scrutiny, vastly overshadowing Trump’s private operations. Bloomberg, the sixth richest person in the United States, served three terms in that capacity.
And as fellow billionaire Warren Buffett said Aug. 1, challenging Trump to sit down with him and compare their filings, a tax return reveals a lot more about a person’s finances than financial statements do. “You’re only afraid if you’ve got something to be afraid of,” Buffet explained. “He’s not afraid because of the IRS. He’s afraid because of you,” the public.
No wonder investors love Buffett and respect his $63 billion worth. He tells it like it is, whether it’s stocks or politics.
And Trump’s response? A petulant, “I don’t care much about Warren Buffett.”
Oh, Donald, Mr. Buffett is unquestionably one of the most successful investors ever and one of the world’s wealthiest men. Trump, you really should be listening — and that includes listening to your superiors.
For now, I’m forced to agree with the story making the rounds: Trump knows releasing those returns will kill his campaign. And that’s what Buffett and Bloomberg are smelling, shrewd money men that they are. So, is Trump ready to prove them — and us — wrong? The ball’s in his court and the clock’s ticking. Or, should we add, the courtroom of public opinion?