A Taxing Decision For The Donald

Many of the articles you will read on this site in early September were written well ahead of time in order to accommodate my travel schedule. There is a risk in doing that. Circumstance may change and the article may be outdated and inaccurate before it ever gets before the reader’s eyes. I’m comfortable that this will not be one of those cases. Today I’d like to talk about why I feel Donald Trump will never release his tax returns to the public.

There is no legal requirement that a presidential candidate release their tax returns to the public. It is more of a modern day tradition that was started interestingly enough by Richard Nixon. For most American voters every major presidential candidate in their voting lifetime has released their tax returns during the campaign.

Trump’s repeated excuse is that he cannot release his returns because he is under IRS audit. For the sake of argument let’s take him at his word that he is under audit. There is no IRS regulation or law that prohibits the public release of tax returns if you are under audit. In fact Nixon was under audit when he released his returns starting the practice. No, Trump’s reason(s) are much more devious.

My first guess is ego. Trump claims to be worth $10 billion. Every legitimate projection puts his net worth closer to $5 billion. Only someone with a grossly oversized ego would be embarrassed by the “inadequacy” of a $5 billion net worth. Hands down (pun intended) Trump has a grossly oversized ego.

Trump defenders also contend that tax returns don’t tell you everything. That is true but they do reveal a lot and answer many questions. I content that these are revelations Trump fears and questions he does not want answered.

The first thing they would reveal is the amount of charitable donations made and who they benefited. Trump has already been caught lying about charitable donations during this campaign. I’m willing to bet that for a man of such enormous wealth he gives precious little to charity. Based on what we know to date I’m also willing to bet that much of what he has donated went to causes which indirectly benefit him and/or his image.

Then there are the very important areas of lending, borrowing and investing. I’d like to know who Trump does those kinds of business with. I’m especially interested in foreign transactions. Financial interests in Russia may well explain some of his policies. We already know he has foreign holdings and exports a lot of jobs. If he owes money to Putin’s buddies or they owe money to him it might explain a lot of things.

Tax returns might shed further light on some of Trump’s business practices and transactions. While Trump lives in a “golden tower” we know he doesn’t pay suppliers full price for ivory; ivory as in piano keys anyway. How many others has he shortchanged or stiffed and how was that handled on his tax returns?

A few weeks back Warren Buffet challenged Trump to a public simultaneous unveiling of tax returns. Nobody questions Buffet’s wealth and it is considerable greater than Trump’s. Oh, by the way, Buffet is currently under IRS audit.

Trump knows he has everything to lose by making his tax returns public so he will just go on being Donald Duck as the demonstrators’ signs mock him.

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