Thursday, August 25, 2016

What dark secrets are in Trump's tax returns?

Fred Goldberg, who was IRS commissioner during the Republican administrations of both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, says there is no valid reason for Donald Trump not to release at least the first two pages and Schedule A of his tax returns.

Hillary Clinton has done that (and more) for the last 10 years.   From that we learned that in 2015 she and Bill made $10.6 million, gave $1 million to charity, and paid $3.6 million in federal taxes for an effective rate of 34%.

Even that limited information would tell us a lot about Trump that is important to know about a president:  where his money comes from;   to whom, and for how much, is he indebted;  what charities (if any) he gives to and how much.  Goldberg says every major candidate for decades has done that -- except Trump.   This, among other reasons, is why he will be voting for Hillary Clinton.

Goldberg explains further that Trump could and should do this for the past 20 years.  It "would shed some light on all his wild financial and charity claims on the campaign trail."

So why are you refusing, Donald?   And stop insulting us with that phony excuse about being audited.    Are you afraid of a fact-check on your blithe boasts, now that we're leery of trusting any word that comes out of your mouth?  They don't audit you every year just because you're rich;  it's because you have a reputation for manipulating every system you can, and avoiding paying every penny you can -- to whomever and whenever you possibly can -- and that shamelessly includes stiffing small business owners (painters, contractors on your construction projects) who did work for you and you then refuse to pay the full agreed-on amount.   In fact, you've bragged about it, repeatedly, in so many words.  So that makes you a pretty good suspect for tax . . . shall we say . . . irregularities?

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CN) has introduced a bill in the US senate requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns.   His concern, he told Chris Hayes last night on MBNBC, is that Trump may be heavily involved financially with Russian oligarchs.  That's the dark secret he thinks Trump may be hiding.   We already know that he owes a lot of money to the Bank of China.

OK.   I'm taking non-money bets on why Trump won't release his tax returns.   Here are my picks, in order of probability.    What do you think?

1.  He has paid little or no taxes, which will make him look bad.
2.  He's not nearly as rich as he claims.
3.  He gives almost nothing to charities, despite his boasts.
4.  He is deeply in debt to Russian and other foreign lenders, raising serious concerns of blackmail effecting our nation, if he should become president.
5.  The media will pick it apart, even if there's nothing illegal.
6.  Just because . . .  you can't tell Donald Trump what to do.
7.  Others ???


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