Although it has been standard practice for Presidential candidates to release their tax returns for nearly four decades, Donald Trump has refused to do so. The people have a right to know what’s in his tax returns but he doesn’t care. He claims that it’s none of the public’s business and there’s nothing to see. Only those ignorant enough to support him would believe that tripe. There is another reason why he hasn’t published his returns. Despite Trump’s obfuscation, Gary Johnson thinks he knows why Trump hasn’t released his taxes.
Refusing to release your tax returns is the sort of dishonesty that one would expect from Hillary Clinton. But alas, even she has released eight years of tax returns and published them on her website. Donald Trump won’t even release one year’s worth. If he’s going to bash her for being crooked, which she is, then he needs to be straight with the public. Releasing his tax returns would be a good start. If he doesn’t, then it will confirm that he’s hiding something and he’s just as crooked as Hillary.
As you may or may not know, tax returns can tell an awful lot about someone. There’s a plethora of information in there – which is why the public has a right to know in the first place. Tax returns can show sources of income, the effective tax rates, and charitable giving habits. We might finally begin to understand what Trump’s income truly is. It would also be revealed how he’s structuring his income to game the system. Perhaps the most important information would be what kind of deductions he’s taking advantage of and if he does any charitable giving or not. The returns would even include overseas income or foreign bank accounts.
In addition to all that information he’s hiding, Gary Johnson believes that Donald Trump hasn’t released his tax returns because they would show he’s effectively paying a 0% tax rate. With the majority of Trump’s net worth and income tied up in real estate he’s eligible for thousands of deductions. Given that the man has admitted to trying to pay the lowest rate possible, it’s conceivable that he’s actually paying nothing in income taxes. This revelation would be an enormous scandal that might even turn off some of Trump’s own supporters. After all, his populist message is built on making the billionaires pay more in taxes – just like Bernie Sanders’ own shtick.
With all of that information in their, and the likelihood that Trump is paying a 0% tax rate, it wouldn’t be surprising if he never releases his full tax returns. This is exactly the type of opaque behavior that the Obama administration has been accused of. “The most transparent administration in history” has frequently come under fire for hiding important material from the public. And they’re supposedly trying to be forthcoming. If Trump won’t even release his tax returns, you can only imagine how much more nontransparent the White House would be under his administration.