Trump was on several of the Sunday shows this morning. By my count, when the subject of his tax returns came up, THREE TIMES he was asked if he would release a brief summary for each of the last few years, providing the following information:
1. Total income
2. Effective tax rate, and/or total income taxes paid
3. Amount of charitable donations.
Now, this is pretty straightforward, easy stuff, and just about every candidate for any federal office, if not town clerk, has done at least that.
But what’s fascinating is how Trump responded each time. He ducked, he ignored the question; instead, launching into a filibuster about how he had provided hundred of pages of “great” documents” to the FEC, and how “great” his companies are.
HE DID NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION YES OR NO. HE IGNORED IT EACH TIME
There is only one reason why..there’s something there that’s very, very embarrassing to him. Let’s speculate as to what it might be:
1. His income is nowhere near as high as claimed.
2. His effective tax rate, and/or amount of taxes paid, is near zero. Trump is a real estate developer, and to put it simply, real estate offers the greatest opportunity for what is euphemistically termed “creative accounting,” and the ability to shelter income. Those here of a certain age will recall the wonders of ACRS and “PIGS” and “PALS” ( to cite a few examples)
3. Either you gave the $$$ to charity or you didn’t… we shall find out.
4. Some combination of 1-3
Trump may succeed in stalling this past Super Tuesday, but if he thinks he can avoid the issue, then he’s really a stupid idiot.
One more point. In his attempt to shift attention away from the tax question, Trump repeatedly said that an income tax statement won’t tell you anything about net worth.
THAT IS A BALD FACED LIE.
Any CPA will tell you that given only a client’s 1040, you can likely construct a net worth statement that will be 90% accurate.
I figure his next move will be to promise to release his returns when Hillary releases the transcripts of her speeches.