Monday, September 12, 2016

Trump Is Wrong - Voters Want To See His Tax Returns

 (Cartoon image is by Steve Sack in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.)

Donald Trump has broken with tradition by refusing to release his tax returns. Hillary Clinton has released the last 33 years of her tax returns, and every modern candidate for the presidency has released returns for at least the last few years. Trump has refused to do that.

His rather pathetic excuse is that it's because he is being audited. But other candidates have released returns while being audited, and the IRS has said it has no problem with Trump releasing the returns.

The obvious conclusion is that there is something those returns would reveal that would cost Trump votes. Most likely is that he pays a ridiculously low tax rate (or nothing at all). We know that in the past he has had at least a couple of years where he paid no taxes. Is that still the case? Is he paying an even lower percentage of his income than the 13% reported by Mitt Romney (on over $20 million in income)? Is he paying a lower rate than middle class families?

Recently, Trump brushed off questions about releasing his returns. He said the American people don't care about his tax returns. He is wrong. A huge majority of Americans want him to release those returns (see chart below). They want to know what he is trying to hide.

The chart below is from a Public Policy Polling survey -- done between August 26th and 28th of a random national sample of 881 likely voters, and has a margin of error of 3.3 points.

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