A Tale of Trump’s Taxes

Since the administration of Richard Milhous ‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon, U.S. presidents have publicly released their tax returns; a way to reassure the public that they have no financial entanglements that would interfere with their duty to the nation. Every president, that is, except Donald J. Trump.

During the campaign, then-candidate Trump refused to release his returns, claiming that he couldn’t because they were being audited by the IRS—this, despite the IRS stating publicly that an individual had the authority to release his returns even during an audit. There were, if I remember correctly, vague promises that he wouldr elease the returns if elected.

Well, we’re over a year and a half into the Trump Administration, and President ‘Dishonest Donald’ Trump still has not released his returns, breaking a 40-year precedent that has been honored since the days of Jimmy Carter.

Why, one has to ask, is he so jealously guarding documents that every senior government official in a position of responsibility is required to provide, and presidents before him have willingly provided? Questions that arose after his sniveling, submissive performance in Helsinki when he shared the podium with his bromance, Vladimir Putin, make these documents even more important, and makes me wonder why the secrecy.

I don’t want to start another conspiracy, so I’ll say up front, I don’t know, and we may never know, but I would like to offer some possibilities for his reluctance to let us see his tax returns.

1.      They show that he’s not nearly as rich as he claims he is, and we all know how sensitive he is on that subject.

2.      They show income from questionable sources such as the Russian mob, or even domestic underworld sources. His flirtation with organized crime figures has been well documented, as has his relationship with Roy Cohn of McCarthy Red Scare fame, who himself had underworld connections.

3.      They show expenses, especially if he used a credit card or third-party payer, that prove conclusively that he’s lied about some of his extramarital liaisons or that he actually did hire . . . ladies of ill repute to stage the salacious Moscow hotel event.

4.      They show investments or debts from Russia that indicates he’s in hock to them up to his eyebrows.

5.      They show money flowing in from unusual sources that can eventually be traced back to Russian intelligence or Putin himself.

I’m not ranking these scenarios, and I’m sure there are other possibilities, but if I had to rank them, items 1,2, and 3 would head my list, simply because they are so typical of the man. Item 4 is not beyond the realm of possibility, while number 5,though unlikely, also can’t be entirely dismissed.

All of this speculation and the constant questions and doubts could be laid to rest if the man would just man up and release his returns. An alternative would be the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman requests the returns from the IRS as he’s authorized to do and let them be reviewed by members of both parties on his committee. At least some of our elected representatives would know what’s what. Not the ideal solution, but better than nothing. But, Rep. Kevin Brady, a Republican from the8th District of Texas, ain’t about to do that. Like many of his GOP colleagues, he will continue to support and enable Trump until they go over the cliff.

So, it’s likely we’ll never know. But, it’s such a minor thing. If you’re honest and have nothing to hide, what’s wrong, when you’re the top dog in the kennel, with letting people see what everyone of your predecessors has let them see?

I’d like to see a reporter at one of Sarah Sanders’ press conferences bring this up, just to see how she punts it.

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