Why Do Candidates Release Tax Returns?
Every year I do my taxes like every other taxpaying American. My return says I grossed this much, paid this much in tax, and either paid more or got a refund.
It’s pretty cut and dried.
Who Needs To See My Return?
No one really. However I have had a few instances where my tax returns need to be presented for some services mostly because there was a need to verify my income. A tax return is the easiest way to do that.
What Will A Candidates Tax Return Tell Me?
If you want to see presidential tax returns all the way back to FDR they are available here.
So I have looked at some of the returns on the site listed above. I am probably 1 in 1,000 who will ever look at them. For some reason just releasing them seems to calm people down.
People were obsessed with Romney’s tax returns because he was rich. Oh My God, he doesn’t pay enough taxes based on his income.
Same with Donald Trump. Rich guy, so we all need to know how much money he has and how much did he pay.
Why Is Trump Not Releasing His Return?
Donald Trump should not release his tax returns for a variety of reasons. Remember he’s a businessman — not a politician.
If he loses the election he will go back to being a businessman. Sources of income and how much he makes or doesn’t make would be valuable information to his competitors.
Current negotiations could be compromised based on whatever information might be gleaned from those returns.
Here’s my feeling. If the IRS has no problem with his return then why should I? I realize there is a perception that if you don’t release them then you must have something to hide.
And I believe that Donald Trump has a legitimate, not illegal, reason to keep his tax returns private.
I feel the same way about Hillary Clinton. If the Clinton Foundation passes muster with the IRS and the SEC then I’m fine with that.
Some Final Thoughts
FDR never released his tax returns during his presidency. Some presidents have only released a summary of their taxes. Made this paid that.
As mentioned earlier I don’t think what someone makes has any bearing on his or her ability to govern.
If they’ve make a few bucks along the way more power to them.
If they’ve used their office or political position to illegally enhance their income that’s why we have an IRS and Securities and Exchange Commission.
I would be a lot more interested in their current level of health both mentally and physically than their tax bill.