Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Press Hammers Trump Over Releasing His Tax Return: Don't It's No One's Business

It seems every political reporter is asking: Where are Donald Trump’s tax returns?

The presumptive Republican nominee for president has yet to release his tax returns thus far, citing an IRS audit. Presidential candidates are not required to release tax returns, but the information helps the public vet a candidate’s finances, revealing information such as charitable giving, investments and the tax rate he pays. 

The key word here is presumptive Trump may have the delegates, but as yet he hasn’t been crowned the nominee. The information on a person is for the IRS not public consumption to peruse at leisure. It also allows the press to pick apart the nominee’s personal business before he became the nominee.

In a May 15 interview with Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace noted that it’s become customary over the past several decades for presidential candidates to release their tax returns. Wallace’s telling of history is a little off, though the force of his point is correct: Wallace said, "Every Republican nominee since Richard Nixon, who at one time was under an audit, has released their tax returns." Fact Checking Wallace’s statement:
The IRS did audit Nixon, and he did release his tax returns. But he released them after he won re-election. His successor, Ford, released a tax summary spanning several years but never his full returns.  
That being said, every Republican nominee since then — six nominees over nine elections — has disclosed their tax returns.
The Republican has released his tax returns in the last nine presidential cycles. We rate this claim Mostly True.
After we looked into the history of candidate tax returns before. But we haven’t dug into the story of former President Richard Nixon’s audit, so we thought we should put Wallace’s claim on the Truth-O-Meter.
Every Republican nominee since Nixon
The Tax History Project has compiled the tax returns of many current and former candidates and presidents. Each Republican nominee in the past nine presidential elections has released his tax returns: Ronald Reagan (1980, 1984), George H. W. Bush (1988, 1992), Bob Dole (1996), George W. Bush (2000, 2004), John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012).
That leaves one nominee since Nixon, Nixon’s vice president, Gerald Ford. Ford never released his full tax returns. He released summary data about his returns from 1966 through 1974. The summary data includes his total income and the total tax he paid but not an itemized breakdown Nixon did not release his tax returns in 1968 or 1972.
Nixon said one of his most well-known lines amid this scandal: "People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook."
Nixon eventually released a slew of financial information to the public in December 1973, including the previous four years of tax returns, to try to quell the criticism. He asked a congressional committee to examine them, too.
"Our lack of knowledge about presidential and candidate audits is one reason why it’s important for public officials to release their tax returns publicly," he said. "Disclosure is the only way voters can be sure that these returns are getting adequate scrutiny."

In Trump’s case the voters don’t seem to care it’s only the left and the pundits who want something to talk about. Trump FEC financials have been reported and he purchased the old post office in DC presenting all the financial information required to purchase real estate from the government. That should be enough.