Likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was Chuck Todd’s guest on the May 22 edition of Meet the Press. Of course, she had some things to say about the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, and she hit him right where it hurts the most — in his wallet.
Trump has refused to release copies of his federal income tax returns, saying that he won’t do so until an IRS audit has concluded. Every president going back to Richard Nixon has made his tax information available to the public.(Gerald Ford didn’t release his actual returns but provided “summary documents” of those returns.) In the 2016 field, Trump is the only candidate who has not furnished even a single year of tax documents. He continues to use the audit as his excuse, even though he is not prohibited by law from releasing his returns as the audit proceeds.
Clinton referred to recently released information from the New Jersey Gaming Commission that shows that Trump claimed he had lost money in 1978 and 1979, meaning that during those years at least he paid nothing in federal income taxes. She said,
He needs to release his tax returns. The only two we have show that he hasn’t paid a penny in taxes. And yet he goes around talking about ‘make America great.’ You know, that means paying for our military. That means paying for our roads. That means paying for the VA. That means a lot of things.
The former Secretary of State says that she thinks Trump’s failure to release his returns is “because it will expose that he pays no income tax.” She calls that “a big problem.”
There are a variety of theories circulating about why Trump doesn’t want to share his tax information with the country. Some say it is because we will find out that he doesn’t donate as much to charity as he wants everyone to think. Others think it is because we will find out that he isn’t as rich as he claims he is. But with his returns from over 30 years ago as the only thing to go on, it is most likely that Clinton is right — Trump doesn’t want it revealed that his accountants use a variety of tricks to avoid much or all of his tax burden. Remember the outrage when we found out that Mitt Romney paid federal income tax at a rate lower than that paid by many middle-class families? If it turns out that Trump has used loopholes that are unavailable to the average person that allow him to pay little or nothing in taxes, it will make it more difficult for him to get the votes of the working class people he needs to win.
Here are Clinton’s comments about Trump and his taxes, via NBC News:
Featured image via NBC News screen capture