Here’s Why Donald Trump’s Tax Returns Matter More Than Others

When a politician runs for political office, voters usually aren’t caught by surprise because there’s typically a lengthy resume tied to their political career. However, when a private citizen decides to run for office (particularly for the first time), often what the public at large knows about them can be rather limited.



But that’s not really the case when it comes to Donald Trump.

While he’s technically a private citizen, he’s been a form of a celebrity for decades. So he’s somewhat of a hybrid between a celebrity and a private citizen.

However, while the American people know of Trump – we don’t really know that many private details about him. Other than what he tells people, he’s done a fairly decent job keeping a lot of his business dealings private. Even when it comes to his net worth (he claims he’s worth around $10 billion) there are still quite a few people who don’t think he’s anywhere near that rich. Not only that, his big “selling point” is largely based on how “successful” he’s been. Again, that level of success is debatable – especially concerning how he’s obtained some of his wealth.

That’s why, more than probably any other presidential candidate in recent memory, Trump needs to release his tax returns.

Not only is it a decades-long precedent that presidential candidates release these documents, but if Trump is such a “tell it like it is savvy businessman who’s worth $10 billion” – then prove it.

One would think that, if there’s nothing to hide, he would follow the examples set by just about every presidential nominee in recent history who came before him and he’d release several years worth of returns.

Clearly, Trump damn well knows there’s stuff in his returns that could destroy his campaign.

However, you don’t have to believe me – just look at his b.s. excuse about not releasing copies of his returns because he’s being audited. There’s nothing legitimate or even factual about that. The IRS has literally said being audited does not impact his ability to release his tax returns. Furthermore, I’m fairly certain they’re not auditing all of the years he’s done tax filings. So, why not release copies for the years that aren’t currently being audited?

Again, per the IRS, there’s zero reason why he can’t release his returns – audit or no audit.

He’s using this line because it’s about the only excuse (even though it’s not remotely valid) he can come up with that sounds like something that’s legitimate, even though it’s not.

Donald Trump not releasing his tax returns is the antithesis of the message he’s pushed in his campaign that he’s an honest, “straight shooter” and just tells it like it is. If all of that were really true, I don’t see why he would be blatantly going out of his way to not release his returns.



Though a lot of what I’m saying here is rhetoric because I know why he won’t release them: people will see how shady, hypocritical and full of crap he really is.

If he were to release his returns and they showed him hiding money overseas, that he’s not worth nearly as much as he claims he is and there are links in there to some very shady business practices – he would have a ton to answer for. The reality is, releasing his tax returns might not only cost him any possible chance he has at the presidency, it could ruin his brand if it’s revealed that a lot of his egotistical self-promotion has been based on fiction.

Will we find any of that out? Probably not.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Donald Trump supporters over the last few months it’s that they couldn’t care less about facts or reality. They’ll believe him when he says he can’t release them while they’re being audited or make excuses why he shouldn’t have to follow a practice that’s been done by just about every presidential candidate for the last 40+ years.

After all, almost nothing Trump says is actually true, yet he managed to become the GOP presidential nominee in a landslide.

This issue isn’t something that’s going to go away. It’s going to haunt him until November and the scrutiny over his decision not to release his returns is going to get incredibly tense the closer we get to the general election.

While I wouldn’t say it could cost him the election (not based on everything else he’s going to say and do between now and then), it’s going to be something that does hurt him with some voters.

If there’s ever been a presidential candidate who owes it to voters to release their tax returns, it’s Donald Trump. He’s built a campaign based upon self-promotion and the idea that he’s an extremely successful businessman who’s worth $10 billion – while apparently being too afraid to actually prove all of that to the American voters.




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Thetacitvoice

    We don’t require voters to show ID, nor do we require candidates to release their tax returns. If we aren’t going to force a voter to show ID unlawfully, why would we force a candidate to show his tax returns? I think if Timothy Geithner can not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for
    several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund, and employ an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work
    papers, Trump can keep his Tax Returns. At least we know he paid what the IRS required.