In Blog No. 115 we suggested that, even if Donald Trump persisted in his refusal to disclose his tax returns, he should be pressed to disclose key information from the returns. An excellent column in Friday’s New York Times by James Stewart makes just that point: “Keep the Returns, Trump; Just Give Us a Few Figures.” As Stewart put it:
So just give us this: your adjusted gross income and actual federal taxes paid for the last five years, certified by your accountants. That’s a total of 10 numbers, which would fit on a single page.
Those are numbers any taxpayer can understand. They wouldn’t tell the I.R.S. anything it doesn’t already know.
And while they wouldn’t answer many of the questions that have swirled around your finances, they would lay to rest once and for all the most basic question: How much, if anything, do you pay in federal taxes?
Although Stewart is willing to settle for disclosure of bare figures at this point, he also describes concisely and convincingly the “wealth of relevant information” that would be revealed by the returns themselves. The most basic question is whether Trump eased his tax burden by legal tax avoidance or illegal tax evasion. In addition, the returns would also disclose which tax loopholes Trump took advantage of and focus attention on why such loopholes appear untouched by Trump’s “tax reform” proposal.
We urge followers of RINOcracy.com to read the Stewart column in its entirety and to draw it to the attention of their friends and neighbors. We hope that it is also read by Stewart’s media colleagues and future debate moderators as well as the Clinton campaign.