Let’s play a game of “what if?” for just a moment.
What if somehow Michael Bloomberg manages to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination? What if he gets the call to run against Donald John Trump, the self-proclaimed “very stable genius” and the current president of the United States?
Trump at first promised to release his taxes per the custom set beginning with the 1976 election. Then he has backed away. He is fighting efforts to obtain those records.
What if Bloomberg gets the nomination and then releases everything, per what previous nominees of both major parties have done … until Trump came along?
Bloomberg is reportedly the world’s ninth richest person. Trump reportedly is worth, well, a whole lot less than Bloomberg.
Why hasn’t Trump done what he promised to do initially and then reneged on the promise? I have a number of theories.
One is that he ain’t nearly as wealthy as he claims to be. Another is that he doesn’t give hardly anything to charity. Still another is that he has business dealings in Russia that far exceed what he’s admitted to already. A fourth might be that he has paid damn little in taxes. May I try a fifth notion? It could be that he has done a whole bunch of shady deals that could be revealed in a full public scrutiny of his taxes.
Bloomberg is far from a sure thing in the still-developing Democratic primary contest. He’s getting beaten up by his primary rivals, not to mention Trump, who’s already hung a disparaging nickname on the former New York City mayor.
If he gets the party nomination, my hope is that he releases his taxes, as other nominees have done. It won’t shame Trump into doing the right thing. However, it would stand in stark relief against the game of fiscal hide-and-seek that Trump is playing.
Voters then can make their own judgment on who appears to be keeping some important information from public view.