Donald J. Trump does something quite unique — it seems to me — among the filthy rich.
He brags about it. The Republican presidential nominee has been telling us long before he became a politician about how much money he possesses.
Trump boasts about his business acumen. He keeps telling us about the “fantastic” success he has enjoyed. He insists — as he did in the first “debate” with Hillary Clinton — that he isn’t being “braggadocious”; he said he keeps harping on it because America needs a president who “knows something about money.”
Well, as others have asked, do we hear other megazillionaires boast in this manner? Does Warren Buffett tell us about the billions he is worth? Do we hear such things from Bill Gates? Does Jeff Zuckerberg yammer about the billions of bucks in his portfolio?
And this brings me — yet again — to this issue of Trump’s tax returns. He hasn’t released them for public review, claiming that an Internal Revenue Service audit prevents him from releasing them; the IRS said an audit prevents nothing of the sort.
I am among many Americans who wonder just why Trump refuses to do what presidential candidates have done since 1976. The questions are numerous and varied. They center on the tax burden he bears, his relationships with foreign governments, his charitable contributions.
It’s the kind of information that those who have sought to become president of the United States has customarily revealed to those they seek to govern.
My first question is a simple and straightforward one: Do these returns reveal that Trump isn’t nearly as wealthy as he claims to be?