Tag Archives: IRS

One more time: Tax returns, Mr. President

Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed documents from the Trump Organization. He is looking for information relating to the president’s business dealings in Russia and whether there might be some link between those matters and the president’s reluctance to acknowledge Russian meddling in our electoral process.

Wow! Yes? Donald Trump has called that a “red line” that might produce some serious retaliation from the president against Mueller.

Hey now! I have a thought. Do you remember those Trump tax returns? The returns the president hasn’t revealed to the public, defying 40 years of political custom from presidential nominees of both parties? Trump has clung to a lame excuse about an “audit.” The Internal Revenue Service, which hasn’t yet commented on whether it is actually auditing Trump’s returns, has said an audit doesn’t preclude the returns’ release to the public.

Trump should have released them long ago. Mueller’s probe now seems to be closing in on those returns. Gosh, might he subpoena those returns as part of his own investigation?

Trump and his allies keep saying that “no one” is interested in those returns. I disagree. Strongly, in fact. I am not “no one.” Neither are the millions of Americans who didn’t vote for Trump. Yes, there are more of us than those who voted for the president in 2016.

The tax returns are back. On the front burner, where they belong.

POTUS has much for which he must answer

The farther along we stagger forward into the presidency of Donald Trump, the deeper the hole he digs for himself.

I refer to the many statements he has made — as candidate and then as president — that have yet to be substantiated.

A few of them come to mind.

  • He has asserted that climate change is a “hoax,” a fantasy created by China to discredit our fossil fuel industry.
  • Trump has accused “millions of illegal immigrants” of voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, giving her the nearly 3 million popular vote margin she rolled up over the president.
  • The president has fanned the flames of the phony and slanderous birther movement once again by challenging whether Barack Obama was actually born in the United States of America; he once said that the president is a U.S. citizen, but has all but walked that one back.
  • Candidate Donald Trump said he would release his tax returns once the Internal Revenue Service completed its audit. That was more than two years ago. The tax returns remain a secret. The IRS cannot possibly be conducting that audit to this day.
  • Trump said he wouldn’t have time for golf, that he’d be too busy making America “great again.” He, um, has broken that pledge, too.

I know I’ve missed a few. Maybe many. But I hope you get the point.

The president has made bold pledges. He hasn’t been held to account for them. His base continues to rally behind him. They give him a pass on all of it. They ignore his hideous personal behavior in a way they never would do if the president was a member of the opposing political party.

Others of us out here are seeking to hold this guy accountable for his lengthening list of untrue statements and promises he made.

I don’t expect the president to listen to his critics. He doesn’t care what we think. He cares only about the slobbering support he gets from those who relish the idiotic notion that Donald Trump simply is “telling it like it is.”

Complain about a million bucks? Hardly!

I’ve been called out. Someone who reads this blog has scolded me for my continuing criticism of Donald John Trump.

This individual — who I don’t know personally or even through social media — said I’d still “bitch about it” if the president “gave every family one million dollars.”

Why, I never …

I wouldn’t “bitch” about it. I’d merely wonder where he’s getting the money. I would presume, for instance, that he’d pay us all with public money. Meaning tax money collected by the Internal Revenue Service from every taxpaying American.

Then I would question whether the U.S. Treasury could afford to part with the money, given that we already have rolled up this massive debt of $20 trillion, which figures to grow even more as the Trump-Congressional Republican tax cut kicks in.

That’s one option.

Then there’s the other one, which would be that Trump could hand out the money from his hu-u-u-u-u-ge fortune built through real estate wheeling and dealing. Didn’t he insist during the 2016 presidential campaign that he’s “really rich”? Of course he did!

If Trump were to dig deeply into his pockets for private money he’d like to distribute to the unwashed masses he governs, well … I wouldn’t complain one single bit.

I’d like to see the president’s tax returns, though, to ensure that he acquired the money legitimately.

Tax returns would prove whether POTUS takes a hit

OK, here we go. The Republican-passed tax cut is heading for Donald Trump’s desk. The president will sign it, probably soon.

He keeps telling us how much of a beating he’s going to take from the tax overhaul. “Believe me. Believe me!” he implores us.

Sure thing, Mr. President. We’re supposed to take your word for it. I mean, your word is your bond, isn’t that right?

Well, here’s the deal. Some independent tax analysts have sung a different tune about the tax plan. They’ve told us the very wealthy are going to do quite well; that would include Donald John “I’ve Made a Lot of Money” Trump.

How in the world can we know for certain whether the president is going to take a beating or whether he’ll benefit bigly from the tax plan?

Oh, I know! How about releasing those tax returns he keeps refusing to disclose for public review? Trump has told the Internal Revenue Service is conducting a “routine audit” of his returns. Let’s see, when he first say that? He said when he declared his presidential candidacy in June 2015. The IRS says an audit doesn’t preclude anyone releasing their returns.

The IRS doesn’t comment on whether it is conducting an audit. Which begs the question: Is the IRS really auditing Donald Trump’s tax returns? We haven’t seen any evidence in the form of a letter from the IRS to the Trump business empire that it would audit the company’s tax returns.

The corporate tax rate under the overhaul declines from 37 to 21 percent. There also are reportedly other perks for businesses involved in, um, commercial real estate.

I am unwilling to take the president at his word that he’s going to get hammered by the tax cut plan. I want proof. I want to see his tax returns.

Tax return questions are back

I cannot believe this is actually happening … well, actually I can.

Donald J. Trump’s tax returns — those documents he has refused to release for public review — are about to return once again to the center ring of the circus that describes the president’s administration.

The president is now pitching a tax reform/tax cut proposal he says won’t affect him and his family. He’s filthy rich, or so he’s told us repeatedly since he stormed onto the nation’s political stage in June 2015. The tax reform proposal, according to Trump, is meant to benefit middle-class Americans. The rich folks like the president won’t get a break … allegedly.

That assertion is getting careful scrutiny from the media and tax analysts who suggest that Trump would benefit significantly from what he and his economics team are proposing.

So-o-o-o …

How might we learn whether the president benefits from this tax plan? Oh, I’ve got it! Let’s look at his tax returns! 

Trump has declined to release the returns, flouting a presidential candidate custom dating back to 1976; every major-party nominee for four decades has released those returns in the interest of full disclosure. Trump said “no.” He said he’s under an Internal Revenue Service audit. The IRS says an audit doesn’t prevent release of those returns. Indeed, Trump never has actually produced any material evidence that he’s under audit.

But the point is this: Those hidden tax returns might become central to the public debate over the president’s tax reform/tax cut.

That is, if special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into “The Russia Thing” doesn’t produce those returns first.

Inquiring minds want to know the scope of Trump’s wealth, where it comes from and whether he would benefit materially from the tax plan he and his team are trying to sell to those of us who remain so skeptical of the president’s motives.

Trump taxes might be revealed … soon? Perhaps? Maybe?

Those special counsel investigations do have a way of producing results where one might least expect it.

Take the probe being conducted by Robert Mueller into the “Russia thing,” whether the Donald Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians who were hacking into our electoral process in 2016.

It turns out that Mueller has enlisted the aid of Internal Revenue Services criminal investigative team to help him in his investigation of the Russia matter.

Why is this so, um, titillating?

The president told us when he launched his campaign two years ago that the IRS was conducting a “routine audit,” which prevented him from releasing his tax returns for public view; presidential candidates of both parties have been releasing their returns every election year dating back to 1976.

Trump has vowed to release them; then he backed away from that; then he sort of said he would release them; now he’s apparently back to the “no way” mode regarding the returns.

The IRS involvement is important to Mueller reportedly because it could reveal whether Trump had any business interests in Russia, something he denies. Evidence is piling up that Trump, uh, more than likely lied about that.

What needs saying once again is that a routine audit does not prevent release of the returns, according to the IRS. Moreover, Trump never has produced a shred evidence that the IRS is actually auditing his tax returns; he’s presumed that we should take his word for it.

The tax returns are important for a number of reasons. They shed light on the nation’s top public official’s business connections; they will tell us if the president really is as rich as he kept bragging he is; in this instance, they’ll reveal whether Trump is truthful about having “no business dealings in Russia.”

The tax return issue won’t go away. Nor should it. Not until the president keeps faith with a four-decade political tradition and releases them for full public scrutiny.

Tax returns might reveal the whole truth

Here they come again.

Those still-missing Donald J. Trump tax returns have returned to front row of discussion topics relating to the Russian probe into the president’s 2016 campaign.

Trump hasn’t released them. He has broken a 40-year streak of disclosures from presidential candidates. He keeps saying he’s “under audit” by the Internal Revenue Service.

But wait! Special counsel Robert Mueller is now thought to be examining the Trump business empire’s dealings that might have something to do with the Russian government, which has been linked to allegations that it sought to influence the 2016 presidential election outcome.

Won’t those tax returns tell the public whether Trump’s businesses had any skin in the game? Won’t they reveal the truth? Couldn’t they possibly clear the air? Might they tell us that Trump has been truthful, that he has no business dealings with Russia?

Or, might they tell us something else?

I know I’m repeating myself. That’s too bad. Those tax returns need to go before the public.

Wouldn’t tax returns answer a lot of Russia questions?

I keep circling back to an issue that just won’t disappear.

Those tax returns that Donald J. Trump insists on keeping secret might answer a lot of questions about the president of the United States and his reluctance to say anything negative about Russia and its president/strongman/killer Vladimir Putin.

Trump won’t release them. He is dismissing a four-decade-old custom for presidential candidates and for presidents. They’ve all released them for public review. Except the current president.

I keep asking: How come? Trump keeps yapping about an “audit.” Two points here: The Internal Revenue Service — which doesn’t comment on specific audits — says an audit does not prevent someone from releasing those returns to the public; furthermore, Trump never has even proved that the IRS is auditing him.

He demanded repeatedly that Barack Obama produce a birth certificate to prove his constitutional eligibility to serve as president. How about Trump provide a letter from the IRS that declares that he’s being audited?

Amid all this is the swirl of Russia and whether the president has business dealings with Russian oligarchs and government officials. The president says he has none. He expects us to believe him. Sure thing, Mr. President. He also expected us to believe that Barack Obama wiretapped his campaign offices, that millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton and that thousands of Muslims cheered the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Tax returns would reveal whether the president has any business dealings in Russia. If he has been telling us the truth about that matter, then the returns would validate his assertion. Wouldn’t they? If he’s not being truthful, well, the returns would reveal that, too. Am I correct on that?

I am left only to conclude that the tax returns the president refuses to release to the public contain something he doesn’t want us to see. Do they involve Russia, Mr. President? Do they reveal why you won’t speak ill of your pal Vlad Putin?

Tax returns become central to public policy

Tom Cotton is an earnest young man who happens to be a U.S. senator from Arkansas.

He held a town hall meeting this week back home. Someone asked him about Donald J. Trump’s tax returns and wondered why the president won’t release them.

Sen. Cotton, a fellow Republican, then gave the wrong answer. He said Trump is “under audit” by the Internal Revenue Service. The response drew a chorus of boos.

Here’s my take.

If the president has nothing to hide, he ought to release the tax returns. The questions from many Americans — and yes, many of us do care about this matter — center on the president’s foreign investments. The Russia story isn’t about to wither away. It’s going to remain on our national front burner for as long as Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns in direct contradiction to four decades of custom; presidential nominees of both parties have made their returns public since 1976.

Cotton gets an earful

Sen. Cotton’s tepid defense of the president’s refusal didn’t escape the belief among many at his town hall meeting that Trump’s “audit” dodge doesn’t hold up. The IRS has said — without commenting on Trump’s situation specifically — that an audit does not prevent release of one’s returns.

Meanwhile, the questions about foreign investments persist. They will continue to persist until the president does what he should have done when he became a candidate for the nation’s highest office.

Tax returns, Mr. President … give ’em up

Gosh, I hate talking about Donald John Trump’s tax returns.

Just kidding. No, I don’t.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., says tax-filing time is a good time to see what — if anything — the president is hiding from the American people he governs.

I agree with the Bay State’s senior senator.

We’ve waited long enough to see what precisely is in those returns. Trump has balked long enough at doing what other presidential candidates for 40 years have done, which is to release their complete returns for public inspection.

Trump keeps telling us he can’t release his returns because he’s being audited. The Internal Revenue Service says, in effect, that the president is engaging in a dodge; an audit doesn’t prohibit the returns’ release.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has said that any hope of enacting tax reform depends on the president releasing those returns. Sure, that’s hardball politicking. Inquiring minds want to know, especially the minds of those of us who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016.

Time to come clean

I mean, he’s still the president of all Americans. We’re all required to file our taxes. Here in Amarillo, candidates for public office are required to provide full financial disclosure.

The president of the United States of America is not above the law. In this case, even though releasing the returns isn’t a legal requirement, it has been a longstanding custom that’s been accepted as standard operating procedure for all candidates for the presidency.

Sure, many Americans don’t seem to think these returns matter. Others of us, though, think quite the opposite.

Many of us are waiting, Mr. President. Please show us, sir, that you aren’t hiding something.