Tag Archives: IRS

Does the special counsel have those Trump tax returns?

I keep getting this throbbing in my trick knee that suggests that special counsel Robert Mueller might be able to answer the question that has been bugging millions of Americans like me.

What is in Donald John Trump’s tax returns, the returns he refuses to release for public inspection?

That ol’ trick knee of mine suggests that Mueller has obtained those returns as part of his investigation into “The Russia Thing.” Trump won’t release them, making some sort of phony claim about being under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Of course, Mueller has substantial authority to get a lot of information that doesn’t come out through regular channels.

I’m waiting with some anxiousness for Mueller to finish this probe while telling us what many of us want to know: Are there business dealings in Russia that Trump wants to keep hidden from the public?

Oh, those doggone tax returns

Pardon me for gloating for just a moment.

I have kept yapping about those income tax returns that Donald J. Trump has refused to release for public viewing. He has broken with a 40-year tradition laid out by presidential candidates of both major parties.

Now he has had that hideous press conference this past week with Vladimir Putin, calling into question yet again whether the Russians — and their president — have something, anything on Trump’s business dealings that the U.S. president might not want known to the public.

Thus, the tax return issue has returned. It’s back. Hey, it won’t go away.

The Hill reported this: The issue of Trump’s tax returns had become less prominent in recent months. But that changed following last week’s joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki when Trump questioned the findings of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump continues to hide behind the lie that an Internal Revenue Service audit prevents the tax returns release. The IRS — which hasn’t commented on whether it is auditing Trump’s taxes — says no such audit would prevent the release of tax returns to the public.

For that matter, Trump hasn’t even produced a letter saying that the IRS is auditing him.

The questions and suspicion about Trump’s refusal to condemn the Russian attack on our election are valid. Does it have anything to do with Trump’s business dealings in Russia? Do the Russians have the “goods” on the president? If they do, what do those “goods” constitute?

I am happy to realize that others have suggested what some of us have been saying all along: Release those tax returns. The public needs to know what they contain. Do it! Now!

Tax returns? Remember them?

Forgive me, please, for being repetitive.

I believe it’s time, though, to bring up an old issue: tax returns. Specifically, the tax returns of the president of the United States of America. Yes, I know: I’ve traveled down this road already.

Donald J. Trump’s astonishing performance Monday alongside Vladimir Putin in Helsinki has prompted questions about whether Putin has “something” on Trump, as in some sort of business matter that might embarrass the president.

How might we know for certain? Oh, I’ve got it! Tax returns!

Trump refused to release his tax returns when he declared his presidential candidacy in 2015, flouting a tradition followed by candidates of both major parties dating back to 1976. They all did it voluntarily.

Not so with Trump. Why? His returns were “under and IRS audit,” he said. It’s crap. The Internal Revenue Service said an audit didn’t prevent release of those returns for public review.

But now there are questions arising anew about whether the president’s substantial business empire has been caught up in the “Russia thing” that special counsel Robert Mueller is examining as part of his probe into Russian meddling in our 2016 election.

I’ll ask one more, and it likely won’t be the final time: Why not release the returns and shine the light of accountability on your dealings, Mr. President?

Tax returns, Mr. President?

A Rhode Island state senator has pitched a fascinating idea that I hope becomes law. Indeed, her idea has already passed the state Senate. Where it goes next is anyone’s guess.

I fear that it won’t see the light of day.

Democrat Gayle Goldin authored a bill that would keep Donald J. Trump’s name off the 2020 ballot unless he releases his income tax returns, something he has so far refused to do.

Trump already has launched his re-election effort. He won’t win Rhode Island’s electoral votes in 2020, just as he didn’t win them in 2016. Sen. Goldin wants him to do something that every presidential candidate has done for the past 40 years, which is release his tax returns for public scrutiny.

Trump’s excuse for refusing to do so is as lame as it gets. He says the Internal Revenue Service is auditing his returns. The IRS says an audit doesn’t prevent someone from releasing their returns to the public, although it has not commented specifically on whether it is actually auditing Trump’s returns.

For that matter, the president hasn’t even produced any evidence that the IRS is in fact auditing his returns, which makes many of us question whether any such audit even has taken place.

Democrats control the Rhode Island Senate. Goldin’s bill passed 34-3. It now goes to the state House. I don’t yet have confidence that this gutsy measure will become law.

I hope it does. I also hope it catches on in all 50 states. I know. It’s not likely to happen. One can hope.

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.