Donald Trump Ducks Tax Disclosure: A very bad sign
Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns is a very bad sign because it shows he will ignore norms and good practices in favor of self-interest. It’s obvious that he won’t release the returns because he knows or strongly suspects that what they will reveal will be quite damaging, and that for that reason he will keep the public in the dark despite asking the public to elect him President.
There is something very dark and very wrong with Donald J. Trump—and something seriously lacking in those who, like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, continue to give him their endorsement.
The NY Times editorial begins:
As Donald Trump’s tweets pile one atop another, generating sensational headlines, issues of true substance are tending to get lost in the shuffle. None is more important for voters to keep in mind than the failure of Mr. Trump to disclose his full income tax returns, something he is not likely to do by Election Day.
He is the first major party candidate since 1976 — since Watergate, essentially — to deny voters that vital measure of credibility. It is not required by law that candidates furnish their returns. But Americans have come to expect it.
The interest in Mr. Trump’s case is particularly high. He is running for the White House partly as a business wizard, but is he really as rich and talented as he boasts? Is he as philanthropic as he claims with his reputed billions? Has he truly no conflicts of interest in Russia, whose computer hackers he has bizarrely invited to spy on Hillary Clinton, his campaign rival?
These questions are of Mr. Trump’s own making, and a timely release of his tax returns would provide some answers. “There’s nothing to learn from them,” he tried to insist in May, arguing that he would not make the returns public until after an Internal Revenue Service audit is complete.
But the I.R.S. says Mr. Trump is free to release the returns at any time and to defend their accuracy, just as President Richard Nixon did while he was undergoing an audit. In the past, Mr. Trump has not hesitated to attack the I.R.S. as “very unfair,” but now he stands before the voters using the agency as a shield against disclosure.
We can only imagine how livid the Trump tweets would be if Mrs. Clinton were failing to meet this standard of campaign transparency. She has posted eight years of tax returns on her campaign website for all to see. . .