Editorials

Trump breaks his promise on releasing his tax returns

A person in Seattle holds a sign during a rally Saturday, April 15, 2017 that calls for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns so Americans can scrutinize his business ties and potential conflicts of interest. Trump was the first major-party nominee in more than 40 years not to release his tax returns, saying it was because he was under audit. Similar rallies were held in other U.S. cities as the deadline approaches for 2016 tax returns to be filed.
A person in Seattle holds a sign during a rally Saturday, April 15, 2017 that calls for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns so Americans can scrutinize his business ties and potential conflicts of interest. Trump was the first major-party nominee in more than 40 years not to release his tax returns, saying it was because he was under audit. Similar rallies were held in other U.S. cities as the deadline approaches for 2016 tax returns to be filed. AP

The White House is going to “get back” to us. And the weary old excuse as to why President Trump isn’t going to release his recent tax returns — though he could — is wearing thin. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican conservative, got booed when a constituent in a town hall didn’t like his answer about why Trump hasn’t released his taxes, Cotton’s answer being, like Trump’s, something about audits.

Trump said as he campaigned that he’d release his taxes, then he talked about how he’d wait until he wasn’t under audit, then he seemed to stay silent over what Hillary Clinton and others were saying — that he probably didn’t pay any taxes. Then a return showed up revealing he’d paid millions in taxes years ago.

Meanwhile, the speculation among his political opponents and the pundits raged on: that Trump was not nearly as wealthy as he’s boasted of being, which is why he didn’t want his taxes released, or were there business deals with the Russians and other foreign powers? And on and on.

The president is not savvy when it comes to public opinion, because he doesn’t really care about it. But the facts are the facts. Presidents have released their tax returns going back to Richard Nixon and Trump could release his returns, audit or no audit. The issue has been amplified, of course, because it’s tax season, when many Americans are carving out a chunk for Uncle Sam.

If ever there were a time when the president should release his tax returns, it is now. But he’ll get back to us. Sure he will.

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