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Obamas and Bidens released tax documents, why won't Trump?

buzzz worthy. . .





By Mona Austin

With two months left before the general election, Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump has evaded providing tax records the entire time he has sought the highest seat in the land.   Sharing tax records is a part of the normal written and unwritten rules of engagement in politics.   Presidential hopefuls are subject to all types of prying into their personal affairs, including personal finances.  It is not a legal requirement, but the American people have come to expect to see candidates' income tax returns, somehow equating the management of personal funds with the ability to manage the U.S. Economy. To date, Trump has not cooperated with the request for his tax records. His running mate, Mike Pence is expected to provide his tax records some time this week. 

On August 23, 2016, the Washington Post released  a vat of financial records they collected for the book  "Trump Revealed," a biographical expose on the controversial candidate.

As  a candidate who has campaigned on transparency and his unique ability to turn the economy around, Trump's refusal to disclose tax documents raises questions about his credibility.  However, Trump has filed an extensive financial report with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) according to CNN Money. Perhaps he feels this report spells out the necessary details of his financial affairs.  In it he claims to be worth over $10 billion, a discrepancy with Forbes Magazine's annual "world's richest" list.  Forbes said Trump was worth about $4.5 billion.  Bloomberg stated his net worth was even lower at $2.9 billion.

The billionaire business man is the first presidential candidate in 40 years to refuse to disclose tax documents. While in office over the last eight years Obama and Biden have continued to release theirs.

What would we learn about Trump's personal finances if he released his taxes? A glance at the current president and vice president's tax records are a good indicator of the type of information that is shared.  

Mr. Trump may have to eventually get used to the public keeping an eye on his financial standing with the IRS, should he become president.

On tax day, the White House released the 2015 tax records of President Obama and Vice President Biden.  Both leaders filed jointly with their respective wife.

Here's what the documents tell us. . .

The Obama's earnings declined from year's past where their book sales were up.

Adhering to the policy that the wealthiest Americans must pay their fair share of taxes, the Obamas paid a federal tax rate of 18.7 percent on  an adjusted gross income of $436,065, or $81,472 in total taxes. The president's annual salary is approximately $395 thousand dollars.

The first family also reported donating $64,066 to 34 different charities (or approximately 14.7 percent of their adjusted gross income), while the Bidens donated $6,620 to charity.

The Bidens paid $91,546 in total federal taxes for 2015 on an adjusted gross income of $392, 233, amounting to an effective tax rate of 23.3%. They also paid $13,729 in Delaware income tax and Dr. Biden paid $3,882 in Virginia income taxes.

(Aside: Among other telling details the tax records reveal  the birth name of Sasha, the younger of the Obama dependents.  Her name is actually Natasha.)

So why is Trump holding back?  As recently as late August  he said he would release medical records if his opponent Hillary Clinton releases hers, but the owner of the Donald Trump Organization continues to raise suspicion by avoiding addressing his business and personal finances, causing the media and some potential voters to speculate that he must be hiding something. If he is comfortable releasing sensitive details about his health, what does he have to lose?