Why Trump’s Tax Returns Matter

Should Donald Trump be elected President of the United States he would become the first to ascend to the world’s most influential and powerful position having never been previously appointed nor elected to a government position nor served in the military. This by no means disqualifies Mr. Trump from seeking the office of president, but it does create an unusual situation for voters who typically review a candidate’s public policy track record in making their determination on who to vote for. Mr. Trump, who has been in the public spotlight for decades, has commented on policy topics in the past, but his campaign and surrogates constantly remind us that was when he was a private citizen without the benefit of information. Based on that premise there is no public policy record of Mr. Trump’s to review and scrutinize leaving voters without a fair comparison between Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton on policy decisions they previously advocated for and the current campaign rhetoric.

Mr. Trump, however, is not seeking office based on his experience or knowledge of domestic and international policy, but rather his business acumen and success. Listening to Mr. Trump you could easily come away with the impression that everything he has done in business has been a great success, even his bankruptcies, and yet there has been very little documentation provided to support such claims. Most of the information that is available comes from the diligent reporting of journalists, and some of the information discovered is concerning. We know through multiple sources that as a result of a number of business failures American financial companies have refused to loan Mr. Trump money. This has forced, we have learned, Mr. Trump into forging business partnerships in order to continue making deals, and while he claims to be “very liquid” and has “very little debt” recent reporting suggest otherwise.

Everyone has a right to privacy, but when running for the office of President of the United States and making your business experience the foundation for your candidacy you relinquish your right to remain secretive about the one issue you have asked the public to judge your fitness for office on. The people have the right to know who your business partners are, your sources of income, the amount of equity you have and debt you carry, if you have been as generous as you and your campaign say you have, and to make the judgement for themselves if you have been making America great by paying your fair share of taxes. Release your taxes Mr. Trump. The American people have a right to conduct their audit of you.