When it comes to self-dealing, Crooked Donald is still the king. Just look at the fiasco surrounding his proposed tax reform.
Crooked Donald’s “Tax Reform Proposal” was a real rush job. According to multiple reports, Trump wanted to have “tax reform” as part of his “100 Day Accomplishments.” Thus, shortly before the 100 day deadline, Trump ordered economic advisor Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who were hoping to wait and introduce a bill in summer, to hold a last-second press conference and release the one-page document of a few hundred words declaring Trump’s “aspirational goals” for tax reform.
When reporters pointed out that, even as “aspirational goals,” the broad outline could violate Trump’s campaign promises of cuts for the middle class cuts with no cuts for the wealthy, Mnuchin would only commit to corporations getting big tax cuts (they are people too, after all) but he wouldn’t even promise there would be a middle class tax cut—since then, the White House has effectively renamed the unwritten bill as a “middle class tax cut” and Mnuchin is insisting he never said what millions of people heard him say.
Even at just a few hundred words, the outline was specific enough for experts to see the broad outlines of Trump’s “aspirational goals” and there was no escaping how Crooked Donald and his kids would make out like bandits. One Trump aspiration is to end the estate tax for Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr., while Trump himself would benefit personally from his lower individual rate and the entire Trump Organization would be eligible for both corporate and “small business tax cuts” (believe it or not, like Koch Industries and large law firms, the Trump Organization is a “small business,” at least on paper.)
Being personally enriched by not paying taxes was certainly not the kind of coverage on taxes Crooked Donald was looking for, so he decided to push back on Fox News, naturally. When interviewer Martha McCallum asked about why Mnuchin said there were no middle class tax cuts, Trump shot back that that there were cuts for working families and also, despite the all the corporate cuts his company would get, he was going to pay much more in taxes due to lost deductions—and his tax returns (which he won’t release) prove it!
And Fox News just dropped it there, without asking the obvious follow-up questions—if you cut your tax rate by more than half, how can you possibly be paying more? And if you won’t release your tax returns, how can we know what deductions you are taking?
It brings us back to Trump’s broken promise that he would release his tax returns as president: Trump keeps insisting, as he did in his Fox interview, that he set numbers and wrote the broader tax plan. And if that is so, then it is only fair to make Trump release his tax returns not just to see his many potential conflicts but to gain a better understanding of his experience with taxes.
That’s one reason why Democrats are insisting that Trump’s returns be released before any tax deal can be negotiated—and more and more Republican are also like are saying Crooked Donald needs the to release those returns, at least to the Congressional investigating committees.
And it can be done, if you keep calling Congress and either join or help lead dedicated citizens demanding Trump do the right thing and release his returns—you can start by clicking here.