What President Trump’s Leaked Tax Information Tells Us


NBC News

President Trump refuses to release his tax returns.

  The New York Times obtained President Donald Trump’s tax information from over the past 20 years. Within these reports, The Times found records of Trump’s struggling businesses, extensive tax write-offs, and how much (or how little) he paid in federal income tax. 

  Donald Trump paid $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and again in 2017. According to research done by CNBC, an American with an adjusted gross income of $20,000 to $24,999 will typically pay $1,131 in tax, nearly twice the amount paid by the president. The average income for a president is $400,000 each year. Referring back to the same research presented by CNBC, with an AGI of $400,000, he should have paid roughly $55,319 in taxes. 

  During President Trump’s 2016 race, he refused to release his tax returns. This broke a nearly 40-year precedent of candidates releasing their tax returns before accepting the presidency. As he is running for re-election four years later, Americans are still urging the President to publicly release them. 

  Sanderson Law and Justice teacher Michael Worley read the original The New York Times article and agreed that President Trump should release these documents saying, “I know he probably pays millions to tax lawyers so he does not pay much in taxes. However, if he wants to straighten everything out, he should make his tax records public.”

  In 2011, Trump appeared in an interview with ABC where he insinuated President Obama was not a citizen of the United States because he had decided not to publicly release his birth certificate. President Trump said, “Maybe I’m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate.” In April of 2011, President Obama uploaded his birth certificate and the longform version of it to the official White House website. As Trump is running for his second presidential term— still refusing to publicly release his tax returns— these words he once said nine years ago are met with sweet, sweet irony.  

  Ahead of the first presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden, his running mate Kamala Harris, and her husband Douglas Emhoff released their 2019 tax returns. This release made by Biden marked 20 years that he has made his tax returns public. Biden’s campaign manager Kate Bedingfield spoke to reporters in a pre-debate briefing saying, “He looked out for the stock market but looks down on the workers and middle-class families struggling to get by…. He [Joe Biden]  sees the world from his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and those are the values that Biden will bring to the White House.”

  If President Trump decides to not release these records within the next five weeks, it could be detrimental to his reelection. Presidential elect Joe Biden made it clear in the presidential debate that he will no longer allow millionaires and billionaires to find loopholes within the tax system that cause them to pay less federal taxes than the average school teacher. Americans are hopeful that Trump can prove these allegations are false, but if not, it may be time for our country to rethink having a “businessman” in office for another term.