What does Donald Trump have to hide? The New York Times interviewed tax and real estate experts and reports that it’s likely the billionaire and Republican presidential candidate pays zero taxes – legally – taking full advantage of the loopholes available to the superwealthy.
The previous nine Republican nominees have released their tax information – it’s a routine request. Mitt Romney balked about releasing his federal returns, understandably since they showed he paid about 14 percent of his income in taxes, well below the burden shouldered by everyday folks the U.S.
Trump's tax returns would likely reveal that the man who grew rich taking advantage of workers also took copious advantage of tax loopholes and made few charitable contributions.
Meanwhile, the public learned Friday that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and running mate Tim Kaine, who released 10 years worth of tax returns for himself and his wife, both pay closer to the tax rate most people in America contribute. Hillary and Bill Clinton paid 34.2 percent in federal taxes. Kaine and his wife Anne Holton paid between 19 percent and 29 percent over the past decade.
Keystone Progress members showed up at a Trump rally Friday at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa. to highlight Trump’s determination to keep his tax information secret from the public. They stood in silence, holding up tax forms. The Republican candidate paused his speech and eyed the activists inside the arena before they were removed by Trump staffers. Outside the arena, they talked about their action.
“We could not allow Donald Trump to come to our community without a reminder that he hasn't shown us his tax forms” said Keystone Progress organizer Daniel Doubet.
“For all his bigoted bluster and unhinged rhetoric, he's supposed to be this great businessman, but he won't show America the proof,” Doubet said. “He's like a used-car salesman who keeps telling you how great a car is, but he won't show you any documents.”
The federal tax rate for all households averages about 20 percent.
Keystone Progress is the largest progressive multi-issue organization in Pennsylvania and an affiliate of People’s Action.
This post has been updated to correct a misspelling of the name of the wife of vice presidential candidate Time Kaine, Anne Holton.