It’s Tax Day, and the President Continues to Hide His Returns
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It’s Tax Day, arguably the least favorite day of the year for millions of Americans, and in the age of Trump another reminder that the president is continuing to hide his finances and the potential conflicts of interest that go with them.
Trump, who may be the wealthiest president ever, is the first since Lyndon Johnson to refuse to release any information about his annual tax filing. Other than Gerald Ford, every president since LBJ has released his full return; Ford submitted a detailed summary.
But Trump, after promising during his campaign to disclose his returns once Internal Revenue Service auditors finished reviewing them, now insists he will continue to exercise his right to keep them confidential. This morning, he celebrated the massive tax cut bill Congress passed at his behest last year, tweeting “Employment is up, Taxes are DOWN. Enjoy!”
Of course, as the billionaire owner of hotels, office buildings, and resorts around the world, Trump likely is among those with the most to celebrate from the tax cut. The bill was skewed to deliver the largest tax reductions to the wealthiest Americans, a fact not lost on the general public. Opinion polls suggest that only about half of Americans approve of the cut.
Trump’s refusal to disclose his returns comes amid growing evidence that his businesses are working to capitalize on his government service. The Trump International Hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue just a few blocks from the White House, has become a preferred destination for foreign dignitaries visiting the capital as well as a host site for Republican fundraising events.
Meanwhile, Trump’s frequent travels to his properties, including his golf resorts in Florida, Virginia, and New Jersey, have generated income in the form of payments by the government to the Trump organization to cover accommodations for White House staffers and Secret Service agents assigned to protect the president. In just the first six months of Trump’s presidency, Trump’s Florida resort at Mar-a-Lago billed the government $6.6 million The Washington Post reported.