While nearly all Presidents have released their tax return while they were just presidential candidates (with the notable exception of Richard Nixon, who did release his return, but only did so after a year into his presidency), Donald Trump has not released his return and has remained rather mysterious on the topic. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released the tax return that she and Bill Clinton filed jointly for 2015, which showed their income was 10.6 million dollars. The majority of the income came from motivational speeches, appearances and the sale of biographies. Clinton noted that they paid a third of that in taxes, more than three million dollars.
Meanwhile, more and more people are calling for Donald’s Trump tax return to be made public. This has been the tradition of almost all presidential candidates, with particular scrutiny placed on the candidate’s charitable donations. Trump has not given any solid reason why he won’t release his return other than he wishes it to be audited first, but many Reddit users have come up with an outrageous theory, of which the authenticity cannot be verified. They state the believe that Donald Trump gives money to NAMBLA, which is an organization that supports the cause of romantic and sexual love between men and boys. While there is no evidence that has been released to support that claim, opponents of Trump state he could easily clear that up with the release of his tax return.
Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, the vice president nominee and running mate of Donald Trump, has said that he likely will release his tax return as soon as it is ready. Pence apparently filed for a six-month extension for his tax preparation, which is not uncommon, but means that his tax statement may not be available until October. Tax deadlines were April 15, but an extension could mean he does not have to file until October 15, 2016. Whether or not that return would be available before the presidential election is unknown, but Pence has stated he sees no reason to not release income tax returns, according to The New York Times. However, Pence did criticize Clinton in his statement over income taxes.
“When my forms are filed and when my tax returns are released it’s going to be a quick read. All of this class warfare talk that we heard coming out of Hillary Clinton’s speech yesterday rings a little bit hollow. What you have, you know, what you have in the Clintons is an extremely prosperous family that’s made tens of millions of dollars related to and derivative of their time in and around public service, and the American people now know that clearly from that release.”
Meanwhile, Trump says nothing more than he won’t release any returns until they have been audited, which democrats say is a stall tactic. They have suggested that perhaps he is not as wealthy as he has led the United States to believe, or that he is not paying an adequate share of federal taxes. It is difficult to prove or refute these statements with no returns to be had.
This is not the first time that the rather demure and docile Mike Pence has broken away from his running mate’s words or actions, which is a first for a presidential candidate team. Some feel this may be strategic, so that citizens are viewed as more than just a figure-head or yes-man, but is actually giving his opinion and challenging Donald Trump at times. Trump seems very at ease with Pence’s public disagreement with him, which further supports public theory that the division may be strategic. Clinton and running mate Kaine have both released their statements for public record and scorn Trump for not doing the same.
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