It’s A Two-Way Street: Demand Democrats Disclose Their Tax Returns
We note for the record here that there is no law that requires a candidate for President to disclose his tax records, and Donald Trump, claiming that he was being audited, refused to
do so. However, as soon as Mr. Trump was elected President Democrats began to try to pry open his finances and in particular to obtain his tax records.
While Republicans controlled the House Democrats made little headway in their efforts, but once Paul Ryan handed control of the House back to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats the effort to get Donald Trump’s tax records picked up steam.
As the New York Times reported, in July 2019, the House filed a lawsuit seeking to enforce its request. Mr. Trump’s legal team vowed to fight the effort “tooth and nail.”
The case was assigned to a Trump-appointed judge, Trevor N. McFadden, who would ultimately rule that the law was on the House’s side, but nevertheless stalled on making any ruling.
The case was still pending before him in 2021, when the Biden administration entered office and the current Congress was seated. Mr. Neal renewed his request and the Justice Department issued a memorandum saying the law on its face gave the committee a legal right to the returns.
Last December, about two and a half years after the House filed the lawsuit, Judge McFadden finally moved on the case, ruling that the committee indeed had a legal right to the records under “a long line of Supreme Court cases” that require courts to defer to valid congressional inquiries.
But Judge McFadden also declared that he believed it would be unwise for the committee to use its authority to publish Mr. Trump’s tax returns in the Congressional Record, as it is permitted to do under the same law that empowered Mr. Neal to request them. The case put the country in “uncharted territory,” he warned.
“Anyone can see that publishing confidential tax information of a political rival is the type of move that will return to plague the inventor,” the judge wrote. But he added, “It might not be right or wise to publish the returns, but it is the chairman’s right to do so.”
Still, Judge McFadden blocked the Treasury Department from turning the records over until the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reviewed his decision. In August, a three-judge appeals court panel upheld Judge McFadden’s decision.
Mr. Trump then asked the full appeals court to reconsider the matter. After it rejected that request last month, Mr. Trump asked that the Supreme Court intervene, only for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to temporarily extend the block.
However, in the waning days of Democrat control of the House the Supreme Court lifted the stay and House Democrats obtained Mr. Trump’s confidential tax returns, which they promptly published.
Here are a few highlights of the disclosures so far, which are hardly startling, let alone evidence of the criminality Democrats continually hinted would be found in Mr. Trump’s tax returns.
In a bad year for business, Trump didn’t take a full refund. Mr. Trump reported nearly $16 million in business losses in 2020, which swamped his other income and left him with no federal income tax liability. But the tax documents show that he made nearly $14 million in tax payments to the federal government over the course of the year. He claimed a refund of just under $5.5 million, then directed the Internal Revenue Service to apply another $8 million to his estimated taxes for 2021.
His own tax law may have cost him. The so-called SALT deduction disproportionately hit higher earners, including Mr. Trump, in high-tax cities and states like New York. In 2019, he reported paying $8.4 million in state and local taxes. Because of the SALT limits included in his tax law, he was able to deduct only $10,000 of those taxes paid on his federal income tax return.
CBS News reported according to its review Mr. Trump's lucrative licensing revenue dwindled as soon as he announced his campaign for President. Mr. Trump earned $427.4 million from his reality show "The Apprentice" from 2010 to 2018, as well as from licensing deals from everything from clothing to mattress companies. But that revenue started to dry up when he ran for president and the Left began a war on his business empire that cost him tens of millions in revenue from cancelled events at his golf courses and hotels and lost licensing deals, and the loss of revenue from the Miss Universe pageant which NBC announced it would no longer broadcast.
In reaction to the disclosure of his tax returns former President Trump issued a statement saying, “The Democrats should have never done it, the Supreme Court should have never approved it, and it’s going to lead to horrible things for so many people,” he said. “The great USA divide will now grow far worse. The Radical Left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!”
It is indeed a dangerous two-way street, and we look forward to the new House Republican majority demanding and releasing an in-depth report on the sources of Joe Biden’s income in the years between the end of the Obama administration in 2017 and his election in 2020. And while they are at it, a look at how Nancy Pelosi’s family net worth grew from $31.38 million in 2008 to $135 million today. (Hint to investigators – look at her family’s dealings with Communist China.)
So far, the only thing revealed by the publication of Donald Trump’s taxes is the huge financial hit he took to run for and serve as President. We urge CHQ readers to pick-up the phone to call their Representative (the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121) tell the new Republican majority you want full disclosure of the tax records of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and Nancy and Paul Pelosi, tell your Representative that unlike the sacrifices Donald Trump made in the name of public service, the evidence in their taxes will show just how lucrative being a Democrat in public office can be.
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