A large part of Donald Trump’s appeal is based on how rich he is. The argument goes that if he’s made so much money, surely he’ll be able to manage the country’s economy. It’s a popular, if flawed, argument. However, we don’t actually know how rich Trump really is. That’s because, unlike every major presidential contender of the past 40 years, he has not released his tax returns.
Trump has refused to release his tax returns because he is currently under audit by the IRS. However, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has said that an audit would not prevent Trump from releasing his returns. That raises the question of why he isn’t releasing them. Some, such as former GOP nominee Mitt Romney, believe that the GOP nominee is hiding something in his returns.
‘I think there’s something there. Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay, or perhaps he hasn’t been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he’s been telling us he’s doing.’
The idea that Trump isn’t as rich as he says he is could be damning for his campaign. After all, he’s built his image on being rich. He has claimed that he would use his business skills to make America rich, but if Trump’s wealth is just an illusion, then his whole campaign would come crashing down.
Romney isn’t the only billionaire to call out Trump. At a Clinton rally on Monday, Warren Buffett challenged the GOP nominee to release his returns. The founder of CNN, who is also being audited by the IRS, told Trump to meet him “anyplace, anytime” and he would release his alongside Trump.
‘Now I’ve got news for him, I’m under audit too and I would be delighted to meet him anyplace, anytime, before the election. I’ll bring my tax return, he can bring his tax returns… and let people ask us questions about the items that are on there.’
Buffett asked the audience if they would be afraid to release their returns and then pointed out that you’re only afraid if you’ve got something to hide. Keep in mind, we’re talking about a man who has spent the past weekend attacking a Gold Star family, so if he’s afraid to release his tax returns, there must be something in there. So what is Trump so afraid of? Honestly, there’s a good chance we’ll never know.
Featured image via Getty Images.