Seeds: This history of presidential candidates releasing their tax returns (Essentially a document that states a person’s income and tax deductions used to calculate how much money in taxes they are liable to pay.) can be traced back to President Richard Nixon all the way back in 1973 when Nixon confidently decreed that he was “not a crook”. Well, as it turns out, he kinda was. In an effort to clear up some growing concerns about the state of his finances, Nixon released his tax returns to the public, only for it to be discovered that Nixon did in fact owe quite a bit of money to the government, nearly half a million dollars. Since then, it has become customary for presidential candidates to release their tax returns.
Core: This election, Donald Trump has once again strayed from convention by refusing to release his tax returns, claiming that he is currently under audit and not allowed to release them. However, the IRS has stated there is nothing prohibiting him from releasing his taxes.
Skin: This week, the New York Times was able to obtain Trump’s tax returns from 1995. The returns reveal that Trump declared a $916 million loss. This indicates the the possibility that Trump successfully avoided paying federal taxes for up to 18 years.
Leaves: The release of Trump’s tax returns has sent ripples through the world of presidential politics. The polls currently show Hillary Clinton with a 4% lead in the popular vote and 307 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 203 votes (270 are needed to win).
Food For Thought: Do you think candidates should have to release their taxes? How much of an impact do you think the release of Trump’s old tax returns will have on the campaign?