I have long wondered if Trump did not release his tax returns because his main source of revenue for the past ten or fifteen years might have been his long-running reality show The Apprentice, during which time he worked for then NBC’s Jeff Zucker. Zucker, by the way, now-head of CNN, along with the rest of the media, gave Trump 25x the coverage of his Republican competitors, to the chagrin of reporters. (Trump’s Screen Actors Guild pension was $168,000 last year, which means he must have been making some serious bank as an actor.)
Trump’s true source of income could be more important than any other president’s, in my opinion, because if he’s not really a super successful billionaire with the golden touch, than he’s just a guy whose businesses went bankrupt four times only to be bailed out by the likes of Rothschild (specifically, Wilbur Ross, banker at Trump’s savior, Rothschild Inc, and now Trump’s pick for commerce secretary) and George Soros who inexplicably padded Trump’s Chicago condo deal. (Trump’s claim of being a billionaire is plausibly disputed by Tim O’Brien in the book TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald.)
If Trump is a billionaire builder and businessman with the Midas Touch, he doesn’t really have to give details on his plans because people will have faith based on his proven success that he knows what he’s doing. But if this faith is misplaced, we might be wise to understand his plans a-to-b-to-c so we can evaluate for ourselves the risk-reward trade-off and express our approval or displeasure directly or through our representatives.
Conway said Sunday that Trump won’t release his tax returns, appearing to shut the door on a decades-long tradition of transparency.
Every president since 1976 has released their returns. During the campaign, Trump refused to make his filings public, saying they were under audit by the Internal Revenue Service and saying he’d release them after that review is complete.
Conway was asked Sunday about a petition on the White House website signed by more than 200,000 people calling for Trump to release his returns.
“The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care.”
However, polls appear to show a majority of Americans want Trump to release the returns.
My big fear is that because Trump has the trust of his supporters based on what they think is proven business success, they will give him wide latitude even to the point of encroaching on America’s founding principles of limited government, civil liberties and respect for sovereignty in the name of pragmatism and “getting it done.” This is the kind of slippery slope that can put the last nail in the coffin of the American Experiment. Even if Trump himself could be trusted with such vast power and presumption of good faith, the next guy might not be, yet the scaffolding of technocratic government would be in place. (I said something similar to liberals when Obama’s presidency grew in power beyond the limits of the Constitution.)
On a side note, Trump will continue to work on The Apprentice while he’s president, earning $7 million for the role as executive producer while spending “zero time” on the job…If that’s true, why is NBC paying him for no work and is it ethical to take a job you don’t plan to do?