2016 — August 6, 2016 at 9:40 am

Show us your taxes or pay for your own Secret Service protection



If elected president, would Donald Trump defend our NATO allies if attacked as we’re obligated to by Article 5 of the NATO treaty?

“If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes,” the GOP nominee said last month.

Trump complained about our allies not meeting their financial obligations and questioning our need to protect him. Certainly, he’d hold himself to same obligation.

Trump is the first major party presidential nominee in generations who won’t release his tax returns. He won’t release them, he says, because they’re being audited, though he could. He won’t release returns from 2008 and before which he admits are not being audited because they’re “linked.”

Now he says that he won’t release his returns because they cost Mitt Romney the presidency, a theory that no other analyst seems to share and directly contradicts Trump’s general argument that Romney lost because he “choked.”

What we do know about Trump’s taxes from the returns we’ve seen is that he often  paid as little as no — zero — taxes. And even if he is paying taxes now, his tax plan would cut his taxes and the taxes of the richest Americans, who have never been richer, by trillions.

What? A guy who claims to be a billionaire wants to pay zero or no taxes while extracting extraordinary benefits from being a citizen of the United States protected by our multi-trillion dollar army?

This reminds me of something.

“NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe, but we’re spending a lot of money,” Trump said in March. “Number one, I think the distribution of costs has to be changed.”

So he could be paying nothing yet wants us to pay millions for his Secret Service protection? Shouldn’t we know if he’s meeting his obligations, not only to us but to all the charities he claims to be supporting without almost no evidence that he’s writing them checks?

He’s not even meeting his own obligation to release his taxes, which is something he promised about two dozen times.

Releasing tax returns is the minimum requirement to become president because it’s the least you can do to prove that you’re not a crook.

Trump has no record of public or military service, unless you count avoiding the draft five times. No record of the sort philanthropy generally consistent with his alleged billionaire peers. But he does have a enormous record of being implicated in law suits and court battles, often because he’s accused of not paying his bills.

We need to see his taxes more than we’ve needed to see those of any other candidate in modern history — but the media has all but given on their duty to get this crucial documentation.

So it’s on the public.

We have to demand: Show us those taxes or do what you say you’d do to NATO.

[Photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr]