Ralph Nader: Donald Trump Should Disclose His Tax Returns – OpEd


Everybody has heard or seen Donald Trump exude great pride over his business prowess, his business empire and that he estimates his net worth to be about $10 billion. He exalts his ability to negotiate complex deals with a wide range of business and financial interests. He has submitted his Federal Election Commission (FEC) forms. He has no legal obligation to release his very voluminous income tax reports – reportedly thousands of intriguing pages.

But if a presidential candidate is running, in significant part, on his business skills and accomplishments, credibility among voters invites public disclosure of his tax returns to allow assessment of his claims.

Mr. Trump is no ordinary taxpaying presidential candidate. The gap between his FEC reporting and his income tax reports is probably as vast as any presidential candidate in history. Mr. Trump is making the information in those tax filings over the years the basis for his claim that he, above all other candidates, has the business and negotiating skills to “make America great again.”

So in today’s Republican presidential debate, will any reporter or a competing candidate urge Mr. Trump to do what most voters would like to see done? Will he put his tax returns for the last several years on the Internet and let everyone interested see how grounded are his pretensions for leadership?

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is a politician, activist and the author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, a novel. In his career as consumer advocate he founded many organizations including the Center for Study of Responsive Law, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Clean Water Action Project, the Disability Rights Center, the Pension Rights Center, the Project for Corporate Responsibility and The Multinational Monitor (a monthly magazine).

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