By: David J. Herzig
Yesterday, Donald Trump filed his personal financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission. This updated his initial financial disclosures. On his web site he claimed the disclosures were “the largest in the history of the FEC.” Unfortunately, he did not file his disclosures on-line like Hillary Clinton. Alas, we will have to wait a little bit to get to the details.
Nonetheless, according to Mr. Trump’s website he made $557 million in income in 2015. That number does not include “dividends, interest, capital gains, rents and royalties.” So, his real income should be substantially higher.
I have been writing about why a disclosure of Mr. Trump’s tax returns are necessary (at Forbes and the Wall Street Journal). Once I have a copy of the disclosures, I will give some updates (hopefully shortly) about various items that raise some red flags. From what I gather in innuendo and rumor about his disclosure, the calls for full disclosure of his tax returns to sort out facts from fiction will continue to gain steam.
The key reason the tax returns are needed is to permit a thoughtful discussion (hopefully more global tax policy discussions) between the relationship between his over $557 million in gross income and his taxable income.
[QUICK UPDATE: I was amazed how ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times all seemed to know what was in the not yet public disclosure. The rule according to the FEC is that the return is not public until they have approved it. However, despite the non-public disclosure, the FEC has apparently sent the disclosure out to certain news sources. It is amazing how a governmental agency can partake in such mishegoss!]
[UPDATE 7:45 pm] The Wall Street Journal put up Trump’s FEC disclosure. Available at: http://www.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/TrumpdisclosureMay2016.pdf?mod=e2twp