The ante has been raised against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s reluctance to release his taxes. While every presidential candidate for the last 40 years has followed the tradition of releasing their information, Trump has stood pat in his conviction not to release the information. Now a rich businessman is seeking to force Trump’s hand by using Trump’s base of veteran voters against him.
Billionaire Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, is attempting to shame Trump to release his taxes by pledging to give $5 million to veterans groups. The pledge by Hoffman came in response to a campaign by former Marine Peter Kiernan who is attempting to raise $1 million to donate to organizations which offer help to veterans. Hoffman says he will match the funds generated by Kiernan 5 to 1, up to $5 million, if Trump releases his taxes before the presidential debate in October.
Hoffman notes the irony of Trump’s position, as Trump offered cash if President Barack Obama were to release his records in 2012. Hoffman said, “Taking Trump’s own 2012 offer to President Obama into account, I’d like to assist Kiernan in his campaign. In a functioning democracy, the public shouldn’t be forced to bargain with a major presidential candidate to obtain access to his tax returns.”
The scenario is a winner for Trump if he has nothing to hide. By merely releasing information he has already pledged to release, he can make charities responsible for serving veterans $5 million richer. It will cost Trump absolutely nothing, and in doing so he would endear himself to millions of service people. However, Trump will not be releasing his taxes anytime soon and that will prove to be to his own detriment.