One of the strangest aspects of the 2016 presidential race is Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s steadfast refusal to release his tax returns. No other candidate, from either party, has refused to release their taxes in the last 40 years. There has been cause for speculation about why Trump has made this decision, with the simplest being whatever outrage is generated by the public for not releasing his taxes is a better deal than Trump’s campaign would receive if he did release his taxes. It is practically impossible to envision a scenario where Trump is not bloviating reasons to not release other than because he has something to hide.
A recent investigation by Forbes may have found the true reason behind Trump’s sheepishness. According to Forbes:
FORBES’ new investigation into Trump’s wealth pegs his fortune at $3.7 billion, down $800 million from a year ago.
Trump has been running his campaign with a central pillar being his net worth of over $10 billion, so if he were to release a return to show otherwise would be devastating to Trump’s image. The public likely would not have minded if Trump had simply stated his net worth when he began the race, however changing his tune now would be incredibly detrimental. Furthermore, if the report by Forbes is correct, Trump losing nearly a billion dollars throughout the last fiscal year would not play well to a public who have been falsely sold his business acumen as a reason to support him.