During last night’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Clinton hammered the businessman-turned-politician about his taxes.
One exchange between the candidates regarding Trump’s taxes gave the American electorate a peek inside the mind of the Republican presidential nominee. Just after Clinton alleged Trump has not paid federal income taxes, the boisterous politician said, “That makes me smart.”
Roland Martin asked his panel of guests how Trump’s comments will play out when it comes to voters “who are out there working their butts off.”
Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, explained if Trump released his tax information, the GOP presidential hopeful’s effective tax rate would be revealed.
Overton also stated what kinds of taxes Trump paid and information about his charitable contributions would be disclosed. This could be damaging to Trump, who consistently proclaims he is going to “make America great again.”
The NewsOne Now panelist said, “There is some real information that’s there, that’s not at the federal election commissions in terms of their file.”
Lauren Victoria Burke, Political Analyst and Writer for NBCBLK, said Trump “has the same issue Mitt Romney has, which is the fear of releasing taxes because we will find out that you didn’t pay any federal taxes.”
Zerlina Maxwell told Martin, “There has been some great investigative reporting talking about his ties to Russia…who he owes debt to.”
If Trump would release the information, “It would calm a lot of fears in terms of his connections to foreign governments if we knew what was in his tax returns,” said Maxwell.
Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of the Color of Change, said, “It does matter who he owes money to, where his connections are, because he will be making decisions about whether or not to close private prisons.”
Robinson then questioned if Trump has money invested in private prisons.
He said Trump’s connections to foreign governments matter “because when people go off to war, it will be Black and brown young people who will be the first overseas and the first to die.”
Robinson went on to question if Trump is actually under audit and said, “He has not released a letter from the IRS saying he is actually under audit.” He continued, “The IRS is not allowed to say whether or not they’re auditing someone.
“So in fact, we don’t know if it’s even true that he is under audit. All of this feels like sort of a circus act of a person who’s really good at being inside the big tent.”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss Donald Trump’s taxes in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.
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