3 Reasons We Care About Politicians’ Taxes

From NPR:

This Friday, that means tax returns. The Clinton campaign, in an effort to pressure Donald Trump into releasing his taxes, released the Clintons’ 2015 numbers. The Clintons made $10.6 million combined, mostly from speeches, and paid an effective federal tax rate of 34.2 percent. Clinton’s Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine also released 10 years of his returns. In 2015, Kaine made about $313,000 and paid a 16.1 percent tax rate. (Here are all the tax returns released by the Clinton campaign.)

Clinton and her former president husband, Bill Clinton, have already released tax returns dating back to the 1970s given their long history in public life. Clinton, in June of last year, released the previous eight years of returns. Here’s some of what we found out from those, as reported by NPR’s Scott Horsley:

Income: The Clintons “earned $139 million since 2007. They paid nearly $44 million in federal taxes during that period.” Much of that income came from paid speeches.

Tax rate: The couple’s effective federal tax rate ranged from 25 percent in 2007 to 36 percent last year. (The average American pays about 10 percent in tax. The wealthiest pay about 25 percent.)

Charity: “The Clintons … gave between 8 and 15 percent to charity” (mostly through the Clinton Family Foundation).

It has become tradition in U.S. presidential politics that the party standard-bearers release their tax returns. In fact, every major-party nominee in recent history has done so. Trump, though, has declined to follow suit. Why? Trump says he is being audited by the IRS and won’t release his taxes until that audit is done. But there’s nothing preventing Trump from releasing his taxes while under audit, a point the Clinton campaign and its supporters have pressed, arguing that

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