A FACT-CHECK GUIDE TO DONALD TRUMP’S FIRST NEWS CONFERENCE AS PRESIDENT-ELECT
Research Center poll conducted Jan. 4-9 found that 60 percent of Americans believed Trump has a responsibility to release his tax returns.
Meanwhile, tax experts say that tax returns provide insight about a person’s finances in several key areas.
First, the tax return reveals a person’s annual income. A person’s net worth is not disclosed, but voters would gain an understanding of a person’s cash flow.
Second, voters would understand the sources of a person’s income, such as how much comes from certain businesses, speeches, dividends, capital gains and so forth.
Third, a tax return would disclose how much a person gives to charity. Trump claims he has given $102 million to charity in the past five years, but a Washington Post investigation found not a cent in actual cash. Trump’s tax return would clear up exactly how much he has really given to charity.
Fourth, a tax return would reveal how aggressive Trump has been on his taxes. Trump frequently suggests that he knows how to game the system, so voters would learn whether he takes the same approach to his taxes.
Finally, the tax returns would disclose what percentage of Trump’s income actually goes to taxes. “Some states have over a hundred percent [premium] increase.” Trump exaggerates here, and appears to misunderstand a fundamental part of the Affordable Care Act. State-by-state weighted average increases range from just 1.3 percent in Rhode Island to as high as 71 percent in Oklahoma. But the most common plans in the marketplace will see an average increase of 9 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. These plans have been used as the benchmark to calculate government subsidies.
“96 million really wanting a job and they can’t get. You know that story. The real number—that’s the real number.” This is an absurd claim, based on a real number. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, relying on a monthly survey known as the Current Population Survey, shows that as of December 2016, 95.1 million Americans 16 years and older were “not in labor force.”
Who are the 95 million not in the labor force? The BLS has data for the year 2015. It turns out that 93 percent do not want a job at all. The picture that emerges from a study of the data shows that the 95 million consists mostly of people who are retired, students, stay-at-home parents or people with disabilities.