Dear Editor,

The report that Donald Trump may have avoided paying federal taxes for years is significant in its own right. If so, he has a lot of explaining to do about how to make America great if citizens don’t pay taxes.

More important, however, are the stories behind the story. Much is learned by watching Trump supporters trying to justify his multi year free ride.

1. They try to defend Trump’s tax dodging by saying his actions were legal. If so, why the secrecy? Why hide the truth?

2. They try to defend his tax avoidance as “wise.” If so, where does that leave the average citizen who pays more dutifully?

3. They try to defend Trump by saying his avoidance of taxes was caused by his earlier humongous financial loss. How can one who loses so much claim business wisdom?

4. They try to defend that monstrous loss as a natural consequence of Trump’s level of business. What’s “natural” for him caused honest workers not to be paid, suppliers not to be reimbursed, and investors to be stiffed.

5. They try to defend Trump by saying his records were released improperly. Truth is never improper – unless there’s something to hide.

6. They try to defend Trump’s secrecy by his devious claim he can’t release tax returns while under audit – a claim repeatedly discredited by authorities. Does he fear a discovery of more than tax avoidance – like possibly he’d not been as generous to charities as he’d like us to think.

The American people deserve – and need – to know the moral, financial truth of one who wants their votes. Greatness can never come from one who plays loose with money and lives of others – and who hides those realities from those he wants to serve.

-William A. McCartney