Donald Trump hasn’t publicity released his tax returns. The same can no longer be said of his running mate, Mike Pence.
The Republican vice presidential nominee and Indiana governor on Friday released a decade worth of returns, roughly a month after promising to do so. The campaign said Pence paid a state and federal tax rate that ranged between 10 per cent and 16 per cent over the past decade.
An analysis of just his federal taxes shows he paid an effective rate since 2006 that ranges between 6.4 and 12 percent, based on his family’s adjusted gross income.
Pence’s income topped out at $187,000 while he was still a member of Congress, but dropped to $113,000 last year. The family has donated 10 percent of their take-home pay to charity, the campaign said, which reflects an average 7.4 percent of their adjusted gross income.
“The Pence family has been honored to serve their state and their nation for the past 16 years, while raising three great children and putting them through college,” said Marc Lotter, Pence’s spokesman. “These tax returns clearly show that Mike and Karen Pence have paid their taxes, supported worthy causes, and, unlike the Clintons, the Pences have not profited from their years in public service.”
Thursday Pence said “for too many in Washington … politics seems to have morphed into a rigged game of self-enrichment and cronyism.”
Pence, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, later lamented that politicians can come to Washington with modest means but “emerge as millionaires” by auctioning access and profiting off policies.
“Americans are fed up with Washington’s self-enrichment racket,” Pence added.
Major-party presidential nominees have publicly released their taxes since 1976, but Trump is the exception. He has said he is waiting for the conclusion of an audit.
Last month, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton released her 2015 tax return, adding to the records dating to 1977 she previously made public. Her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, also released 10 years of tax returns last month.
Clinton has also raised questions about what Trump may be hiding by refusing to release his taxes and she has wondered whether Trump is worth the $10 billion he says he is.
“We’re pleased to see that one member of the Trump ticket has decided to meet the long-held threshold for disclosure in a modern-day presidential campaign,” said Christina Reynolds, the Clinton campaign’s deputy communications director. “But it’s Donald Trump _ who just this week attacked America’s generals and showered praise on Russia’s authoritarian leader _ running to be our next president.”
Trump, meanwhile, said in an interview on Fox News this week that he would release his returns if Clinton releases all the emails she sent from a private server when she was secretary of state.
Since joining the ticket, Pence has made jokes about his own net worth _ especially when compared to Trump.
During his time in Congress, Pence carried four mortgages on his homes in Indiana and northern Virginia. When Pence left Congress in early 2013, he and his wife’s net worth, excluding the value of their Indiana home, was less than $300,000, according to calculations based on his federal financial disclosures. The average net worth for Pence’s fellow members of Congress at that time was more than $5 million. As US vice president, Pence would earn more than $230,000 per year.
“I always tell people _ I mean, but for a whole lot of zeroes, he and I have an awful lot in common,” Pence said this week, referring to Trump.