By Ben Kamisar
Ted CruzTed CruzDemocrats pounce on Cruz's Supreme Court comments Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress Cruz: Precedent exists for keeping Supreme Court short-staffed MORE released four years of his tax returns on Saturday while accusing Donald TrumpDonald TrumpLocal leaders turning the heat up on Citizens United WATCH LIVE: Trump speaks at third Ohio rally Picking longtime fixer as chief of staff proves Clinton hasn't changed MORE of withholding his own returns from the public because he has something to hide.
“It is time to stop the excuses,” Cruz said of Trump, whom he is battling for the GOP presidential nomination.
His release speculated about several things Trump might not want to reveal, including that the returns would show that Trump is not as wealthy as he says he is or that he may have donated money to left-leaning groups such as Planned Parenthood.
“In addition, it’s possible Trump has been a significant donor to left-wing organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, which would seriously undermine his claim to be pro-life,” the Cruz release states. “He has repeatedly said that he thinks Planned Parenthood ‘does wonderful things.’ Moreover, for decades, Trump donated to the most liberal members of the Democratic Party, so it is reasonable to question whether he has given to some of the most radical left-wing organizations as well.”
The summary forms Cruz released Saturday show his incomes and tax rates for 2011–2014 but do not shed any light on his own donations.
The attack from Cruz involving Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion services, is intended to hurt Trump with social conservatives. Evangelical voters have been a surprising strength for Trump; he beat out Cruz for that group’s support in the South Carolina primary last week.
Trump says he is against abortion but has also credited Planned Parenthood for its work on women’s health issues. He says he disagrees with the group’s work on abortion.
Cruz and Marco RubioMarco RubioObama plans 'aggressive' blitz for Clinton in campaign's final days One way or another, 2016 was all about Donald Trump's hands Poll: Clinton has 4-point lead over Trump in Florida MORE have both pressured Trump to release his tax forms since Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, said there could be a “bombshell” in Trump’s tax returns.
Trump has argued that he can't release his tax forms because he is being audited by the IRS.
Cruz said that argument is nonsense, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) itself released a statement on Friday that said individuals are always free to share their own information.
Outside tax experts have said, however, that it would be prudent for someone under an audit to not make public his or her tax returns, a move that would invite media scrutiny and could lead to more action by the IRS.
Cruz, who released a batch of earlier tax filings during his Senate run, showed an effective tax rate between 28.4 percent and 32.2 percent over the years between 2011 and 2014.
In 2011, the year before he won his Senate seat, the Cruz family reported $1.73 million in adjusted income. That was the highest over that four-year period, while the low of $970,000 came in 2013, Cruz's first year in the Senate.
Part of his more than $1.2 million in income Cruz reported in 2014 includes a $190,000 advance from HarperCollins for his book “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America,” according to financial disclosure forms Cruz filed to the Senate last year.
In addition to the income for himself and his wife Heidi, a former Goldman Sachs executive, the forms show Cruz has a minimum net worth of about $1.7 million — which includes investments in mutual funds, retirement plans and corporate securities.
Cruz also lists an asset worth at least $500,000 — a loan to his Senate campaign, which watchdogs have said he did not properly disclose to the Federal Election Commission.
The Texas senator has at least $325,004 in liabilities, including a mortgage worth at least $250,000 and two lines of credit.
The release of summary forms by the Texas senator's campaign comes hours after Rubio released his own summaries. Rubio's tax rate varied more significantly than Cruz's; the Florida senator paid 9.4 percent in taxes in 2010 and 27.4 percent in 2012.
Megan Wilson contributed