You Won’t Believe What Congress Just Did…
When Barack Obama was president, Democrats certainly never did anything like this, nor has any other Congress gone to such lengths to protect any other president.
Going back forty years or so, every president and presidential nominee has released their taxes to the public in order to show that they don’t have any possible conflicts-of-interest (i.e. massive sums of money from Russians or a massive debt to them), that the income and money that they’ve received is legal and that the president, particularly one like Trump–who has presided over a major tax overhaul, is transparent about how they may benefit from changes to the tax code. It is also a great way to keep them honest about charitable donations and so on.
It is particularly galling that Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns as he is the one who led the racist, multi-year long birther movement against former President Barack Obama. To put the ridiculous controversy to bed, Obama actually did something that no other president has felt compelled to do, or has even been expected to do, when he released his long-form birth certificate proving that he was, indeed, born in the United States. Even with the release of his birth certificate, there are still doubts on the fringe (mainstream) right about its authenticity and his qualification for the office. Even Trump has allegedly reignited this conspiracy in private.
As awful as that all is, it pales in comparison to the hypocrisy on display from the GOP now. You see, while you were sleeping, Congress, by a margin of 229-185 (along party lines), voted to essentially ensure that none of us ever see Donald Trump’s tax returns.
The vote was to stop a bill from Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey which would have compelled Trump to release his tax returns. The Republican-led vote delays indefinitely a vote on the Pascrell bill, meaning that the only way we will ever see Trump’s taxes is if he voluntarily releases them–don’t hold your breath–or if they become part of the public record through Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia meddling and collusion during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
Maybe Trump really is just waiting until he is no longer under an alleged IRS audit to release his taxes, but you’ll have to forgive us if we don’t hold our breath for that one.
March 7, 2018
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