Democrats’ latest proposal shows they’ve learned nothing from election
Much has been made — mostly by his opponents — of President Donald Trump’s failure to publicly release his tax returns during his bid for the White House last year.
And while we believe Trump could have saved himself a lot of grief by making that information public — especially after what MSNBC (hardly a Trump-friendly network) says is his 2005 return showed he paid $38 million in income taxes that year — we don’t think that it should be mandatory for people seeking the presidency to release their returns, as is being proposed in several states.
We feel that the importance of something like this is best determined by the voting public, not career politicians in statehouses around the country with an ax to grind.
If passed and signed into law, these bills, which come mostly from Democratic Party lawmakers in Democrat-majority states, would make public disclosure of income tax returns a requirement for being placed on the ballot in that state.
Many on the right, including one GOP lawmaker in New Jersey, have called it “transparently political” and “blatantly unconstitutional.”
To us it seems clear that this is aimed at forcing Trump to release his tax returns should he choose to seek re-election in 2020. It’s an obvious case of lawmaking solely for political gain.
The charge of such a measure being unconstitutional, however, remains to be seen.
Do we think Donald Trump or anyone else who wishes to be president should be as transparent as possible and release his or her tax returns? Absolutely.
Do we think it should be a requirement? No.
Our democracy places power in the hands of voters to determine what qualities they deem most important in a leader. Clearly, there weren’t enough people who viewed Trump’s failure to disclose as important enough to keep him from the White House.
Voters seem to have been most concerned about improving their lives than any sort of political grandstanding on tax returns.
Perhaps the Democratic lawmakers in states considering such measures should learn from the 2016 election and worry more about making things better for their constituents than telling us they know what’s best for us.