House Ways and Means Committee Democrats have thrown down on Donald Trump.
The panel has voted to demand the Internal Revenue Service to release six years’ worth of the president’s tax returns. They have laid down an April 10 deadline; hmm, let’s see — that’s next Tuesday!
Some of us have been yammering and yapping about the tax returns from the moment Trump declared his presidential candidacy. This was before Robert Mueller joined the hunt over “collusion” and other matters involving Russia.
Presidential candidates have been releasing those returns since 1976. Donald Trump has refused. He cited an IRS audit. The IRS has no prohibition against releasing returns while it’s conducting an audit. For his part, Trump has never provided a shred of evidence that the IRS is even auditing his returns; he expects us to take his word for it.
He did pledge to release them while he was running for president. Then again, any pledge that comes from this individual is utterly worthless.
My concern about presidential tax returns deals with the role any president plays in setting tax rates the rest of us have to pay. Accordingly, we need to see those returns to assess for ourselves whether any presidential candidate is paying his or her fair share of taxes, that he or she is doing what we are being asked to do.
That’s only fair. And reasonable. And normal.
The Russia connection makes the tax returns even more titillating, presuming there’s anything to titillate us.
All that Russia stuff aside, we deserve to see the president’s tax returns.