July 28, 2016

Caring About Trump's Taxes

An old friend posed a question on one of my Facebook posts this morning after I had posted a link I found last night noting that Donald Trump's campaign confirmed they would not be releasing his taxes.  Here's the opening paragraph of the brief article accompanying the tweet:
Republican nominee Donald J. Trump has just announced that he will not be releasing his tax returns at all during the election. Breaking with a tradition observed by every single president since Harry Truman, Donald "Show Me The Birth Certificate" has decided to conceal his own records from a very curious public and media.
 Here's a portion of her question:
OK, I'm going to stick my nose out (I know Sue will cut it off) and say "Who cares if a candidate releases their tax returns? I don't care how much money, or charitable contributions they have made or what his tax rate is. I really don't care about Hillary's either. As long as the person can do the job and get it done, I don't care... (OK Sue, run with it and change my mind. Make me care).
I'm going to try - not to cut off her nose, of course -  but to explain why I care, and why I wish she and others did, too.

I get that Donald Trump is the master of garnering publicity and I think he truly doesn't care what the newspapers say about him as long as they spell his name right. But we should care, my friend and I, about Trump's taxes.

I don't care about how much money he makes either. I know it's more than me, and that doesn't bother me. But it's not really about the money.

I do care, though, that the guy who won't release his taxes is the one who pushes and threatens and pokes and prods everyone else to release their information. He goes after them like a dog after a bone, and then walks away to tackle the next person, whether it's the president, or a fellow candidate's wife, or a senator, or any other person he sets his sights on.

I do care that the guy who won't release his taxes bases his own identity on his wealth, his vast holdings, his gold plated everything, his 'blue collar billionaire' persona, and counts on people who don't have anything to trust that he is what he says he is, and has what he has,  Is it all a lie?

I do care that the guy who won't release his taxes pretends to be a charitable man, and then tries to get away with a $6M scam against veterans -- veterans! - by not paying them money he promised them until he was exposed by the media, and he lied about the reason for it in the process.

I do care that the guy who won't release his taxes may very well be beholden to Russia in ways that would scare the crap out of everyday Americans like me and my friend. The possibility that Trump might have debts called in by the leader of Russia is stuff out of a Tom Clancy novel. Except of course, this is not a novel, this is the election for President of the United States.

The most important reason I care is that the guy who is not releasing his taxes is sticking his grubby little finger in the eye of every American who tries to take this whole election process seriously.

So yes, I want to see his taxes. Because he thinks he is above us all, and I can't disagree strongly enough.