@Shaun:"Conservatives want the Clinton foundation throughly
[sic] investigated by the feds and irs but claim trump should be given a
complete pass.There is a word for that."Is it the
same word for the liberals who give the Clinton foundation a free pass, but want
Trump thoroughly investigated?
@one old man:"Then everyone could see that people like me
actually pay a higher effective tax rate than millionaires."The
actual data shows that you're wrong. Because although the IRS doesn't
publish individual returns, they do publish aggregate data. And it
is clear that income tax liability rises quite steeply with income. I
don't know your income, of course, but just assuming the most likely range
of $50k - $75k, such a taxpayer would undoubtedly be considered "middle
class." In 2016, such a taxpayer paid an average of $5385 on average income
of $61399. That's about 8.77%. And looking at
"millionaires", those making $1.0M - $1.5M, the numbers are $338k tax on
income of $1.206M, or 28%.And you don't even have to believe
me. Just look it up yourself at the IRS Statistics of Income website. But, of course, you *are* free to change your story and now claim that
28% is too low for somebody making $1.2M per year. That I
can't debate because it's an opinion. But as far as facts are
concerned, you're just 100% wrong.
To "EscherEnigma " but how does the tax return tell us if they are
honest? If they were dishonest, don't you think that they would be
dishonest on their taxes? Meaning, if they are a habitual liar and you ask them
if they are a liar what sort of response would you expect?As I have
stated before, if you want to know if a politician is honest, look at the
business dealings and taxes of their children, siblings, friends, and large
campaign donors. Not just for one year, but get a baseline of a few years before
the politician was elected and continue to monitor them for a few years after.
@Redshirt1701"To "EscherEnigma" and what is your
point?"That making tax returns public is easier then electing
"honest" politicians. I wasn't subtle or coy about this, so I
don't understand your confusion.
To "Fullypresent " how do you define what a person's "fair
share" of taxes are. The only question is were their taxes filed in
accordance with the law.For instance, Mitt Romney pointed out that
he could legally pay fewer taxes, but he voluntarily pays more.
IRS does audits. We were audited regularly merely because we had a close
relative working for the IRS. The tax laws are full of assorted
rules, worksheets, tables, exceptions, (ie so-called loopholes) that are
legitimately used by many. If you have a problem with any of that,
then your problem is with either the tax laws, or the IRS auditing system. Looks like many are being diverted by a red herring.
Public has a right to know if Trump has ever paid his fair share of taxes. The
tax deal he & Republicans passed last year put more $ into he & his
families pockets with their business interests. Amazon almost doubled its U.S.
profits from $5.6 billion to $11.2 billion between 2017 and 2018. But, reported
a $129 million 2018 federal income tax "rebate", making its tax rate
-1%! NO taxes on 11.2 billion in profits! Netflix saw its highest profits ever
in 2018, but didn't pay any taxes that same year. These are just 2
examples. 60 of the biggest companies did not pay the federal gov't any
federal taxes on 79 billion dollars! Average American who paid anywhere from
10-32% tax rate for federal taxes to be ok with this! In 2017, only
2.9% of U.S. households earned more than $250,000, yet paid 55% of all income
taxes. People earning less than $128,400 in 2018 pay Social Security taxes on
100% of their income, while those earning more pay taxes only on their first
$128,400. In other words, those who earn $500,000 pay Social Security taxes on
just 25.7% of their income. on a % basis, minimum wage earners pay more in
Social Security taxes than those with higher incomes do.
"To "UtahBlueDevil " the easier solution is to only elect honest
people. It used to be that most politicians were respected and seen as examples
in a community. Now, that has changed. There are few politicians that are
respectable or honest."Redshirt..... I really wish that was as
true as we remember it to be. But from the CrÉdit Mobilier Scandal to the
The Petticoat Affair, and The Petticoat Affair, there are many other examples
(The Hamilton-Reynolds Affair)... we have always had a challenge with people
taking advantage of their position or making morally challenging decisions. But I would agree - it would be nice if we could simply elect people of
good moral values. But when we are given options like Clinton v. Trump.... it
becomes pretty hard to do so placing laws that force transparency are our next
option. Illinois just passed its first attempt at that - although on very
Why have any privacy? The IRS is responsible for determining the legality of our
tax returns. If they are satisfied, it is no one else's business. We
rightly object to online collection and sharing of personal data by businesses
and the same applies to our tax returns.
Red Shirt, when you wrote : "To "Unreconstructed Reb" unless a
person has been in office for the past 3 to 5 years, looking at their previous
tax returns doesn't tell us much. Plus, looking at only the
candidate's tax records doesn't show how they use their position to
get money to their children, friends, family, and supporters. The tax returns of
the candidate are easy to manipulate to paint the picture they want to paint.
The actual story about their honesty or corruption is seen when looking at the
people around them."Did you not realize that you just laid out
the reasons why it's vital that trump be thoroughly investigated?Thank you.
To "EscherEnigma" and what is your point? Are you saying that since we
can't find honest people to support in politics that we should just accept
the slime that comes along and not try to change it?If you are
saying that it can't be done because no other nation has done it isn't
really a reason either. Before we built rockets nobody had ever left the
atmosphere. Before the US came about nobody had ever established a Republic like
the US. We are a nation of people that can do hard things. We can find honest
people to vote for, it just takes some minimal effort.
@RedShirt"To "UtahBlueDevil " the easier solution is to only
elect honest people. "No society anywhere in the world has figured out
how to do *that*. But sure, rewriting human nature is "easier" then
making tax returns public (something that *has* been done before).
Sounds good to me.Other benefits would be that folks would have
accurate information when bargaining for raises/starting salaries, folks would
be able to look-up whether or not they're being paid less then their
similarly situated co-workers, and so-on.And despite fears that
folks in such situations would resent their co-workers, what normally happens is
that after discovering a disparity they resent their *bosses* (as they
should).So sounds good to me. Lets do it.
To "UtahBlueDevil " the easier solution is to only elect honest people.
It used to be that most politicians were respected and seen as examples in a
community. Now, that has changed. There are few politicians that are respectable
or honest.To "Unreconstructed Reb" unless a person has been
in office for the past 3 to 5 years, looking at their previous tax returns
doesn't tell us much. Plus, looking at only the candidate's tax
records doesn't show how they use their position to get money to their
children, friends, family, and supporters. The tax returns of the candidate are
easy to manipulate to paint the picture they want to paint. The actual story
about their honesty or corruption is seen when looking at the people around
My tax returns are my business and mine only. If I was President Trump I
wouldn't show them either. Who cares what about his returns? If the IRS is
ok with Presidents Trumps returns then pelosi should by ok too.
Redshirt, you're assuming much to claim that I'm opposed to the same
treatment of the Clintons -- who did release their taxes, BTW. I am
pro transparency for anyone who is in a position of public trust where
self-dealing is a danger, so stop the whataboutism. What ever the
Clintons may or may not have done is entirely irrelevant to Trump's
potential culpability. I have as little interest in protecting them from fraud
as you should have regarding the incumbent.
I prize my privacy. It is one of the fundamental privileges of American life.
The Fourth Amendment (when observed) protects us all from unreasonable invasions
of privacy.No one, including the author, would enjoy a world in which
strangers could simply walk in his house and search for something.Have we all gone mad?
Come on, people want to see Trumps tax papers, wont it also be fair to see the
speaker of the house and senate minority leader tax papers, I mean if its good
for one, why not all members of congress too.
"Forget Trump; why not make all our tax returns public?"Because trump says and does things on an almost daily basis that are inane. We
cannot forget trump. As for our tax returns, and the reason we cannot forget
trump, is that he's President. I'm not. He's got a level of
accountability to all of us that we probably don't have to one another. We
Conservatives want the Clinton foundation throughly investigated by the feds and
irs but claim trump should be given a complete pass.There is a word
I appreciate this letter, but am saddened so many seem to have missed the very
salient point.It is easy to think of others as, well, others.
Whether it is "the rich", or "politicians", members of the
"wrong political party", the wrong (or any) church, or living on the
wrong side of town, these biases and bigotries are every bit as strong as those
based on race, ethnicity, skin color, sexual orientation, or gender. What Jay
has done for us here is given us a chance to consider whether we'd like to
have our own tax returns, revealing our intimate financial details made public.
That would include charitable giving, perhaps medical costs revealing very
private medical conditions (should those on drugs to treat AIDS/HIV have that
made public), and other details.Yes, past presidentital candidates
have disclosed their personal taxes. But neither JFK nor Rockefeller ever turned
over data from their family trusts that actually controlled most of the money.
Ditto Bill and Hillary.If you want to mandate candidates disclose
financials, extend it to trusts and family members as well. And then don't
be shocked when even fewer decent people are willing to run for office.
Redshirt.... we got to start somewhere. 3 years, 5 years... lets start with
something. I would love to have full disclosure... but waiting for perfection
isn't going to get us far. Lets start with something.... and if need be...
strengthen the law further.I also agree that we need to have
stronger anti laundering laws - preventing those who served from flipping over
to work for those they governed. We need to bring trust back...
Is not the potential for identity theft greatly heightened by such private
information made public ? And as already mentioned, making people vulnerable to
scams and other damaging actions. Would this be a source of 'mailing
lists' ? Let's not open Pandora's box.
One would think a senior journalist like Mr Evensen would better appreciate the
difference between the expectations of privacy for a regular citizen and for the
President of the United States. Most media types understand that the law often
treats public officials and private citizens quite differently when it comes to
privacy.There's no reason for us to see our neighbor's tax
returns, but when it comes to high-ranking public officials, it's important
that we know they're not lying or using their office for private gain.
That's why other Presidents voluntarily released their tax returns and put
their assets in a blind trust. Trump's failure to do so raises all sorts of
red flags, especially since he's long been known to conceal the truth about
his business dealings and his wealth.
Well, Jay Evensen, it will probably please you to hear that anyone's tax
returns ARE in fact available to the Chairperson of certain House and Senate
Committees. All they have to do is request them. That doesn't mean that,
once obtained, the Committees would necessarily make them public.
If tax returns were public it would make it easier for con artists to find
potential victims and gold diggers to find potential spouses. That might save
the rest of us from these parasites of society.
I'd be glad to.Then everyone could see that people like me
actually pay a higher effective tax rate than millionaires.
To "UtahBlueDevil" just getting their previous 3 years tax returns
doesn't tell us much. All that rule would do would be to get politicians to
hide income in various locations. Your small town city council person
wouldn't typically have the resources or need to do that, but large town
mayors, state, and federal officials would have the resources to be able to hide
and bury income streams.The better solution wold also have to
include all businesses that they own, and all businesses that do do work for the
government. You will also need to watch the businesses of all of their friends,
acquaintances, large political donors, and other people that can benefit from a
politician's influence. You should also keep track of finances and business
dealings for politicians, their business interest, family members, family
member's businesses, and anybody else who can benefit from government
contracts for at least 10 years (20 years would be better) after they leave
office to ensure that payments for favors were not delayed.If you
want to make sure that they are going into to politics for the right reasons and
not personal gain, you now have a much larger group to watch than just
Mr. Evensen's opinion piece fails to note some important context to the
question of whether President Trump's tax returns should be made public. We
have a president who declined to divest himself of his business interests when
he entered the White House (unlike nearly all other presidents). In light of
Trump’s complex business interests in various places around the world, his
strained relationship with the truth, and shifting stories on so many issues,
Mr. Trump’s tax returns should be released. That would help the public see
what his business interests really are and whether they might be affecting his
policies and actions as president.
To "Unreconstructed Reb" what you say could be said about the Clintons
or other powerful politicians, with the exception of the University.You don't care when Democrats engage in those things, so why do you care
about Republicans who do the same things that Democrats do?
Hardly anyone except professionals, would be able to interpret Trumps tax return
or any other Business or individuals who have as many interests as he has. -----
All that would happen in the environment that the Democrats have demonstrated
lately would be a continual harping and chirping and endless speculation,
---Jumping to conclusions about his returns and making false accusations as they
have for 2 years -- All the people who are claiming this or that know no more
than what CNN or the main stream media and Maxine Waters and the rest of the
Democrats have been spewing for 2 years. --- They didn't find collusion so
now they want another investigation looking for a crime. ---- It is not that
hard to see
Personally I think there should be a law that requires people in positions of
trust that could misuse that position for personal gain. I want to know beyond
a reasonable doubt that our elected officials are not gaming the system, using
their offices to enrich themselves at our expense. We need to be able to trust
their motivations...... important word there... Trust.We could
require it for all executive positions in government - 3 year tax records. You
have to do it to get a loan for your house, why not to run a State or the
Federal Government? Trump is just the catalyst that should make this
mandatory..."The total productivity of Donald Trump has provided
more tax revenue and employment than most all other American citizens."Worf - And how would you know that? Before I retired recently - my
employer paid no income tax on hundreds of millions of income. How do you know
what Trump paid. He will not share that with us Worf, how did you get that
information? Can you share what you know? We all want to know....
Tell you what, Jay. When rest of us are in the position of highest power in the
land and:-have a lengthy history of legally and ethically
questionable business practices-are monetizing our public office,
including having a business literally down the street from the White House-are potentially in violation of the Emoluments clause-have
refused to firewall ourselves from our business to any meaningful degree-have ignored clear warnings of personal conflicts of interest between
private business and the duties of office-are surrounded by
questions of who we do business with or owe money to, including sanctioned
Russian oligarchs-have had a "university" shut down and sued
for fraud-have been sued thousands of times for failing to pay
debts-have had a charitable organization shut down for fraud and are
barred from managing another charitable institution for several years-are under investigation by the State of New York for decades of tax evasion
by undervaluing real property on taxes-and refuse any meaningful
transparency designed to assure Americans that we serve their interests rather
than our own...then knock yourself out. Release everyone's
Trump lied about releasing his taxes and the reason.Trump does not
keep his promises.Trump is trying to hide something in his taxes,
why break with tradition.Defending Trump by saying, there is no law
about disclosing your taxes, is more justification for lack of character and
honesty, and frankly a pathetic excuse.When will we see Trumps birth
certificate, I'm beginning to question his origin since he keeps lying
about where his father and grandfather are from.
@worf - McAllen, TXApril 11, 2019 11:26 a.m.The total productivity
of Donald Trump has provided more tax revenue and employment than most all other
American citizens."Yeah? Prove it. What can be proven is the
hundreds of businesses and workers that Trump bankrupted and ruined their lives.
There are over 2800 lawsuits from contractors, suppliers and workers that Trump
either partially paid or never paid at all. There's a reason that US
banks, nor, now any European banks won't lend Trump money. That's why
he does business with Russians and Saudi's now. Think Jeff Bezos, Bill
Gates, Warren Buffet, etc. (any real billionaires) have trouble getting credit
from legit banks?
To "There You Go Again" name the law that requires the POTUS or any
political candidate to release tax information?The bigger question
is why does it matter? Are people going to try to audit him?
trump is currently a republican occupying the WH.The Congress is
supposed to provide oversight of the Executive Branch.Every POTUS
since Nixon has provided tax returns.Why would trump object to doing
the same thing other individuals have done?What is he hiding?With regard to the headline, all of us have not sworn an oath to protect
and defend the COTUS.The COTUS as well as standard accepted practice
provides a remedy for Americans to know that the people who occupy the Executive
Branch are representing the best interests of the American people.
The total productivity of Donald Trump has provided more tax revenue and
employment than most all other American citizens.
It's quite telling that the DesNews does not see this as a privacy issue
with extremely broad implications, which, in order to control the narrative, it
characterizes as "off-topic or disruptive." Rather, it is
Mr. Evensen's proposal that is disruptive, because it would open the door
to vast invasions of privacy. I invite the reader to contemplate the
I also want the FBI to investigate a lot of people I don't like just to see
f they were colluding with any Russians.