Paul L. Caron

Friday, May 20, 2016

McGinnis:  The Case Against Disclosing Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns

John O. McGinnis (Northwestern), The Case Against Disclosing Candidates’ Tax Returns:

I have previously expressed very substantial reservations about Donald Trump’s candidacy, but decline to join in the criticism about his refusal to release his tax returns. While a norm has developed suggesting that citizens have a right to see tax returns of presidential candidates and indeed candidates for some other offices, it is a bad norm. It invades privacy, discourages some people from entering politics, distracts from policy issues, and harms the prospects of those with complex financial affairs. ...

[T]here are issues peculiar to political campaign that also militate against a norm for disclosure. First, some tax returns can reveal information about businesses that will help competitors or harm family relations. ... Second, the release will hurt people with complex financial affairs, who take advantage of various tax preferences.

Perhaps Trump should release his taxes as matter of political strategy. I have no insight there. But if he refuses and helps kills this political norm, at least something good will have come out of his candidacy.

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I couldn't agree more! Leaving my political opinion aside, I do not see anything wrong with not releasing tax returns. How does it help or hurt the candidate, except to compare to the opponent? Just gives the media something to talk about.

Posted by: Mike DeLorenzo | May 24, 2016 4:03:30 AM

Protect the privacy of politicians, many of who want to dictate that a man, dangling penis and all, must be able to shower with teen girls? No way! Instead, I would escalade the mandatory requirements for government positions.

Politicians who support those bathroom regulations and indeed any government official in the apporpriate agencies should be required to post high-definition, totally nude, front-and-back pictures of themselves online. For the males, access would only require checking "I identify as a male." For females, those viewing need only check "I identify as a female."

Anything those teens girls should have to endure, should be something those who want to impose on those girls must endure. I want an easily accessed webpage where I can see Obama stark naked. I want one where I can see every liberal Democrat in Congress the same way. Ditto all these officials trying to impose these regulations. Mandatory. Non-compliance means a loss of jobs and all retirement benefits.

Indeed, we need legislation that requires that every journalist and celebrity that supports that high school shower invasion of privacy to post online nude pictures of themselves. What they want to impose on others should be imposed on them.

And this is why chattering about the tax privacy of politicians is silly at this time.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | May 20, 2016 6:35:35 AM