New York Times op-ed: Why Americans Care About Trump’s Tax Returns, by Ron Wyden (D-OR):
In his news conference on Wednesday, President-elect Donald J. Trump claimed that the American public did not care that he had not released his tax returns, as has been routine for every presidential nominee since Watergate. He could not be more wrong. ...
The reason is simple. Without these returns, Americans cannot know whether he is using the presidency to enrich himself and his family. Americans won’t know whether a policy he proposes primarily benefits steelworkers in Pennsylvania or lines his own pocket. ...
That’s why I and dozens of congressional colleagues have introduced legislation to force future presidential nominees and presidents to release their tax returns. As representatives of the people, if we can’t trust the executive branch to act ethically, we must force it to do so. ...
Without transparency about the extent and nature of his business dealings, it will not be possible for the American public to track whether Mr. Trump is abusing his power, other than through leaks and unverified reports that will simply tear this government down cut by cut.
Breitbart op-ed: President-Elect Trump Should Never Release His Tax Returns, by James Mann:
[R]eleasing tax returns somehow promotes rational discourse in election campaigns or confirmation hearings is nonsense.
To begin with, the oft-repeated claim that presidential candidates have released their tax returns since Watergate is absolutely untrue. ...
The sad fact is most journalists are clueless about taxes or finance. They are incapable of reading tax returns in any way that would yield information. They have little or no grasp of the relative importance or common usage of various tax strategies employed by those with money and good advisors. All they have are pre-ordained “narratives.”
In the case of a real estate fortune this ignorance is more problematic than usual. Real estate investors and builders tend to pay minimal taxes because real estate is highly tax advantaged and depreciation and interest expense typically shelters income from taxes. Were President-elect Trump to release his returns, there is no chance that they would be properly understood or fairly interpreted.
The practice of releasing presidential nominee tax returns has been inconsistent. When complex returns were made available partisans, abetted by a complicit press, willfully misconstrued them. And when disclosure actually worked, it was ignored. President-elect Trump has no reason to disclose his tax. In the alternative, perhaps we should start with requiring federal tax return disclosure for Senators and Congressmen and see how that experiment works.
CBS News, Poll: Most Americans Still Think Trump Should Release His Tax Returns:
Most Americans believe Donald Trump should release his tax returns, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.
Seventy-four percent say he should release his tax records, according to the poll, and further, among Republicans, 49 percent also say the president-elect should release he tax records.