Monday, April 15, 2019

Tax Time

Every year at this time, Uncle Sam takes millions of Americans into the back room, unzips his pants, and taxes them. Good times. Well, this tax seasons the political world is talking about candidate tax returns. I think there is something sick in demanding that candidates release their taxes. Let's discuss.

For some time now, most candidates for President have released their tax returns to be scoured by the public. Trump has refused and the left has been losing their minds. In response, they've tried to pass laws requiring that these be released to qualify for the ballot. Others want to subpoena Trump's taxes. Others are wishfully thinking they can even make it a crime not to surrender them. At the same time, several of the Democratic candidates have released their taxes. Bernie released his today. There was even a Yahoo headline calling these Bernie's "much anticipated tax returns." Anticipated by whom exactly?

Either way, it's clear that the political class wants to see people's taxes, and I think that's sick. Why do I think this is sick? Because I can see no legitimate purpose in it except to smear.

Ask yourself what exactly do you learn about a person from the release of their taxes? The left wants them released because they want to engage in class warfare and Republican candidates are usually quite wealthy. Is that a valid reason though? Should we really force people to release their taxes just so the left can spew envy and spite at wealth over it? Maybe we should make them detail their ancestry too so the KKK has things it can complain about? How about their dietary preferences so we know they aren't secret vegans?

It turns out Bernie Sanders is rich. But so what? We already knew that. He is a typical faux-socialist. Yet, I'll bet his wealth doesn't change a single vote, nor should it. To accept this argument that he should need to release his taxes so we can smear him for his wealth is pure bias. That's unAmerican. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure some people care. But that doesn't mean the system should embrace their bias any more than it should allow an investigation into someone's racial ancestry.

Here's another reason that comes up: who knows what we'll find? They might have done something illegal! This is ridiculous! If there's a crime, the IRS will get them. If there isn't, then everything they have done on their taxes is something we the people have deemed acceptable, and the real purpose of the search is simply to look for dirt. We should not make laws premised on the idea of letting people dig for dirt. If there is something illegal, that should matter. If there is a conflict, that should matter. If there is just a desire to go looking for something to use against someone... that's bullsh*t. Why not also demand cameras be places in their bedrooms. Who knows what kinky crap they are doing with their spouses?

So Trump may not be worth as much as his public image says... Obama scored an obscene amount of money from speaking engagements... Bernie's a socialist millionaire... Bill and Hillary Clinton claimed the underwear they donated to Goodwill was worth $4 a pair. All horrible things to someone, but none is illegal, none is different than what millions of other people are doing, and none is our business. The fact we want to smear these people with it does not justify forcing the release of tax information.

It's time we stopped this sick game of gottcha in DC. And this is the first domino we should kick over. There is no legitimate reason to demand a candidate's tax returns and we should not accept "I want to look for dirt" as a justification. It's time we took one small step back from the politics of personal destruction.



Anthony said...

On one hand, people have a good idea of what Trump is, how tenuous his relationship with the truth sometimes is and how he conducts his financial affairs. The tax returns are not going to change anyone's opinion about Trump.

On the other hand, extremism in the name of partisanship is no vice in modern times. Trump largely made his name denouncing Republicans for not doing enough to oppose Obama and for not questioning Obama's birth certificate enough. So one doesn't necessarily engage in those politics to hurt one's enemy (though it should be noted less talented politicians are sometimes damaged or even destroyed by such attacks) one does it to help oneself, to demonstrate one is willing to say and do whatever it takes to secure power.

Dems seeking to thrill their side will denounce anything that even looks like cooperation with Trump and will play up the craziest anti-Trump theories, maybe creating some of their own ('Trump is concealing his taxes because they would reveal how he has secretly funded the KKK and paid for ex-mistresses to be killed').

If Trump released his tax returns for the past 20 years, Dems would either insist they are fake, incomplete or key on something else. The enmity is unchanging.

tryanmax said...

If I'm not mistaken, the first president to release his tax returns was Richard Nixon, which he delivered to the public with his famous "I am not a crook" line. This is a great precedent to continue, as we all know that the release of his tax returns prevented Nixon from doing anything untoward while in office.

One laughable argument I've heard is that a modern requirement to be President of the United States is transparency. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I pulled something from laughing so hard.

AndrewPrice said...

Ladies and gentlemen, pop "singer" Bebe Rexa has announced in the past month that (1) she's too fat to be dressed by designer... (2) she's being judged based on her slutty style... and now, (3) she's bipolar and proud.

Sigh. Poor girl. This desperate PR campaign will lead to her soon having been sexually abused either by a producer you've never heard of or as a child. And if that isn't enough, she'll have to enter rehab. What's a tragic life. Somebody throw this girl a platinum album!!

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Just because a group of a-holes do it, doesn't mean we need to allow it.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm not sure who was first, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was Nixon. He seems like the type.

Critch said...

If someone like Donald Trump were cheating on his taxes you can bet the IRS would have been on it like ugly on an ape years ago. They love high profile targets.

I still can't figure out why Nixon got saddled with so many ignorant assertions. He was tough minded and very political but I have never seen any evidence that he did anything illegal, other than trying to protect his friends...which I guarantee you most politicians have done at one time or another.

AndrewPrice said...

Nixon's problem was like Trump's problem in a way. He was gruff, hard to like personally, and his enemies were self-obsessed (the Baby Boomers). Their pain is worse than anyone's... their needs are greater... their selfish desires are angelic... and they wanted to change the world without actually doing anything about it.

Trump is even harder to like and his enemies are ultra-self-obsessed tantrum throwers. So all of his deeds become high crimes.

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