If Congress will not demand Donald Trump’s tax returns, states are going to take on the challenge. Ever since the subject came up, the businessman-turned-president has refused to release his, claiming he is under a tax audit. Of course, that has not stopped previous presidential nominees, but Trump is a “special” case.
So what is the big deal about 45’s tax returns? They would show how much he has given to charity and how generous he is or is not. Returns would also indicate whether he is a rich as he claims to be, and does he have a flood of unexplained cash? Trump did sell a house he bought for $40 million to a Russian billionaire for a $100 million — $60 million in profit just four years later, according to McClatchy News.
Most importantly, Trump’s tax returns would tell the public how he spends his money. After all, he is doing business with multiple foreign countries. Do they include Russia? Who has lent him millions: the Chinese, the Iranians, the Russians?
New Jersey state legislators took the country’s lead and passed legislation last week the would make it law for both presidential and vice-presidential candidates to release their federal income tax returns, if they want to run for president in 2020.
Not everyone likes the bill. Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber fought against the bill, saying it was unconstitutional. NorthJersey.com reports:
“WE ALL KNOW THE MAJORITY PARTY WANTS TO REDO 2016. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. THE VOTE IS OVER. THIS BODY AND THE NEW JERSEY STATE SENATE AND THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY HAS NO AUTHORITY TO ADD ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS TO WHO CAN RUN FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.’
Candidates who do not release the last five years of their tax returns would not be able to put their name on the presidential ballot in New Jersey, according to the law.
Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie commented on CNN’s State Of The Union:
‘Given the partisan history of the IRS and the Obama administration to use the IRS as a weapon against conservative groups and conservative candidates, I don’t blame the lawyers and accountants for saying that better safe than sorry when trusting the IRS. I’ll tell you, I bet your listeners and your viewers out there don’t trust the IRS as far as they can throw them.
‘And so I don’t blame Donald Trump’s lawyers and accountants for telling him, until the book is closed and the IRS can’t go after you, you shouldn’t release your tax returns.’
Although Christie has released all of his tax returns, he will probably veto the bill.
Last year, New York introduced legislation, the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public, OR Trump Act to try to guarantee that future candidates release their returns. An additional 21 states have introduce like legislation, according to a report from the National Conference Of State Legislatures.
Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon said:
‘I can’t stand before you … to say what the United States Supreme Court will do. I can say that there’s more than a colorable argument…’
It would be great if that law was retroactive.
Featured Image: Tax Returns Twitter Page.