The Pandora's Box Opened with the Release of Trump's Tax Returns
The Supreme Court should not require President Trump to release his tax returns on several grounds. There is not one good reason for his tax return to be released, and far too many why they should not. In addition, the Supreme Court should not vote along party lines on this issue. This should be a unanimous vote in order to send a message that the release of these documents would set a dangerous precedent.
Without getting into whether it is unconstitutional or not; for sake of argument let’s just assume it is not. All the problems that can occur cannot be foreseen. The Democratic Party’s constant attempts to reveal the president's tax returns could be the opening of the proverbial “Pandora’s Box.”
Pandora’s Box – “A present which seems valuable, but which in reality is a curse.”
The Democratic Party has attempted to get the president’s accountants and bankers to release his records. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has a code of ethics which expressly prohibits the releasing of a client’s records. Doing so could result in the loss of a CPA license. Bankers have similar rules. Will those standards be compromised forever? What happens to other professions? Will lawyers be required to violate their attorney-client privilege? Will the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA law) be rewritten or eliminated? And how about journalists? Will they still be able to protect their sources?
President Trump acquired his wealth in the private sector. As President Harry S. Truman once said: "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook." Which brings us to an important question. Without mentioning any names, shouldn’t a United States citizen be allowed to ask to see the financial records of politicians? At least their own representatives. Let’s be honest, we know of many career politicians that became very wealthy while serving in politics their entire life. They would have more trouble hiding their sources of income than Al Capone had. We know how that turned out.
It appears that members of Congress, especially those pointing a finger at President Trump, are right out of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. To paraphrase, “All citizens are created equal, except some are more equal than others.” From the recent favorability ratings of Congress, constituents must rate them on par with Orwell’s pigs.
What is it that the Democratic Party expects to find in those returns? Personally, I believe they would need to have the contents explained to them. But that is a whole other topic. If the president has any adverse information in them, the Internal Revenue Service would know and have the responsibility to pursue legal action.
We all know why the Democratic Party leaders want to see President Trump's tax returns. It’s the old “heads we win, tails he loses” scam. Regardless of what is contained in the returns, it will only be used to attack the president even if they must fabricate something in it that is not there. They have repeatedly done this since the day he announced his candidacy.
A perfect example happened on the Rachel Maddow show when she had a guest that mysteriously received a copy of President Trump's tax return in his email. Keep in mind, he received only the first two pages of the tax return. That person was David Cay Johnston, a well-known critic of Donald Trump going back decades. He has written disparagingly about him in numerous articles and books. It appears he has an obsession.
Johnston’s background appears more impressive than it actually is. He received the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting for his reporting that exposed loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code. That body of work may be entirely based solely on his opinion. Mr. Johnston does not have a college degree, yet he was a lecturer at Syracuse University College of Law. What his actual knowledge of the tax law is questionable, especially judging from his performance of Rachel Maddow’s show.
Mr. Johnston made assertions on the tax returns which could not be made from the first two pages of a 1040. Any CPA, Attorney, or first year tax preparer at your local H&R Block, will tell you that the first two pages of a 1040 are nothing more than the summary of the following pages. The calculations are made on other forms of the return. Among the many claims made by Mr. Johnston was that “Trump pushed the tax laws to their furthest limits,” implying that it was at least unethical.
This is a prime example of what you can expect if the Democrats have their way. If this “expert” in tax law could make up conclusions without having any evidence, imagine what could happen if they have the hundreds, possibly thousands, of pages and supporting schedules that a billionaire’s tax return contains. This is in addition to the legal reasons why the tax returns shouldn’t be disclosed, mind you. Therefore, the Supreme Court should send a clear message by denying the release of the Trump tax returns.
Michael A. Bertolone, MS is a freelance writer in Rochester, NY.
Image credit: Pixabay public domain.