Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Trump’s Taxes

with one comment

nastImage credit: Thomas Nast 1867. Public domain under US copyright law.

Something like 18 state legislatures have introduced laws requiring candidates for the presidency to release their tax returns as a requirement to appear on their state’s ballots. A few have been vetoed already, the rest are works in progress. I find these bills fascinating on several levels, so lots of meat for a post here. And fair warning, I don’t think these laws are a good thing in and of themselves, nor by what they portend.

First, how important is it to have this info? On the one hand, sure, I guess it’s a good thing for presidential candidates to be open about their finances. On the other hand, tax returns can and do contain very personal information, so I can see good reasons why someone might want to keep them private. I mean, running for the presidency means people are going to be digging into every aspect of one’s past, this requirement just adds insult to injury. I also am not sure what difference it makes, not releasing his returns didn’t keep Trump out of the White House, so it’s obviously not a critical issue to a lot of voters. Shouldn’t the voters decide what qualifications they want in their presidential candidates?

These bills also have constitutional issues. While the Constitution is solid on the requirements to be elected president, the states can’t change that; the states do have constitutional leeway when it comes to ballot qualifications. That’s how we got Bush in 2000. It’s clear these laws will instantly be challenged on constitutional grounds should any of them pass. So it seems unlikely any would make it into law by 2020. Especially considering that the nation’s judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, have been packed with GOP leaning judges in recent decades.

Then there’s the slippery slope aspect. Slippery slope arguments are often ridiculous false arguments. Like claiming gay marriage will lead to people marrying animals. Slippery slope arguments are not always false arguments though.  If these laws work as intended, suppressing the GOP vote, there’s any number of “reasonable sounding” ballot requirements that could be invoked to hurt specific candidates. Note the “specific candidates.” And have the Dems even considered that the GOP could play this game too if these laws pass constitutional muster?

Granted, lots of bills passed can and are challenged, that’s not a reason to not introduce a bill. It gets worse though. The most troubling aspect to me is that these “candidates must release their taxes to be on the ballot” bills are patently partisan. Yes, the people promoting these bills talk about transparency and informed elections, but let’s be fucking real here folks. If it wasn’t for Trump and his refusal to release his taxes, no one would be proposing these bills. So they are a completely partisan and targeted effort to hurt Trump’s reelection chances, either by keeping him off state ballots, or forcing him to disclose something embarrassing in his tax returns.

In other words, these bills are prima facie intended to prevent GOP voters from voting for the candidate of their choice. How is this not voter suppression? The GOP claims their voter suppression efforts are a good faith effort to prevent voter fraud. These bills are good faith efforts to … what? Force Trump to release his tax returns or his voters won’t be allowed to vote for him? At the end of the day that’s still attempted voter suppression at the very least.

Alas as the cartoon above shows, voter suppression has been with us a long time. It’s just as damaging now as it ever was. Granted the GOP has been leading the charge in recent decades, but nothing good can come of the Dems countering with their own constitutionally questionable version of voter suppression. This is part of a long established pattern of Dems avoiding the real issues while trying to game themselves back into office. That however is a topic for another post. Have a great week everyone.

(Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.)

Written by unitedcats

May 6, 2019 at 4:20 am

Posted in Elections, Politics, Trump

One Response

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  1. Hi, PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME ANY INFORMATION APART FROM MOORGATE 28/2/1975 D272 at platform 9 at 8.46 am where the train failed to stop killing 43 The train should’nt never of been put into service as it was on the scrap pile LT should carry the can in the 1st place for using faulty trains.

    ________________________________

    DJ. McDOUGALL

    May 6, 2019 at 4:58 am


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