Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Donald Trump Doesn’t Plan To Release Any Of His Tax Returns

In a break with recent presidential nominees, Donald Trump said Tuesday he does not plan to release any of his tax returns before the November elections because of an ongoing IRS audit.

“There’s nothing to learn from them,” Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press, further claiming that he does not believe voters are interested in their contents.

In late March, Trump’s campaign released a letter from his lawyers showing that his finances are indeed under audit. The Manhattan businessman has said his lawyers have urged him, purely out of financial interest, not to make his tax returns public before the audit is fully concluded. But shelving the returns would also avoid thorny questions regarding his net worth — which he repeatedly exaggerates by billions of dollars — as well as potential attacks over the exact number he would personally save from his tax cuts on the wealthy.

Opting not to release any of his returns to the public, however, may not be the most politically savvy thing to do. Democrats effectively made Mitt Romney’s wealth and tax returns an issue during the 2012 presidential campaign. They would likely do so again, suggesting Trump is hiding something unpalatable from the public. They could even clip Romney’s words, after the former Massachusetts governor earlier this year stirred the pot by claiming Trump’s tax returns are likely to contain “a bombshell.”

The brash real estate mogul has defied conventional campaign wisdom, however. Attempting to portray Trump as a wealthy plutocrat — essentially the Romney playbook — may not be the most effective strategy because of his populist rhetoric and shifting positions. The findings of a recent Democratic focus group, for example, showed voters aren’t yet convinced of arguments that Trump’s policy proposals would benefit the rich.

Those opinions could change with his shift to the general. Politico reported on Wednesday that Trump is revamping his tax plan to make it more palatable to GOP elites with the aid of supply-side advocates like CNBC host Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore of The Heritage Foundation.

As to Trump’s claim that voters do not care for the contents of his tax returns, he may be on more solid footing than Democrats would have you believe. There hasn’t been much polling this cycle on the topic of presidential candidates releasing tax returns, but Gallup found Americans divided on the matter in July 2012. Forty-seven percent of respondents in the poll said tax returns are largely irrelevant, while 44 percent said they provide voters with useful information to consider their voting choice.

Original Article
Author:   Igor Bobic

No comments:

Post a Comment