Friday, April 14, 2017

Tax Day March, April 15 because 'WE CARE!'

REMEMBER Donald Trump's tax records? The one's the public has yet to see? The one's he said he couldn't release before the elections because they were being audited?

Despite a promise Trump made to release the records after he became presedent, we still haven't seen them. And then we learn from the IRS that there is an audit doesn't prevent Trump from showing his tax returns.

In keeping them from public scrutiny, Trump is breaking a tradition that every presidential candidate has abided by in the last 40  years since Richard Nixon.

Tomorrow is Tax Day, April 15, the day everybody is supposed to file their taxes. (Actually, since it falls on a Saturday, the deadline has been extended to April 18.)

Tax Day is a perfect day to express your displeasure for Trump's lack of accountability. Thousands of ordinary people will march in dozens of marches across the country to demand a peek at Trump's tax records. 

The Tax March is a movement gaining momentum around the country to demand transparency and fairness from the current White House resident. Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump told the American people he would release his tax returns. Despite intense public pressure, he has not yet done so – breaking with 40 years of precedent in the process. His administration's excuse? "People don't care."

But an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 74 percent of Americans, including more than half of Republicans, wanted to see Trump's tax returns — something the Tax March organizers are hoping to show the administration.

We do care. Without seeing Trump's tax returns, we have no idea what he's hiding – shady business deals? Financial ties to foreign countries? Conflicts of interest? – or who his policies are really benefitting.

In the course of doing business, Trump must have borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for his business ventures; he might have received loans from foreign entities; he may have lost money; who is he indebted to? and how much has the billionaire donated to charity?

Questions. Lots of them.  If there is nothing to wrong with them, what is there to hide?

Trump's tax forms could very well reveal that he abided by the law and that there was nothing nefarious in the loans, debts and business dealings. If so, then well and good. There is really nothing else to talk about.

The tax reports, some may say, are a person's private business. Except this particular person is a public figure who works for us. He sought the job knowing the parameters of our expectations. We didn't force him to take it. If there are conflicts of interest, then I'd like to know about it.
The Tax Day march will probably not match the Women's March held Jan. 21. That was the largest national protest - EVER! However, tens of thousands are expected to join the marches. The biggest Tax Day March will occur tomorrow, April 15, in Washington D.C. A rally begins at 12 p.m. on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and ends at 4 p.m. near the Lincoln Memorial. The actual march will begin at 1:00 p.m.

Scores of other marches will be held across the country in almost every state of the Union. Besides the major urban centers and college towns where you'd expect demonstrations to be held, there will be demonstrations in the suburbs such as Walnut Creek, Calif. and Mooresville, North Carolina and in small towns like Elko, Nevada and Billings, Montana. To find the march near you, click here.

Despite the hoopla around the marches and despite the pleas from politicians, celebrities and ordinary people who are fed up with the promises not kept, the marches will probably not produce the desired results. 

“April 16, I’d love to say we have Donald Trump’s tax returns, I don’t think that’s going to be the case,” Ezra Levin, co-founder of the Indivisible Project and one of the Tax March coordinators said, adding, “but it is something that’s going to have to keep on going. The answer to this is not that we are all going to score that one goal and it’s all going to be over, the answer is persistence.” 

And it is there, in the individual states and towns, that this message matters most to Levin because, as he notes, Congress has the unilateral ability to obtain his returns. “There’s legislation on the books that’s been there for over 80 years … and they are choosing not to. They are just flat out choosing not to,” he says, adding that it is simply up to those 120 marches in towns across America to knock on doors of congressional leaders and say, “You should use the authority you have to hold this administration accountable because you don’t represent Donald Trump, you represent your constituents.”

And where will Trump be while thousands of people take to the streets? He will be in the sanctity of Malaga, his Florida retreat, shielded from the people, deaf to their chants and to their demands ... and probably eating his (chocolate) cake, too, 

For all we know (because we can't see his tax returns), he may be writing the whole thing off as the cost of doing business instead of giving us, the American public, the bill.

Show us your tax returns, Mr. Trump, because ... WE CARE!