Editorial: On Taxes, Transparency and the Presidency

With Tax Day looming, the editors of The Spectrum ask President Donald Trump to fulfill at least one of his campaign promises: release your tax returns.

Today, we show our 1040-EZs and 1040As to the world because we know transparency has value. It holds those in power accountable — isn’t that why, Mr. President, you asked Hillary Clinton to reveal all her emails? Back when you called that old conspiracy “worse than Watergate”?

We might have an unprecedented president, but that doesn’t mean he should get away with everything. Trump has gotten away with enough already. We can’t let this unfulfilled promise about releasing his taxes disappear under a pile of new atrocities.

Even the Devil keeps his promises.

The law, of course, does not require Trump to release his taxes. But it doesn’t stop him, despite his audit excuses. It didn’t stop President Richard Nixon, who, in 1973, released his returns because, as he said, “People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.” Every president since has shown how uncrooked they are, at least financially.

And fake-news liberal snowflakes aren’t the only ones asking for less opaqueness.

Claims that most people don’t care about his tax returns, or only journalists care, are deceitful. A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that nearly three quarters of Americans (and over 50 percent of Republicans) think Trump’s tax returns should be made public. Recently, Republicans in contentious districts have even jumped on the bipartisan bandwagon.

Continuing to delay releasing his returns is disrespectful to the American public. Furthermore, it serves to suggest he has something to hide, creating many more questions than answers.

As any freshman who’s taken an English 120 class knows, President Donald Trump should show, not tell. We, the public, deserve to know if our president is or is not a crook.

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