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The Courts Must Decide Who Sees Trump’s Taxes
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Apr 13, 2019 22:17:17   #
WNYShooter (a regular here)
 
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-12/trump-s-taxes-the-courts-must-decide-about-president-s-returns

Congress and the Trump administration have reached a standoff over the president’s tax returns: House Democrats have asked the Treasury Department to turn them over, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has made it clear that he won’t be doing so anytime soon.

It’s a conflict that the courts are best placed to resolve — and the sooner the better.

U.S. presidents since Richard Nixon have voluntarily released their tax returns, seeing it as essential to gaining their constituencies’ confidence (the exception is Gerald Ford, who disclosed only an overview). Trump broke with this tradition during his presidential campaign, citing an audit that prevented him from providing the information. He’s still using the same excuse, although no rule actually bars people under audit from releasing their returns.

To force the disclosure, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has invoked a 1924 law giving him the authority to request any taxpayer’s return from the Treasury secretary, who in turn “shall furnish’’ it. Most experts agree that the law clearly requires Treasury to comply. Just two issues: There’s some debate over whether Neal needs a legislative purpose for the request, and the law doesn’t say when the returns should be furnished.

To head off attacks on his motives, Neal has specified that the committee needs the returns to ensure that the Internal Revenue Service is properly auditing the president. Opponents, though, can argue that the demand for Trump’s personal and business returns from years before he took office, along with the fact that he didn’t initiate an investigation through Treasury’s internal watchdog (as has been done in the past), undermine the request’s validity.

Then there’s the question of timing. Unless some authority compels Mnuchin to respond by a certain date, he can drag his feet indefinitely. If, for example, he puts it off until the end of the current congressional session in 2021, the process will have to start over — possibly in a different political environment, with Trump either out of office or holding more sway in the legislature.

Here’s where the judicial system comes in. This is a matter of interpreting the law, which is what the courts were created to do. They’re also uniquely equipped to demand compliance: It would be a lot harder for Trump to flout a judge’s order than a decades-old tradition of disclosing tax returns. Although either side might decry the ruling depending on who appointed the judge, a timely decision would nonetheless provide much-needed clarity, for both this and future cases.

Hence, Neal should act quickly to issue a subpoena, which would trigger court proceedings in the probable event that Treasury refused to comply. And judicial officials should move no less quickly to handle a case that — given the stakes and the parties involved — could reach the Supreme Court. Dragging the dispute out until it’s no longer relevant to the Trump administration would both waste taxpayer money and effectively produce the same result as denying Neal’s request.


Ultimately, the U.S. needs better laws on presidential disclosure. House lawmakers passed a bill last month that would require presidents to release 10 years of tax returns, and some states are considering making such transparency a prerequisite for appearing on election ballots. Another solution might be enhanced financial reporting, which could provide more useful information than the tax returns.

For now, though, the courts are best positioned to decide what the people’s representatives can know about the president’s finances. May they do so without delay.

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Apr 13, 2019 23:35:56   #
Angmo (a regular here)
 
No legislative reason to see the taxes. Harassment of a US Citizen and just wrong.

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Apr 13, 2019 23:57:46   #
pendennis (a regular here)
 
The operative word here, is that other Presidential candidates have voluntarily published their tax returns for public scrutiny. Frankly, I don't want to see their tax returns. And, unless Congress comes up with a law requiring all candidates for not only the Presidency, but for all Congressional candidates to reveal their tax returns, then no one should be required. Sauce for the goose...

Bloomberg hardly makes a case for an immediate ruling in a Federal district court. Besides, any request for judicial action would have to go through the Department of Justice. Congress doesn't have the authority to file actions with the courts. Article I is very clear on the limitations of Congressional powers.

We're slipping, nay falling, into a mind set that requires the complete baring of one's private life. It's the weaponizing of what's been private information (between the IRS and the taxpayer), and what's rightfully public.

I seriously doubt that the President filed any tax returns - Federal, state, or local on his own. There were no doubt, CPA's and tax attorney's who did the leg work on the President's taxes. And I doubt that the President would be able to answer all the details that went into those returns.

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Apr 14, 2019 00:09:59   #
drainbamage
 
WNYShooter wrote:
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-12/trump-s-taxes-the-courts-must-decide-about-president-s-returns

Congress and the Trump administration have reached a standoff over the president’s tax returns: House Democrats have asked the Treasury Department to turn them over, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has made it clear that he won’t be doing so anytime soon.

It’s a conflict that the courts are best placed to resolve — and the sooner the better.

U.S. presidents since Richard Nixon have voluntarily released their tax returns, seeing it as essential to gaining their constituencies’ confidence (the exception is Gerald Ford, who disclosed only an overview). Trump broke with this tradition during his presidential campaign, citing an audit that prevented him from providing the information. He’s still using the same excuse, although no rule actually bars people under audit from releasing their returns.

To force the disclosure, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has invoked a 1924 law giving him the authority to request any taxpayer’s return from the Treasury secretary, who in turn “shall furnish’’ it. Most experts agree that the law clearly requires Treasury to comply. Just two issues: There’s some debate over whether Neal needs a legislative purpose for the request, and the law doesn’t say when the returns should be furnished.

To head off attacks on his motives, Neal has specified that the committee needs the returns to ensure that the Internal Revenue Service is properly auditing the president. Opponents, though, can argue that the demand for Trump’s personal and business returns from years before he took office, along with the fact that he didn’t initiate an investigation through Treasury’s internal watchdog (as has been done in the past), undermine the request’s validity.

Then there’s the question of timing. Unless some authority compels Mnuchin to respond by a certain date, he can drag his feet indefinitely. If, for example, he puts it off until the end of the current congressional session in 2021, the process will have to start over — possibly in a different political environment, with Trump either out of office or holding more sway in the legislature.

Here’s where the judicial system comes in. This is a matter of interpreting the law, which is what the courts were created to do. They’re also uniquely equipped to demand compliance: It would be a lot harder for Trump to flout a judge’s order than a decades-old tradition of disclosing tax returns. Although either side might decry the ruling depending on who appointed the judge, a timely decision would nonetheless provide much-needed clarity, for both this and future cases.

Hence, Neal should act quickly to issue a subpoena, which would trigger court proceedings in the probable event that Treasury refused to comply. And judicial officials should move no less quickly to handle a case that — given the stakes and the parties involved — could reach the Supreme Court. Dragging the dispute out until it’s no longer relevant to the Trump administration would both waste taxpayer money and effectively produce the same result as denying Neal’s request.


Ultimately, the U.S. needs better laws on presidential disclosure. House lawmakers passed a bill last month that would require presidents to release 10 years of tax returns, and some states are considering making such transparency a prerequisite for appearing on election ballots. Another solution might be enhanced financial reporting, which could provide more useful information than the tax returns.

For now, though, the courts are best positioned to decide what the people’s representatives can know about the president’s finances. May they do so without delay.
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04... (show quote)

No. Trump decides who sees his taxes. Period.
It is only a tradition that politicians in high places release their taxes, NOT a requirement. (Remember, Trump is NOT a politician.)
Imagine what the MSM would do to Trump's tax returns? Think about it...it would be another "investigation" to "find out" what he can be impeached for. Another witch hunt. WHY would he want that???

On second thought....maybe we should let them focus on this. Take it to the Supreme Court. It will take at least two years. And we all know how that would end!

Meanwhile, Trump moves on with his promises to Americans...
The funny thing is that there's probably nothing in his tax forms that reveal anything nefarious! It would be typical of him to let everyone think there's "something there" when there is not. Keeps his base chuckling :-)

| Reply
Apr 14, 2019 02:14:09   #
WNYShooter (a regular here)
 
drainbamage wrote:
No. Trump decides who sees his taxes. Period.
It is only a tradition that politicians in high places release their taxes, NOT a requirement. (Remember, Trump is NOT a politician.)
Imagine what the MSM would do to Trump's tax returns? Think about it...it would be another "investigation" to "find out" what he can be impeached for. Another witch hunt. WHY would he want that???

On second thought....maybe we should let them focus on this. Take it to the Supreme Court. It will take at least two years. And we all know how that would end!

Meanwhile, Trump moves on with his promises to Americans...
The funny thing is that there's probably nothing in his tax forms that reveal anything nefarious! It would be typical of him to let everyone think there's "something there" when there is not. Keeps his base chuckling :-)
No. Trump decides who sees his taxes. Period. br ... (show quote)


Couldn't agree more with you. The only one's screaming to see them are his political adversaries, the voters were the ultimate arbiter in 2016 on whether disclosure of his taxes was required for him to be President, obviously their decision was no, it wasn't required.

I also agree that he's letting them spin their wheels on his taxes. He no doubt has an army of accountants and lawyers who handle his taxes for him and his business, so he's most likely well insulated.

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Apr 14, 2019 08:10:55   #
FrumCA (a regular here)
 
WNYShooter wrote:
Couldn't agree more with you. The only one's screaming to see them are his political adversaries, the voters were the ultimate arbiter in 2016 on whether disclosure of his taxes was required for him to be President, obviously their decision was no, it wasn't required.

I also agree that he's letting them spin their wheels on his taxes. He no doubt has an army of accountants and lawyers who handle his taxes for him and his business, so he's most likely well insulated.




| Reply
Apr 14, 2019 08:32:28   #
sb (a regular here)
 
WNYShooter wrote:
Couldn't agree more with you. The only one's screaming to see them are his political adversaries, the voters were the ultimate arbiter in 2016 on whether disclosure of his taxes was required for him to be President, obviously their decision was no, it wasn't required.

I also agree that he's letting them spin their wheels on his taxes. He no doubt has an army of accountants and lawyers who handle his taxes for him and his business, so he's most likely well insulated.


Of course, the MAJORITY of voters voted NO - on Trump! So it's hard to keep saying "the voters decided". The voters DIDN'T decide. The electoral college decided on him being president - but THE VOTERS DIDN'T!

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Apr 14, 2019 08:57:16   #
WNYShooter (a regular here)
 
sb wrote:
Of course, the MAJORITY of voters voted NO - on Trump! So it's hard to keep saying "the voters decided". The voters DIDN'T decide. The electoral college decided on him being president - but THE VOTERS DIDN'T!


I don't understand how otherwise intelligent people can't understand the simple procedure used to elect the US President, and for some reason, that confusion exponentially increases with the distance to the political left they are of center.

Left me try and dumb it down for your comprehension. The US voters vote for a candidate in each individual State, the results in the States are used to select electors, who then vote for the President. The Candidate who gets the most Electoral votes becomes President. Hope that helps you.

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Apr 14, 2019 08:59:27   #
EyeSawYou (a regular here)
 
sb wrote:
Of course, the MAJORITY of voters voted NO - on Trump! So it's hard to keep saying "the voters decided". The voters DIDN'T decide. The electoral college decided on him being president - but THE VOTERS DIDN'T!


Yes, the voters did in fact decide who our President would be. Trump won the popular vote in 30 states while the bag lady only won the popular vote in 20 states, the people decided and chose Trump, get over it you lost.

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Apr 14, 2019 10:48:19   #
Frank T (a regular here)
 
The law is quite clear and the law says that Congress can demand the tax returns and that the Treasury Department shall comply.
It doesn't say shall discuss it or might comply or it's up to them. It says shall comply and in legalize, just replace shall with must and you get the idea what that means.

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Apr 14, 2019 11:11:37   #
WNYShooter (a regular here)
 
Frank T wrote:
The law is quite clear and the law says that Congress can demand the tax returns and that the Treasury Department shall comply.
It doesn't say shall discuss it or might comply or it's up to them. It says shall comply and in legalize, just replace shall with must and you get the idea what that means.


FOIA Act says exactly the same thing, requesters still often wait years, or until they can get a court to enforce it on the requestee. Depending on the case facts, some of these court litigations over record demands have gone on for years, and that includes lawful demands made by Congress.

Bottom line, this is heading to court, and anything can happen there.

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Apr 14, 2019 11:16:14   #
Kmgw9v (a regular here)
 
Frank T wrote:
The law is quite clear and the law says that Congress can demand the tax returns and that the Treasury Department shall comply.
It doesn't say shall discuss it or might comply or it's up to them. It says shall comply and in legalize, just replace shall with must and you get the idea what that means.


You are absolutely right; but Trump cars nothing about the rule of law. The law was passed in 1924.
His supporters thank that is fine.
What is in his taxes that he wants to hide anyway?

| Reply
Apr 14, 2019 11:40:42   #
EyeSawYou (a regular here)
 
Kmgw9v wrote:
You are absolutely right; but Trump cars nothing about the rule of law. The law was passed in 1924.
His supporters thank that is fine.
What is in his taxes that he wants to hide anyway?


So what laws has Trump violated or broken, please give specifics?

| Reply
Apr 14, 2019 12:03:25   #
FRENCHY (a regular here)
 
drainbamage wrote:
No. Trump decides who sees his taxes. Period.
It is only a tradition that politicians in high places release their taxes, NOT a requirement. (Remember, Trump is NOT a politician.)
Imagine what the MSM would do to Trump's tax returns? Think about it...it would be another "investigation" to "find out" what he can be impeached for. Another witch hunt. WHY would he want that???

On second thought....maybe we should let them focus on this. Take it to the Supreme Court. It will take at least two years. And we all know how that would end!

Meanwhile, Trump moves on with his promises to Americans...
The funny thing is that there's probably nothing in his tax forms that reveal anything nefarious! It would be typical of him to let everyone think there's "something there" when there is not. Keeps his base chuckling :-)
No. Trump decides who sees his taxes. Period. br ... (show quote)




"It is only a tradition that politicians in high places release their taxes, NOT a requirement. (Remember, Trump is NOT a politician."

I would love to see politicians tax form before and after they leave and why they become millionaires with the type of salary they "earn", at least a few of them.

| Reply
Apr 14, 2019 12:20:17   #
FrumCA (a regular here)
 
sb wrote:
Of course, the MAJORITY of voters voted NO - on Trump! So it's hard to keep saying "the voters decided". The voters DIDN'T decide. The electoral college decided on him being president - but THE VOTERS DIDN'T!

Get over it. You lost. There's no point in trying to instruct you on the process by which the president was elected. There are reams of that here on hog.

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