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Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Time to dip into the e-mailbag, where a listener named Pamela writes in about the president’s tax returns:
“I’d like to know why this is anyone’s business? … A person’s tax filing should be the business of the person filing and the IRS only.”
Thanks for writing Pamela.
Tax returns are, by law, confidential.
However, after the Teapot Dome scandals a century ago when members of a presidential administration were caught taking bribes, the tax code was changed to allow the Ways and Means Committees in Congress to obtain tax returns, and that is what is happening now with President Trump.
The reason why this is necessary was succinctly described by none other than President Nixon, who said after his tax returns were leaked: “I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their president's a crook.”
If Mr. Trump is not a crook, he too should welcome scrutiny of his tax returns.
Every president since Nixon has released either the full returns or a summary. And given Mr. Trump’s indifference to customary norms of separating his personal and family finances from his public trust, and stains on his record like the Trump University fraud, there is ample reason to suspect he’s hiding something.
Major political figures – presidents, cabinet officials and governors – hold tremendous power over our lives and tax dollars.
The price of wielding that power should be full disclosure of their finances to guard against conflict of interest.
And there is absolutely no valid reason why President Trump should he held exempt from that principle.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.
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