Donald Trump is dragging his feet when it comes to making public his tax returns. A document leaked to the New York Times indicates he may not have paid any tax for decades after claiming almost a billion dollar loss which he was able to use to his benefit for some twenty years. All perfectly legal.
I believe it is incumbent upon Trump to furnish his full tax papers if only because it has become the tradition in the US. All presidential candidates for many years have done so. However I do not agree with the tradition. I don’t think a person’s dealings with the tax people are anyone’s business but their own. In Canada candidates do not routinely provide copies of their tax returns.
I see this income tax reveal as yet another deterrent to potentially good candidates entering the race. In the US the vetting of candidates has long been a slippery slope. Is a man or woman who has been unfaithful to their spouse ipso facto really unsuitable to be elected to public office? If your dentist cheats on her husband is she somehow a poorer dentist for it?
The scrutiny applied to candidates seems to intensify each year. I figure that by 2020 candidates will be subjected to harsh examination not only of their tax returns, but of their search engine record. The media will press Google to release the last ten years of search requests for each candidate. So if you are considering a run for office be sure to wipe out any dodgy searches, like that time you sought information on varicose veins by Googling images of “men in stockings”. Or that time you looked up “girls gone wild” when what you were actually seeking were details of a Girl Guides camping trip.
Make sure that your Netflix record is copacetic as well. Not too many foreign films. “And how, Mr. Moderator, can a man possibly be considered a suitable candidate for president when his Netflix history clearly indicates that a mere 36% of the films he watched were made in America?”
AccuRadio, Spotify and I Heart Radio accounts will also be raked over. Have you been listening to an equal number of male and female artists? If not why? Do you prefer Latino music? Are all those recordings made by legal immigrants? Are you supporting illegal immigration by downloading salsa and Reggaetón files?
I think that if the current trend continues, and potential candidates are subjected to such severe inspection, many will decide not to run, some of whom would have made excellent leaders.