Lets supposed that you agree, like I do, that 99pct of Americans are honest. We live our lives in a law abiding fashion. That there is nothing about our lives that is noteworthy or worth hiding from anyone other than maybe the people closest to us. No one wants everyone close to us to know everything about us. There has to be a little mystery, right ? A little salvation from embarrassment, right ? We have all our own secrets that we like to keep to ourselves. That is just human nature.
And as far as the rest of the world knowing those items, we are blessed by “security via obscurity” . No one gives a shit about us. They don’t even know we exist. So no one asks us to share those secrets.
But what about our government ? As law abiding citizens who just go to work and live our every day lives, what could we possibly have to hide from our government ?
If as law abiding citizens 99pct of us have nothing to hide, why do we need all the protections from government that our constitution provides ?
Why not just let the police come in to our homes any time they would like? What do we have to hide ?
Why not let the government confiscate our phones or computers for a day or two ? What do we have to hide ?
Why not let the government monitor what we say or do ? What do we have to hide ?
Why do the innocent need attorney client privilege ? What do you have to hide ?
Fortunately our constitution at least tries to protect us from these types of government intrusions in to our lives. But what about when it comes from others ?
The question is extremely dangerous when coming from a public official or someone running for an office. It is being asked for no other reasons than to intimidate and to throw the subject’s privacy out the door and open them up to public scrutiny.
I can’t think of anything worse I want to hear coming from someone that holds a public office or is a current Presidential candidate than “What do you have to hide ” ?
Unless of course its – “Look I did it, I have nothing to hide. Why don’t you do the same thing ? What do you have to hide” ? That is worse.
So when I hear candidates ask that another make public their tax returns, it scares me.
What’s next ? What if one candidate decided to turn over all their emails ? We have seen Mrs Clinton’s for a period. Why wouldn’t a candidate who was careful about what they wrote in their emails publish all of theirs and offered the “I did it, why won’t you ? What do you have to hide ? ” to the other candidates ? Or here are my detailed medical records and every medication I take. “What do you have to hide ” ? Or better yet, here is my search history and every website I have looked at over the last 4 years. “What do you have to hide ”
What do you mean you deleted them ? What are you a ……… (Fill in the blank any way you want )
It doesn’t matter if producing tax returns has become a “tradition”. It is a poor one that should not be part of the electoral process. The irony of course is that it is coming from candidates who have gone on continuous tirades about their love of and ability to interpret our Constitution.
When I hear Senator Cruz alleging Trump’s possible “mob connections” being reveled by his tax returns, it scares me. A lot
It should scare you as well. When the people running for the most important office in the world start trying to intimidate other candidates with “What do you have to hide”, the electoral process takes a significant hit.
Will future candidates be dissuaded from running because they don’t want people to know how little they donated to charity ? Or will they be embarrassed by making too much or too little ? Or maybe it’s something else that is disclosed that none of us expected and might be considered embarrassing , but is completely reasonable ?
And if the question comes from a candidate that ends up becoming President, how can we trust they won’t use the same phrase again to intimidate one of us ? Or a future opposition candidate ?
So my suggestion to Donald Trump is to not be intimidated. Stand up for all of us and every future Presidential candidate and not provide your tax returns . You get audited every year like I do. If there is anything wrong it was the job of the IRS to find it, not the other candidates, the media or any of us.
And finally. I have no idea if my tax returns are more or less complicated than Donald Trump’s. I truly don’t know what is on my tax returns. The people that work for me know and understand that I don’t like to pay taxes, but I’m not against it either. I truly believe that its patriotic to pay taxes. So I tell them to be very conservative in making choices. But what I do hate is how much of that money is wasted on bureaucratic overhead. But that is a blog post for another day.
For me, the days before my taxes are due go something like this: all my tax returns from what seems like all 50 states and all the federal forms are lined up around a long , long, long dining room table in my house. The signature pages are tabbed. Then I spend the better part of 45 minutes signing them till my hand cramps.
Do I read any of them ? Not a one. I have to trust the big tax accounting firm I hire to get it right.
I have absolutely nothing to hide, and if I ever run for President you will have to take my word for it and I hope every candidate for office says the exact same thing.
Read my words: My taxes are none of your business.