Will Democrats get Trump to release his taxes

I doubt it.  But I love how they are trolling him on the issue over his supposed tax reform (i.e., tax cuts for rich peoplel) plans. NYT:

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s promise to enact a sweeping overhaul of the tax code is in serious jeopardy nearly 100 days into his tenure, and his refusal to release his own tax returns is emerging as a central hurdle to another faltering campaign promise.

As procrastinators rushed to file their tax returns by Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, emphasized again on Monday that Mr. Trump had no intention of making his public. Democrats have seized on that decision, uniting around a pledge not to cooperate on any rewriting of the tax code unless they know specifically how that revision would benefit the billionaire president and his family.

And a growing roster of more than a dozen Republican lawmakers now say Mr. Trump should release them.

“If he doesn’t release his returns, it is going to make it much more difficult to get tax reform done,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, pointing out that the president has significant conflicts of interest on issues such as taxation of the real estate industry and elimination of the estate tax. “It’s in his own self-interest.” …

But it is Mr. Trump’s own taxes that have provided the crucial leverage for his opponents. More than 100,000 of his critics took to the streets over the weekend in marches around the country, demanding that the president release his returns. Tax legislation, they say, could be a plot by Mr. Trump to get even richer.

“When they talk about tax reform, are they talking about cutting Donald Trump’s taxes by millions of dollars a year?” asked Ezra Levin, a member of the Tax March executive committee. “We don’t know.”

Beyond the politics of Mr. Trump’s returns, lawmakers do not want to pass an overhaul of the tax code that unwittingly enriches the commander in chief and his progeny. Those who are worried about conflicts of interest point to the potential repeal of the estate tax or elimination of the alternative minimum tax as provisions that would enrich Mr. Trump.

Here’s the beauty of this.  Democrats are never going to cooperate on any kind of tax reform with Trump, because it is blindingly obvious, that Trump has no genuine interest in reform, but rather just fairly typical Republican tax cuts for the wealthy.  Where he might have some reform impulses– e.g., border adjustment tax– the Republicans will have a civil war among themselves.

But, all the Democrats have to do is pretend that Trump’s personal taxes are holding up real bipartisan compromise and the media will cover it that way.  National media love the idea of bipartisan compromise and tend to hype the possibilities far more than reality suggests is likely.  In a way, this is media catnip planted by Democrats to get the media to focus on Trump’s personal taxes whenever they cover stories of changes to tax policy.  Smart, smart move.  Let’s give the Democrats some credit on this one.

And, oh yeah– what the hell is Trump hiding in his taxes?!


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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