Most of us complain about paying taxes - but few of us fail to pay. We declare our sources of income. We subject ourselves to IRS review.
We might never voluntarily choose to provide this information to business associates or competitors. Or the public.
Unless of course we want something that requires it. Obtaining a mortgage. Getting a government security clearance. Or holding public office in California.
In California there is a Statement of Economic Interests that candidates for office (and a wide variety of public appointments) must file. It is how the public and law enforcement have a modicum of oversight over self-dealing, nepotism and corruption.
This is optional - you don't need to comply; but then you can't serve. It's your choice.
So why is President Trump - the one person you would expect should comply, refusing? He must have his reasons. But whatever they are don't matter. Let public opinion (and maybe the courts) decide. Why is he so obstinate?
Hell, we already know our president knows little about history, is socially crude, exhibits signs of sociopathic narcissism, and bullies anyone by Twitter from the safe anonymity of cyberspace.
So what's with him? Why the adamant refusal? Maybe his "base" voters didn't care then - who among them thought he'd win? But now, many do care. Or at least are curious.
Is he vulnerable to blackmail by Putin? Is Trump's family financially benefitting from official acts of corruption? Is Kushner a foreign agent? Are (or were) his business partners involved in international crime, or just white collar thieves of the kind Trump supporters (and Bernie Sanders) said "rig the game"?
We can appreciate Trump's reluctance. Look at the damage he did with repeated railing against Hillary Clinton for her private emails, the Clinton Foundation and Wall Street speeches.
Obviously "The Donald" has no intention of changing course. He bows to no one.
It remains then for members of congress to force Trump to do it. His Republican friends that he needs to pass his 1 % budget. To get his nominees confirmed.
Why aren't THEY applying pressure?
Guys like Denham, Nunes, Valadao. They could start with THEIR tax returns. To show The Donald: it's OK. They are fellow businessmen. Don't ask the president to do what you won't.
This is why we have an independent legislative branch (in case they are wondering).
If Trump IS the Manchurian Candidate, a business partner of the KGB Alumni Association (every year), or just a dupe: wouldn't his tax returns be a place to start?
Make the call to the district offices of three California Central Valley house members. Do it now. No one may answer. But their district directors will know that you are taxpayer asking whose side exactly is the congressman on?
Jeff Denham (209) 579-5458
Devin Nunes (559) 323-5235
David Valadao (559) 582-5526