This is a life-or-death power struggle that simply must be waged if we’re ever to get control of our institutions back.

Through toadyism, lies, grotesque inanities and fake witch hunts, Republicans have been sullying our institutions and our moral character for years. Long past time to reclaim those institutions for the country’s sake, not to protect them.

The Constitution wasn't created to help demagogues like Trump gaslight the public. The separation of powers exists to compel accountability, not to abet insecure criminals to hide their dark financial dealings from scrutiny.

Ryan Morrison

Galveston

Locations

(43) comments

Don Schlessinger

Bad day Ryan?[beam]

Rusty Schroeder

Ryan go look for nesting sea turtles on the west end beaches, get back to us when you find one. Until then ,,,,,,,, pound sand.

Robert Braeking

Regardless of the opinion of the left, the congress does not have the authority to examine the personal income tax record of any citizen. If an individual, like Bernie Sanders, wishes to make his own tax records public he may. (Pitiful charitable donations for a millionaire, Bernie)

Were the congress to be given the power to give a proctology exam to every politician it doesn't like, there would be a terribly dangerous precedent set. Our founders were wise to limit the power of congress by enumeration.

Bailey Jones

Is there a petition I can sign to support this "power to give a proctology exam" thing?

Carlos Ponce

Congress may look at tax returns as part of their legislative duty to see how the tax laws are used or abused and see what changes if any ought to be made but the identity of the filers are left off. To single out a single tax payer is an abuse of power, against the law and we should all be wary of such a move.
Here's the law:
"(f) Disclosure to Committees of Congress
(1) Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on Finance, and Joint Committee on Taxation
Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure."
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6103
Simply put, the Committee may request a tax return - "We would like to see tax returns of Millionaires who paid little or no tax." But the identity of the filer cannot be revealed.
"except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer " That's the law.
If by not consenting you think Trump is hiding something that's fine.
"(a) General rule Returns and return information shall be confidential...."
If there is anything wrong in his return the IRS will consider revisions and monetary penalties. According to THE LAW, it's no one else's business.

Dan Freeman

Not true. The identity of the taxpayer "...shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session ..." The IRS must provide the returns and the names in executive session.

Carlos Ponce

Dan is taking things out of context.
"except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer [shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session] unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure."
Nice trick, Dan. Let's see you pull a rabbit out of your hat.[innocent]

Dan Freeman

You added the brackets, which were neither in the original post or the citation. Stop the fake news Mr. Ponce. The records can be presented in Executive Session.

Carlos Ponce

"You added the brackets, which were neither in the original post or the citation."
That's the only way I can highlight the pertinent parts you refuse to see. The original was presented earlier WITHOUT brackets - but it looks like you didn't see those phrases.

Robert Braeking

Sorry Dan, that is not Constitutional authority.

Emile Pope

Dan is right. The IRS has no right to refuse...

Carlos Ponce

Let me REPEAT the LAW again.
"Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, EXCEPT THAT ANY RETURN OR RETURN INFORMATION WHICH CAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH, OR OTHERWISE IDENTIFY, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, A PARTICULAR TAXPAYER shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session UNLESS SUCH SUCH TAXPAYER OTHERWISE CONSENTS IN WRITING TO SUCH DISCLOSURE."

Emile Pope

Let me help you with reading comp 101...Since you decided not to emphasize a part of the law... "A PARTICULAR TAXPAYER SHALL BE FURNISHED TO SUCH COMMITTEE ONLY WHEN SITTING IN CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION". That means that the committee must be given the records when in closed executive session whether the person agrees to it or not. They have no choice in the matter. Is that so difficult to understand?

Emile Pope

It doesn't say unless the taxpayer refuses...

Carlos Ponce

Again, like Dan, you are taking things out of context.

Emile Pope

i accept your apology...

Carlos Ponce

Delusional Emile.[sad]

Ron Woody

I truly appreciate the, mostly, civil discourse that the Galveston Daily News provides. My question is where is Mr. Smith and Mr. Woolsey when they determine that this is appropriate to print?

There was a time that I believed that most media was trying to benefit all of our country and unify us to achieve our best. Then I started observing how National Media would use divisiveness for their own agenda and profit.

I turned to local newspapers to be informed and commit myself to local issues where I may be able to make a difference. Then I see a letter like this and wonder who thought this would be beneficial to the community to print?

I have no problem with people being critical of politicians, the process or our government, but to do it in the manner that was allowed in this letter while not criminal, certainly lowers my impression of the GDN. This saddens me in that I find GDN to be a good source of local information.

Seriously, Mr. Smith and Mr. Woolsey why do you allow this level of discourse? Certainly, you must receive numerous letters critical of the President on a daily basis. Was this really the best you had to print?

Not nearly as upset by the author of the letter (as misguided as he may be) as I am by the leadership at the paper.

YOU CAN DO BETTER!!!!

Gary Miller

To me this letter is another dirty attempt by liberals/progressives to violate the constitution for political purposes. Violating the constitution being the main reason they would request the law be violated. Evil people spend a lot of their lives trying to make their conduct seem reasonable.

Bill Cochrane

President Trump, Why don't you try the old “show me yours and I’ll show you mine”.
Have a law passed that states that all Congressmen and Congresswomen must disclose their Federal and State income taxes from the year before they were elected until right now.
Of course claim it’s for the betterment of the country.,
Can you hear that pin drop?

Jarvis Buckley

Ryan that's plain silly

Jim Forsythe

From 2017
Who can be on a ballot is always of some interest. Notable this year is the number of states that have specifically looked at requiring future presidential candidates to disclose income tax returns in order to be placed on the general election ballot. As of February 20, 2017 legislators in 18 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia) have introduced bills on this topic.
This has already happened in some states. 4/8/2019.
Donald Trump will have to release five years of tax returns if he wants appear on the Illinois 2020 presidential ballot, the state's senate has ruled.
The bill, which still requires approval by the Prairie State's House of Representatives, comes amid a growing row in Washington over Mr Trump’s unprecedented refusal to make publicly available his income tax returns.
Illinois is not the only state where legislation to codify standard practices surrounding tax disclosures for presidential candidates is being advanced.
The Washington state senate last month approved legislation that would legally require all presidential candidates to release the last five years of their personal tax returns in order to have their names featured on both primary and general voting ballots.
New Jersey has also advanced a similar bill to the state’s general assembly that would force candidates to disclose their recent tax returns.
Home state, making state rules on tax returns. This may pass.
New York legislators introduced a bill Monday that would authorize the state's tax commissioner to release state tax returns to Congress upon request. The legislation, if passed, would enable the release of Trump's state returns, since he is a New York resident and the state is home to his family business, the Trump Organization.

musTrump must release his tax returns or be barred from state’s 2020 election ballot, Illinois senate votest release his tax returns or be barred from state’s 2020 election ballot, Illinois senate votes

Carlos Ponce

Jim, this is clearly a violation of Federal laws and Supreme Court precedent..
See Supreme Court Decision, Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780 (1983).
"Held: Ohio's early filing deadline places an unconstitutional burden on the voting and associational rights of petitioner Anderson's supporters. Pp. 460 U. S. 786-806.
The Ohio filing deadline not only burdens the associational rights of independent voters and candidates, it also places a significant state-imposed restriction on a nationwide electoral process.
And in the context of a Presidential election, state-imposed restrictions implicate a uniquely important national interest, because the President and Vice President are the only elected officials who represent all the voters in the Nation, and the impact of the votes cast in each State affects the votes cast in other States.

Jim Forsythe

. Tax-return-disclosure requirement would apply equally to all candidates and their supporters!

17 years after Anderson v. Celebrezze, the Court decided Bush v. Gore, in which several justices seemed to recognize a much broader authority of states to administer the presidential selection process. Some of the justices seemed to indicate that states didn’t even need to hold elections to gather popular input before selecting representatives to the so-called electoral college, and that as long as states were not treating votes from different parts of the state or for different candidates in a dis uniform way (and a tax-return-disclosure requirement would apply equally to all candidates and their supporters), states continue to have broad latitude.
The same can be said for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.


Carlos Ponce

National Popular Vote Interstate Compact-
When Trump wins the POPULAR vote in 2020, they'll change their tune!

Jim Forsythe

It is just a matter of time before a requirement to disclose tax returns, becomes law.
The movement has started in some states and within the House and Senate.

For Trump to win the popular vote, it would require that no third party candidate run's that takes votes from him.
It also require him to get more votes than the Democrats candidate.
That he makes it to the election. Health or other reasons.

Since 1988 only one time has a Republican President won the popular vote.
Donald J. Trump who lost by 2.9 million votes to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. 46.2 percent of the vote
George W. Bush who lost by 543,816 votes to Al Gore in the 2000 election.

Carlos Ponce

"It is just a matter of time before a requirement to disclose tax returns, becomes law"
I doubt it. It would have to be a Constitutional Amendment that violates privacy edicts issued earlier by SCOTUS.

Gary Miller

Jim. Been tried before. SCOTUS said no.

Bill Cochrane

Quoting Jim: "Notable this year is the number of states that have specifically looked at requiring future presidential candidates to disclose income tax returns in order to be placed on the general election ballot." If the president's tax returns are so important, why aren't the tax returns of Congressmen? Why are they pushing for Trump's returns when they have no intentions of showing their own returns?

Emile Pope

Don't see anywhere that congress members object to releasing their returns...

Bill Cochrane

Emile, do you "see" anywhere that it's a requirement like they want for Trump? LOL

Carlos Ponce

"Lawmakers Want Trump’s Tax Returns, but Won’t Release Their Own"
https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/lawmakers-want-trumps-tax-returns-wont-release
"Few in Congress have released tax returns, report shows"
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/few-in-congress-have-released-tax-returns-report-shows/
"Don't Expect Many Members Of Congress To Release Their Tax Returns This Year"
https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/04/12/dont-expect-many-members-of-congress-to-release-their-tax-returns-this-year
And if Trump ever released his tax returns Democrats will claim he left things out. There's no pleasing the Donkey heads.

Jim Forsythe

We have a President that is big on saying he keeps his campaign promises. Trump went from a person, that seeing a tax return of a Presidential candidate is above important, too one that says by his actions, I have no intentions on keeping my promises. Trump said about Romney "The candidate must release his tax returns, ASAP". Trump said about his returns "I actually think it's a positive," to release his returns.
Trump also said ""If I decide to run for office, I'll produce my tax returns, absolutely"
Trump makes a BIG deal about why it was important to put up , but he does not.
2011
During his "birther" campaign of falsely claiming President Obama was not born in the United States, Trump offered a public deal: If Obama released his birth certificate, he'd release his tax returns.
"Maybe I'm going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
"I may tie my tax returns, I'd love to give my tax returns, I may tie my tax returns into Obama's birth certificate."
2012 The year of The candidate must release his tax returns, ASAP. "I actually think it's a positive,"
With Mitt Romney running on the Republican presidential ticket, Trump again and again offered a bit of advice from one businessman to another: The candidate must release his tax returns, ASAP.
Trump started saying this in January, telling Fox News that releasing the returns is a "great thing" because it lets a person prove "you've been successful, and that you've made a lot of money."
"I actually think it's a positive," he said.
2014
The Obama birth certificate had by now emerged, proving that Trump's claim had zero merit.So Trump devised a new deal: He'll release the tax returns if he runs for office. "If I decide to run for office, I'll produce my tax returns, absolutely. And I would love to do that," he said in an interview with Ireland's TV3.
2015
Months before announcing his presidential candidacy, Trump assured that he'd release the returns as part of his proof that he "would make money for our country."
2016 If it takes many years to do a routine audit, we have the wrong people doing the audit.
In January, Trump said he and his campaign were "working on" getting the returns out, but it was hard because it "is not, like a normal tax return."Starting the next month, though, Trump introduced the excuse he'd stay with for the rest of the campaign: He couldn't get them out because he was under a "routine audit" from the IRS.In various February interviews and appearances, he called the audit "very complicated" but said the returns would emerge once it was over.Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Trump scolded Romney for waiting until weeks before the 2012 election to release his returns, with Trump implying this played a part in the candidate's defeat. Trump stuck to the audit line right through the election, even saying in one of the presidential debates against Clinton that the returns would come "as soon as the audit's finished."
2017 If this is true, why are people still asking?
When pressed, though, Trump said for the first time that he simply didn't believe the American public cared about seeing them, because he won the election.


Carlos Ponce

So the tax return produced by Rachel Maddow with Donald Trump's name wasn't his????? Rachel has some splaining to do!

George Croix

Jim, if I spit in your face, or worse......every day for a couple years, would you give a fig about keeping a promise you made to me that you were under no legal obligation to keep anyway?
No, not unless the Jim I know has turned a 180......
If he gave over his tax returns tomorrow, the next day it would be 'Trumps family needs to turn over their tax returns'. Then, their grandkids tax returns in 2035, then.............NOTHING satisfies the dishonest, dellussional, demented...imo.... 'resistance'.....
I hope he let's them all go pound sand JUST for that reason, their 'direct threat to our democracy'.......
Hmmmmm....heard that somewhere before..........

Jarvis Buckley

Leave our President alone.

Emile Pope

The president’s a crook. He’s just stupid at being one. Not guilty by reason of incompetence?

Carlos Ponce

Donald J. Trump beat the candidate Democrats called the "World's Smartest Woman" by smartly working the election. Not "stupid" at all, Emile.[beam]

Emile Pope

You don't have to be smart to fool stupid people...

Carlos Ponce

You apparently post from experience.

Emile Pope

Still a crook...

Emile Pope

Still a crook...

Emile Pope

Maybe Barr will redact his tax returns...

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