Not that Republicans needed any help failing when it comes to tax reform, but just in case they need cover from their own failures, they can now blame minority Democrats.
Democrats have vowed to block Trump’s tax reform until he releases his own taxes. COLD.
“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,” the New York Times reported. “And a growing roster of more than a dozen Republican lawmakers now say Mr. Trump should release them.”
In a call Tuesday morning with reporters, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) shied away from saying Democrats would outright block tax reform without Trump’s taxes, but said it would be “much harder to get tax reform done” if Trump doesn’t release his taxes.
Schumer said, in what is a pretty obvious red line, if Trump wants to do tax reform, he should release his taxes. Schumer has previously mentioned the cloud of suspicion Trump is operating under in regards to his refusal to share his tax returns with the public.
The President’s conflicts of interest are at the heart of this argument, and it’s a simple and effective one. It’s also true.
How can any legislator pass a tax reform bill of the President’s without knowing how it will impact Trump’s personal and professional interests. Especially this President, who has made a mockery of transparency while refusing to truly separate from his conflicts of interest and myriad of international businesses, while kicking to the curb the economic populism that barely got him an electoral college win.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi asked in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA why Republicans aren’t pushing for Trump to release his tax returns, “Republicans will sell your most private information, your most private information, but they refuse to reveal the President’s tax returns, something every President since Gerald Ford has done, and indeed every nominee of the other party has done. And there is a vital interest in the President’s tax returns. Republicans are desperate, again, to keep them secret.”
“What is it that they are afraid of?” Pelosi asked. “Why don’t they have that key that 74 percent of the American people want us to unlock that door to see where it leads?”
This isn’t a partisan issue. “Sixty-four percent of Republicans think that President Trump should publicly release his tax returns, according to a survey conducted by Global Strategy Group,” The Hill reported April 13th.
Trump is under multiple investigations currently for his campaign and transition team’s constant talk with Russia during the 2016 election, while Russia was, in an act of hostile aggression tantamount to declaring war, helping Trump win the election. For this reason, Trump’s tax returns are even more vital than for any other president. But all modern presidents have made their tax returns public.
It’s not that Republicans were doing so well on the tax topic as it was. Trump has already stumbled and failed on his major campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. When that failed, Trump announced they would do tax reform, as if tax reform were somehow easier than healthcare.
It is not.
Republican “wonk” Speaker Ryan’s (R-WI) “tariff” tax plan was reviled by pretty much everyone , including Republicans, with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) saying of Ryan’s border adjustment tax, “Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them.”
That Cotton thinks Ryan is an intellectual might explain why anyone still has hope that Trump will be “presidential” soon.
Using a work of fiction as your economic model isn’t exactly the work of a high intellect. But the people of Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin House district must like it, and so we have Speaker Ryan, who just can’t seem to get anything actually done in real life.
But in case Republicans ever manage to agree on even a semblance of a tax reform bill, Democrats are poised to block it until Donald Trump stops hiding his tax returns.
Donald Trump is shaping up to be the president who did nothing legislatively. Zero legislative accomplishments. SAD.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.