Several states are considering legislation that would require 2020 presidential candidates to release their tax returns or be left off of the ballot.
States Are Moving To Force Trump To Release His Tax Returns
In refusing to release his tax returns, President Trump bucked decades of tradition and set off a Democrat hunt to obtain them. Now several statehouses are looking at making their release a condition of the 2020 presidential election: Show us your tax returns, or you can’t be on the ballot. Eighteen states have considered legislation this year that would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to post their tax returns to appear on the ballot during a primary or general election, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
In addition to Washington, several other states, including California, Hawaii and New Jersey are considering similar bills. Many, though not all, of the legislatures considering the bills are controlled by Democrats, but even in Republican-controlled states, Democrats have put forth such legislation. Measures failed earlier this year in Mississippi, New Mexico and New Hampshire.
If Trump keeps hiding his tax returns, he may be left off of the 2020 ballot
In an ideal world, a federal law would be passed requiring all presidential candidates to release their tax returns. The deadline for releasing the tax returns could be bundled with campaign contribution reporting deadlines.
The United States used the honor system and just assumed that a person running for president would be of a high enough character to want to release their tax returns. The country never anticipated a low character candidate like Trump who would refuse to do the right thing.
If candidates don’t release their tax returns voluntarily, they will have to be compelled to do so by the law.
Should Trump continue to hide his tax returns, he may be left off of the ballot in any state that adopts the disclosure requirement.
Trump could be facing defeat in 2020 if he refuses to let America see his tax returns.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association