Today's Poll: Should elected officials be required to release state tax returns?
I'm genuinely asking, why would anybody vote NO, whats the concern? I see a lot of upside but little downside.
Here's a genuine answer, Christopher.
I voted NO, because I don't think it's anyone's business (other than a legally-authorized tax auditor - or, perhaps, a spouse) how much a person earns, what they've claimed for exemptions, how much they've legally donated to organizations/charities, etc.
You wrote that you see a lot of upsides to gaining access to someone's fiscal information.
Would you care to state what those "upsides" are?
Christopher, I also voted no. It is nobody's business what people make, what bank they do business with, who they give money to or other details of their taxes. As long as they did nothing illegal, others should not be allowed to see anything. Privacy should be protected.
I'm sure this poll came about because the Libtards want to see President Trumps tax returns. Can't be one sided, want to see one, we get to see them all. Especially politicians that became multi millionaire's while in office.
Indeed Your right Dennis !! basically all this does is open Pandora's box to the Liberals who would conduct 2 years of scathing reporting on ""Questionable "" tax deductions By the President , !! Then 2 years later after the damage is done they can quietly proclaim =Nothing illegal found !!
This poll came about because WXXI did a story about a proposed new law. Read the link.
These are public elected officials, they should be prepared to give up some of the benefits afforded a private citizen. If you don't want to the public to see them, then don't run for office, nobody is forcing them. Seems a lot of responses here are partisan and dependent on which party is in power, I'm for anybody who's running releasing them, rep or dem. The benefit is you know what your elected officials are involved in, would give you an idea on if they are corrupt or skirting the law before they are elected. The only downside is see is the squabbling over petty stuff, but if you release it before the elections, it gives the voters a chance to decide for themselves.
I support financial disclosures -- sources of income, investments, etc., for legislators. Their individual power is limited but their potential conflicts should be transparent.
Taxes? That seems more private and I think there is a degree of a right to privacy. Elected officials don't give up their rights to speech, etc., when they become public officials. Why should they give up a right to privacy without a clear and present need to disclose conflicts of interest? I'm not sure tax returns rise to that level
As for the president, that's a unique position of power. Full transparency should really be required. Every book should be open.
Christopher - You wrote:
"These are public elected officials, they should be prepared to give up some of the benefits afforded a private citizen.", and, "The only downside is [sic] see is the squabbling over petty stuff..."
Benefits? Petty stuff?
I don't believe either of those terms fit, Christopher.
Have you forgotten (or possibly, never heard) the following?
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
According to an article, found at https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/3/29/1372225/-Just-how-many-electe... ,
which was written using some data FROM AS LONG AGO as 1992, there are (approximately) 519,682 publicly elected officials in the U.S. ● Note also that the article points out that there are some publicly elected officials that weren't even counted.
I would (guess) that the total number probably runs close to 1,000,00 or more - as government keeps getting larger and larger.
Are you saying, Christopher, that you believe it's a good idea to deny anywhere from a half-million, to a million or more Americans, their 4th Amendment rights?
Because why? Because you're curious?
As Americans, we are ALL afforded our rights "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches...".
Even publicly elected officials.
Would you strip those people of THEIR rights?
If so, why stop at their 4th Amendment rights?
Why not take their right(s) to keep and bear arms? ● "No firearms allowed for you, buddy, because you're a publicly elected official."
Why not take their right to a fair public trial by jury, and their right to retain counsel? ● "Sorry, ma'am, but, you can't hire an attorney."
How about taking away their 8th Amendment right, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment? ● "Get over it, Mr. publicly elected official. It could've been worse. We could've poked out BOTH eyes. That'll teach you to run for (and win) an elected position."
It's a slippery slope, Christopher.
As for your (wish?), please keep in mind: "...shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation...".
Ed, I could be convinced that only at certain levels would have to do this but at least state/federal elected officials come to mind. But you're making big leaps in your argument about taking rights away, let alone these other rights you speak of. I'm not forcing anybody to run for office, if they want their privacy, find another gig.
You're using a "Just In Case Fallacy" to prove your view, when you really just needed to state your view, i'm can't argue with that and don't fault you for believing it, as long as your view doesn't change depending on the party impacted. We just see it differently.
Again, you wrote:
"Ed, I could be convinced that only at certain levels would have to do this but at least state/federal elected officials come to mind."
And, "We just see it differently."
Apparently, we DO see it differently. I see the U.S. Constitution as applying to ALL citizens. It seems to me that you think it should be suspended for certain individuals, simply because of the profession they've chosen.
As for me making big leaps about taking rights away, I believe it's a BIG leap to take ANY right(s) guaranteed by the Constitution away - without due process of law. To me, it sounds like you'd have no problem with stripping away ONE right of citizens, so, why would I think that you'd have no problem taking any other rights away from them?
As for you being "convinced that only at certain levels would have to do this but at least state/federal elected officials come to mind", I have no problem with that - as long as "due process" takes place.
What would that entail?
Either an amendment change, which I don't believe would be legal, because such a change would single out a portion of people who haven't (necessarily) broken ANY law(s), or, a ruling by the Supreme Court.