Retroactive Justice: Tax Disclosure Promised by Trump after he is out of Office

A
s reported in the Economist, Donald Trump has speculated that he might release his tax returns after he leaves office, without however committing himself to that promise. He also reiterated that “nobody cares about my tax returns except for reporters.”

An IRS rule mandates presidents are audited every year, and previous presidents have released their returns anyway. Before Trump, all major party nominees in modern political history have also released their tax returns. Trump while initially indicating that he would follow precedent, eventually reversed himself.

Repeating his assertion that his tax returns are important only to newspaper and TV reporters, the Economist interviewer pressed Trump, pointing out the Democratic lawmakers have also called for their release arguing that the documents are needed to see Trump’s potential conflicts of interest abroad. Moreover, polls also show that the public broadly supports such a disclosure. To which Trump answered: “Well, don’t forget I got elected without it, look where I am.”

Perfectly clear: the results are what counts and a winner gets away with it because in his mind he is smart enough to do so. As Machiavelli implied “Might makes right”.

In any case, the plot continues to thicken. Now there are a total of three impeachable offenses at the ready: obstruction of justice for asking the FBI director to desist from an investigation, treason for revealing classified information channeled by an allied country to a rival country, and conflict of interests. Those offenses challenge the so called patriotism of those who have put party loyalty ahead of loyalty to one’s country.

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Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

Professor Paparella has earned a Ph.D. in Italian Humanism, with a dissertation on the philosopher of history Giambattista Vico, from Yale University. He is a scholar interested in current relevant philosophical, political and cultural issues; the author of numerous essays and books on the EU cultural identity among which A New Europe in search of its Soul, and Europa: An Idea and a Journey. Presently he teaches philosophy and humanities at Barry University, Miami, Florida. He is a prolific writer and has written hundreds of essays for both traditional academic and on-line magazines among which Metanexus and Ovi. One of his current works in progress is a book dealing with the issue of cultural identity within the phenomenon of “the neo-immigrant” exhibited by an international global economy strong on positivism and utilitarianism and weak on humanism and ideals.

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