The Taxing State of the Current Election

Tax Day has come and gone, and most of us can now breathe a sigh of relief as the hard part is finally over. While some still await their refunds, the media has showcased a bit of tax drama surrounding the upcoming presidential election. The following example illustrates how communicating only information can result in misinformation!

On Friday, April 13th, President Obama re-released over ten years’ worth of tax returns, and has since urged Senator Mitt Romney to do the same. Romney has released his 2010 tax return and estimates for his 2011 tax return, for which he is filing an extension. But why just two years of data?

“John Kerry released two years of taxes,” Romney told a reporter from CNBC.

But, as The Huffington Post pointed out, that statement is not entirely accurate. Kerry had previously released 20 years of tax returns throughout his political career in the Senate, and then additionally released two years of returns during his presidential bid in 2004. So Romney may have based his decision on partial information.

It should also be noted that Romney had released a personal financial disclosure form from 2006 for his previous presidential bid. What is really interesting is that there is no legal requirement for presidents and presidential candidates to release this information. It is merely a tradition, not law. Let’s hear some of your thoughts on this. Should presidential candidates disclose their tax returns? Does this information affect your attitudes toward the candidates? After all, information is power, but how much of that power should be given away?

Speaking that Connects