Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Clintons' tax returns

Sen. Clinton has said she's too busy to make them public. She's said that she'll do it later (as in, "after the primaries", Senator?). More likely, there's good reason why she's reticent to make them public.

Today, The Obama campaign's Axelrod said:

"We want to start with the release of tax returns. Sen. Clinton has been very elusive in this campaign.

There is no reason she cannot release her 2006 returns. Talk about change you can Xerox. You can Xerox your tax returns," he said. "She has been a habitual non-discloser on this and other issues."

Here's the text of a new memo, direct from the Obama campaign. Please use it in your letters to the editor!

TO: Interested Parties

FR: The Obama Campaign

RE: TAX RETURNS: What does Clinton have to hide?

DA: March 5, 2008

The Clinton campaign today maintained that ?the vetting of Barack Obama has just begun.? The truth is, more than a year into this campaign, some very simple vetting of Hillary Clinton has yet to start.

In the face of her unwillingness to release her tax returns, Hillary Clinton has made the false case in this campaign that she is more electable because she has been fully vetted. When it comes to her personal finances, Senator Clinton?s refusal to release her taxes returns denies the media and the American people the opportunity to even begin that process. Though her campaign has tried to kick the issue down the road, Democratic voters deserve to know, right now, why it is she is hiding the information in her tax returns from last year.

The Clinton campaign has said that they have released copious amounts of financial information but there are many questions about their private dealings that could be answered in their tax returns but not in the information that is currently available. For example, here are eight pieces of information that could be learned from her tax returns, the accompanying schedules, and attachments:

* Effective tax rate ? including whether or not any tax shelters were used to reduce it
* Amount of income for spouses by source
* Amount of stock gains and losses
* Gross income for the couple
* Amount earned from stock dividends
* Amount of household employment taxes paid
* Personal exemptions taken
* Charitable contributions made

Senator Clinton has also claimed that she is too ?busy? to release her tax returns. Given the fact she is able to loan her campaign $5 million, you would think the Clintons would be able to hire an accountant. The reality is that she wants to keep this information hidden from voters. The people of Wyoming, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and the rest of the country should wonder why.

The Clintons? record on releasing tax returns:

FEBRUARY 2008: Clinton Reiterated That She Would Not Release Her Tax Records Until She Is The Nominee And Not Before Mid-April. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says she won't release her tax returns until she has the Democratic presidential nomination in hand, and not before tax filing time comes in mid-April. "I will release my tax returns," Clinton said during the debate. "I have consistently said I will do that once I become the nominee, or even earlier." Pressed about the timing of releasing her tax returns, campaign aides were more reticent Wednesday, indicating that Clinton would not release the sensitive financial data during a hotly contested primary, but only at tax filing time. [AP, 2/27/08]

JUNE 2007: Clinton Does Not Plan to Release Her Tax Returns Until Next Year. According to the Washington Post, Clinton said through a spokesman that, ?like past presidential candidates,? she will ?release tax information in the election year.? [Washington Post, 6/19/07]

APRIL 12, 1996: Clinton Released His Tax Returns. President Clinton and his wife earned $316,074 in 1995, including the president's $200,000 salary, according to tax returns released Friday by the White House. The public release of the tax returns, three days before the April 15 filing deadline, shows that Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton are owed a refund of $5,656 on the $81,093 they paid in taxes, and will apply that refund to their 1996 income taxes. [UPI, 4/12/96]

April 15, 1992: Bill Clinton Made His Tax Returns Public. APRIL 15, 1992: Bill Clinton made his tax returns made public. [Los Angeles Times, 4/16/93]

Bill Clinton Released His Tax Returns In 1992 But Refused To Release Their Tax Returns From Before 1980. During the 1992 campaign, the Clintons claimed to be coming clean by releasing their tax returns from 1980 forward. But they steadfastly refused to release their returns for prior years, and only later did we learn that 1978 and 1979 were the tax years when Mrs. Clinton reported her 10,000% cattle-futures trading profit. [WSJ, 2/22/08]

Sen. Clinton has been vocal in the past about her opponents' tax return status...

For the comic take on this sad situation (and honoestly, don't we need that just about now?) please see Kriticle's recent post.

Please contact Sen. Clinton's office, assertively and civilly, and request that she make her tax information through 2006 public IMMEDIATELY.

1 comment:

A Red Mind in a Blue State said...

Obama is finally asking Clinton some questions–here’s a few more he should ask:

Your husband made controversial pardons at the end of his term. Did you have anything to do with those pardons–especially Marc Rich and the Hasidim in upstate New York? If so, will you release any documents, etc. on them? If not, do you denounce and reject those pardons?

You and your husband have refused to release the donor list from his Presidential library, leading many to think that payoffs for political favors, including the pardons, were funneled through the Library. Will you release those records, and will you pledge that, if elected, your Library’s books will be open and transparent? and

Will you finally release your White House papers that the Clinton Library has refused to release?

Fair questions, I think– all of which relate to her supposed governmental experience and honesty