City Councilmember Andrew Cohen with State Senator Brad Hoylman and Councilmember Mark Levine (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
On Thursday, State Senator Brad Hoylman announced the introduction of City Councilmember Andrew Cohen’s resolution urging the state legislature to pass Hoylman’s bill requiring presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the ballot in New York. Cohen, whose district is in the Bronx, joined Hoylman on the steps of City Hall for the announcement, along with Councilmember Mark Levine, whose district is in northern Manhattan.
Hoylman noted that it isn’t a coincidence the legislation, known as the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public (T.R.U.M.P.) Act, shares its name with the president, “but it did take a very long time to come up with it,” he admitted.
The senator argued that the legislation is important because President Trump broke a 40-year tradition in which presidential candidates make their sources of income and other financial information available to the public.
“Another reason it’s important is that presidents aren’t subject to conflict of interest laws,” Hoylman said. “What is he hiding? He could be getting money from Russian oligarchs. Voters need that information to vote intelligently.”
There is a famous saying that the only things which are inevitable is death and taxes. Last week Donald Trump proved that adage false!
The New York Times has reported that according to documents filed in New York State and Connecticut back in the 1990s, Donald Trump suffered business loses of almost $1 billion in 1995 and paid no federal taxes that year and probably none for the succeeding 18 years. Yes… Mr. Trump despite having assets of over $10 billion (according to statements made by Trump himself) probably paid zero in federal taxes since the days when Bill Clinton was president and Derek Jeter was a rookie. That is a very long time.
Trump’s defense was that he did not have to pay because he was able to amortize his losses over a nearly a two-decade period, so he chose not to contribute anything to the national treasury. Moreover he asserts that it was his “duty” as the CEO of Trump industries to pay Uncle Sam as little as he could get away with. In this case zilch. So clearly his first responsibility was to enrich himself and his company by any means available to him. Is that unpatriotic or self-indulgent to the extreme? The voters will have the last word on that.