“Turns out,” CBS Philly reported yesterday (April 15) “people still care about President Trump’s taxes.” Philadelphia was one of 180 planned protests across the country, and various resources estimate between 2,000-5,000 participants walked in the City of Brotherly Love to show they don’t love the lack of Trump’s tax transparency.
The Philadelphia march, like many of the sister marches, was led by inflatable chickens with red hair symbolic of Trump being too chicken to reveal his taxes. Signs ranged from “Why Aren’t You Ru$$ian to Show Your Taxes,” to “Donald Trump is an anagram for Tan Dumplord,” “This is my first protest ever. Thanks, Trump,” and “The Presidency is Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme.”
Of many speakers in Philadelphia, three were of note:
- PA State Senator Dylin Leach. He announced he just introduced Senate bill 247 requiring any presidential political candidate to reveal taxes in order to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot. This is key since PA is frequently, and was in 2016, a battleground state. New Jersey was the first state to pass such a law and here’s a case where state by state, the states can re-create federal culture and norms. To find out if your state is one of the 20+ going in this direction.
- Reverend Greg Holston, Executive Director of POWER – Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild. With a commanding voice reminiscent of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, he made two key tax points:
- Why doesn’t Trump release his taxes that aren’t under audit, particularly from 2015 and 2016, and
- Is he under audit at all? Where’s his letter from the IRS stating that there is an audit of any sort?
- Civil Rights Lawyer Larry Krasner currently running for Philadelphia District Attorney in upcoming May 16 primary elections. His message was simply that “what you’re doing has meaning,” for the many who question the value of marching, protesting, or standing up for rights.
Although tax day marches were not as large as the historic Women’s March, the tax protest brought out some first timers. One man in the Philadelphia march sported a sign, “My first protest ever. Thanks Trump,” while C.J. Ingram from D.C. told the Washington Post the D.C. march it was her first protest of Trump’s presidency.
If you attended a tax march, or missed them, here are some future actions to consider:
- Check out if your state is one of the 23+ passing state laws requiring disclosure of taxes to be on your state ballot. Find a link to the National Conference of State Legislators list here.
- Find out who your state legislators are and call them to ask to either introduce a similar bill or show them your support for the existing bill or pending legislation. Just Google your state name and the words “State Senators and Legislators.”
- Call your federal senator and congress representatives to reaffirm your desire for Trump to release his taxes. Simply state that you’re an ordinary citizen not paid by any organization and want to see his taxes.
- Sign the Common Cause petition on Moveon.org petition and add your name to 27,000+ signatures to show the volume of people wanting Trump to reveal his taxes.
- Attend the next Science and Climate marches coming up in D.C. or a city near you in the next two weeks.
The title of this post is Why Taxes Matter. The answer is simple. To find the answer to most questions you just need to follow the money. The money trail starts in taxes. From taxes we can determine if there are potential conflicts of interest in any political dealings; if moral promises made, e.g. supporting veteran’s affairs, have indeed been kept; if Trump has been supporting the government and our troops by paying his fair share, or instead is taking odd write offs; and finally if he is putting his money where his mouths is. It’s why Taxes matter.