Show Me Yours and I will Show You Mine

I figured I’d use a sexy sounding title to get you to click on this blog post but the topic is not at all  like what the title might suggest! This post is about the on-going political debates over how much information the presidential candidates are “expected” to reveal about their health, taxes, education, etc.

Tax Returns
We are two months away from the general election and Donald Trump still has not released his tax returns. The reason, he says, is because he is being audited and his attorney has advised him not to. Some legal experts agree with his decision, however, the IRS says that it is okay to release tax returns during an audit. They should know since they are the ones doing the audit. Everyone else- Hillary Clinton and VP candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence have submitted theirs. Trump supporters say that voters could not care less about Trump’s tax returns and that the Financial Disclosure Report (104 pages) that he released says so much more. However, according to a recent Monmouth University poll 62% of voters think it is either very important or somewhat important that candidates release their tax returns. It is the opinion of this blog that Donald Trump release his tax returns as well, at least for the years that are not under audit. Thinking about my own tax return, it really does provide good information about how much money you are making versus the amount of taxes you are required to pay, the type of tax breaks being given, how much is being donated to charities…etc in a way that is easy to understand because we are all familiar with a tax return.  A 104 page financial disclosure report provides a lot of information, but unless you are a financial planner, accountant, or CFO…it is almost impossible to read through and understand this document. Also, who has the time?!

So Trump — Hillary and the others have shown us theirs, now it’s time for you to show us yours! [Barry White song plays in the background as Trump slowly reveals his tax returns one by one]!

Medical Records
It really was not until this election cycle that I have heard so much about the release of medical records! Then again, there are a lot of things that I had not heard of prior to this presidential election cycle. Hillary has implied that Trump may be unstable by saying things like he doesn’t have the right “temperament” to be president and Trump surrogates and supporters have said she had a seizure, concussion, stroke…etc. The latest thing is that Trump is saying that Hillary doesn’t have the stamina to be president and recently challenged her to release detailed medical records. I only recently learned that President Obama submitted a 1 page letter from his personal physician when he ran for president in 2008 while John McCain released more a 1000 pages of medical records to show that he was cancer-free. The reason I do not remember any of that is because I did not care. Now that the topic of mental health has been raised by both candidates, I would be interested in seeing a detailed psychological evaluation of the person who, once elected president, will have access to nuclear weapons code!  Unless a presidential candidate looks like they are at “death’s door”, I do not expect them to run a marathon, climb Mt. Everest, or engage in hand-to-hand combat. I do, however, expect that the person elected to the country’s highest office in the land is able to remain calm under intensely stressful situations, make rational decisions, and be diplomatic at all times.

So when it comes to the release of medical records, I would much rather see the results of  Hillary’s and Trump’s psych evaluations rather than their blood and urine analyses. Now THAT would definitely impact my voting decision!

College Transcripts
Back in 2012, it was pointed out that President Obama had not released his college transcripts from his time as an undergraduate and law school student. To my knowledge, neither Hillary nor Trump has released their college transcript and that is fine with me. Knowing whether Hillary took a philosophy course or if Donald Trump bothered to enroll in African-American history would not have an effect on my personal voting behavior. Everyone was fine simply knowing that George W. Bush was a “C” student at Yale and no one cared about the details. Heck, we didn’t care to know that he was “C” student in the first place, until someone decided to make it a story!

The release of college transcripts is a nice voluntary gesture, but I cannot think of any information it would reveal that would indicate what type of president the candidate would make.

Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street Speech Transcripts
Ever since Bernie Sander’s challenged Hillary to release the transcripts from speeches she gave on Wall Street, it has been in the back of the minds of voters ever since. What is known is that she was paid handsomely to talk to Goldman Sachs, some securities firms, trade associations etc. What we do not know is what she talked to them about and we may well never know since there seems to be no plans to release those transcripts. According to a poll conducted back in June 2016 by Morning Consult and reported in this Washington Times article, nearly 50 percent of Democratic voters thought she should release the transcripts.

As of September 2016 though, we are hearing less about voters wanting to know about Hillary’s Wall Street Speeches and more about the emails on her private server.

At the end of the day, what is most important is the revealing of specific (and realistic) plans to create jobs that pay livable wages, lower income tax rates for working and middle-class families (and single people), and continued improvements to Obamacare, which currently can be pricey depending on your situation. Now that is the kind of talk that will turn both Democratic and Republican voters on.

That is all for now. In the next post, I will discuss Donald Trump’s visit to a black church in Michigan! I think it is Ben Carson’s church but will fact check that for the post.  I wonder if he enjoyed himself? Do you think his visit will convince Black voters that he genuinely cares about them? The pundits kept saying he needed to get out there and speak to black people directly so he did it.

Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!

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