1 Million Signatures for Trump’s Taxes
For the last 40 years, every major party presidential candidate has released his or her tax returns. It’s a simple way for a president to be transparent and honest, so it’s not surprising that so many people are upset that Donald Trump hasn’t released his. Throughout the campaign, Trump claimed he couldn’t release his tax returns because they were under audit by the IRS, though the IRS made it clear that an audit doesn’t prevent anyone from releasing their taxes. “As soon as the audit is finished it will be released,” Trump said. Now it seems there are no plans for Trump to release those returns.
So, what will it take for President Trump to release his tax returns?
Nancy Huehnergarth, a food policy advocate from New York, is hoping that 1 million people could do the trick — and she already has over 175,000 signatures. Earlier this year, over 1 million people signed a WeThePeople petition about Trump’s taxes but Nancy knows it takes more than just signatures, and Change.org’s platform provides tools that help petition starters like Nancy organize supporters to make phone calls, raise money, and attend protests like the upcoming Tax Marches happening in cities all over the country on April 15.
I had a chance to talk with Nancy about her petition and why, like many Americans, she feels it’s important for Trump to release his tax returns. Here’s what she had to say:
What inspired you to start your petition?
I was laid up at home for several days, suffering from a nasty virus, and watching too many news reports on the Trump administration. One news segment really outraged me — President Trump called reports of his alleged compromising ties to Russian businesses and government officials, “fake news.” I remember thinking why in the world won’t Trump make an effort to disprove these allegations by releasing his tax returns? Soon after, I heard another news report in which Trump ludicrously claimed that only the press was interested in seeing his tax returns. That did it. I lifted my feverish body off of the sofa and got my computer. In just a few minutes I had written the copy for my petition, “We Want to See Trump’s Tax Returns” and found the perfect photo of Trump and Putin. I went onto the Change.org website and created my petition. After the petition went live, I slept much better that evening.
Why is this issue important to you?
Like all Americans, I’m privileged to live in an incredible country that is guided by one of the greatest documents of all time — the United States Constitution. No one is above the law in the United States — not even our president. President Trump has inexplicably refused to provide basic information that Americans need to determine if his vast international business holdings and loans could influence his presidential decision-making and policies. This is unacceptable and dangerous for our nation. If he doesn’t have something to hide, why won’t he release his tax returns like every other modern president? If Trump does have financial conflicts of interest in Russia or any other country, he could easily make policy decisions based on what’s best for his company’s profits and not what’s best for America.
Have you been surprised by the response?
I’m heartened that so many Americans feel the same way I do. In my opinion, this isn’t a red state or blue state issue. This isn’t about whether you support or oppose Trump’s policies or whether you voted for him or not. It’s about maintaining the integrity of the American presidency and making sure that President Trump is working for the people of the United States and not for his own financial interests.
What can your petition supporters do locally to support the effort?
Share the petition link anyway you can. If we can get 1 million people to sign — and I know that way more than a million people want to see Trump’s tax returns — I think that will keep up the pressure on the White House and catch the eye of the press. I also encourage everyone to call their Congressional representatives (Senate and House) every week, to politely remind them that you want to see Trump’s tax returns and you expect them to fight to get them released. On April 15th, there will be Tax Marches all over the U.S. for people who want Trump to release his taxes. Try to attend one, or organize a Tax March in your town.
Americans have legitimate reasons for wanting to see Trump’s taxes. They could reveal huge conflicts of interest for him. If you’d like to add your name to Nancy’s petition, you can sign below: