One by one, Democratic presidential hopefuls are releasing their tax returns. Years of them. Longtime holdout Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) revealed 10 years of returns at the tail end of Tax Day last week. Later that evening, former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke unveiled a decade of his personal tax information. Both followed Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), who released 15 years of tax returns, enabling her campaign to boast that Ms.?Harris is "the most transparent candidate in the field when it comes to information about her personal finances."
It is nice to see a race to the top, rather than the bottom, for a change. This is the kind of political one-upmanship Americans should welcome.
Clearly, part of the point is to draw a contrast with President Trump, who routinely promised during the 2016 presidential race to offer his tax information for public scrutiny. He has instead revealed nothing. His excuse is that his returns are under audit, but that would not prevent him from releasing tax documents he signed and swore to be true — and certainly does not explain why he refuses to reveal returns from years ago, as his challengers have done.
Ever since President Richard M. Nixon set the example, presidents and major candidates have revealed their tax return information to offer voters a view of how these national leaders conduct their private affairs. The returns sometimes expose nothing surprising. Sometimes they result in a headline or two, as when the socialist Sanders was revealed to be a millionaire. The most interesting nugget from the Democrats' recent tax revelations is that many of the candidates have not given much to charity.
-- The Washington Post