Could Trump’s Reelection Results beat Nixon’s in 1972?

Apr. 15, 2019
by Bob Adelmann

The Democrat Party seems intent in its own self-immolation. It banked everything on the Mueller Report, knowing that there was something – anything – that the special prosecutor (a Deep State insider) would find that would finally sink the Trump administration into oblivion.  

When it didn’t, Democrats shifted gears and moved to obtain Trump’s tax returns, knowing – just certain – that he was hiding something. Once again they are banking everything (what little cred they might have left) on finding something to destroy him and his administration.

If this bet goes against them, the rout in 2020 could be epic. It could be something for the ages. It could even exceed the obliteration of George McGovern and his running mate, Sargent Shriver, in 1972. When the dust had settled, McGovern couldn’t even win his own state, South Dakota. He and Shriver took Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. The McGovern/Shriver ticket won just 37.5 percent of the popular vote to Nixon’s 60.7 percent. In the Electoral College, the defeat was even worse, if possible: McGovern got 17 votes while Nixon got 520.

Following the president’s refusal to meet the demand from the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal (D-Mass.), last week, he made another demand: have the requested documents for the past six years including returns, appendices attached thereto, and all relevant and related documents in his office no later than 5 p.m., Tuesday, April 23rd.

Or else.

Speculation abounds as to what Neal might do when the president fails to meet Neal’s second demand. There could be a subpoena issued to obtain the documents, or there could be a court challenge. The trouble is that the law that Neal is using was drafted in 1924 and has no penalty for noncompliance.

In the meantime, the issue makes for entertaining reading.  Chairman Neal contends that the 1924 law gives his committee the power to demand Trump’s tax returns, including the four years prior to his becoming president. In his demand letter, Neal said nothing about political retribution, but instead couched his language as “consistent with its authority … the Committee is … conducting oversight related to our federal tax laws [and] the extent to which the IRS audits and enforces the Federal tax laws against a President.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sees this is blatant deceitfulness: “The implications of [Neal’s demands are] way beyond … a congressional oversight issue … the issue is that … the IRS does not become weaponized like it was under the Nixon administration.”

Trump’s lawyer William Consovoy saw through Neal’s smokescreen, as well. In writing to the General Counsel at the Treasury Department, Consovoy said:

I write to explain why Chairman Neal cannot legally request – and the IRS cannot legally divulge – this information….

Chairman Neal’s request flouts … fundamental constitutional constraints. [The] Ways and Means [Committee] has no legitimate committee purpose for requesting the President’s tax returns or return information. While the committee has jurisdiction over taxes, it has no power to conduct its own examination of individual taxpayers’ [returns]….

Even if Ways and Means had a legitimate committee purpose for requesting the President’s tax returns and return information, that purpose is not driving Chairman Neal’s request. His request is a transparent effort by one political party to harass an official from the other party because they dislike his politics and speech.

Chairman Neal wants the President’s tax returns and return information because his party recently gained control of the House, the President is their political opponent, and they want to use the information to damage him politically.

It is no secret that a vocal wing of the Chairman’s party has been clamoring for the President’s tax returns since before the 2016 election. And it is no coincidence that Chairman Neal made his request just days after prominent Democratic constituencies began publicly criticizing the House for its failure to go after the President….

If Chairman Neal genuinely wants to review how the IRS audits Presidents, why is he seeking tax returns and return information covering the four years before President Trump took office? Why is he not requesting information about the audits of previous Presidents?

And if he’s so upset about the President claiming that “I would love to give them, but I’m not going to do it while I’m under audit,” why doesn’t Neal himself reveal his own tax returns? Wrote Consovoy: “After all, nearly 90% of [House Democrats hungering and thirsting after Trump’s personal and business tax returns] have insisted on keeping their [own] tax returns private, including Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer, Representative Nadler, Representative Schiff, and Representative Neal himself.”


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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders weighed in on the issue as well: “Frankly, I don’t think Congress – particularly not this group of congressmen and women – are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump’s taxes will be. My guess is that most of them don’t do their own taxes and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has had and determine anything [negative].”

She added that if Neal has his way, every other American taxpayer with a differing political position or opinion might also be at risk: “It’s a disgusting overreach that they are making when they’re not doing this based on policy … it puts every American who has filled out tax returns in the past at jeopardy.”

What if Neal wins and Trump loses? What if those thousands of pages of returns and ancillary and supporting documents are released to the tender mercies of Neal’s committee? What might they find?

They’ll be looking for something – anything – they can hang around the president’s neck: his use of “loopholes”; taxes owed but not paid on time; taking “unfair” advantage of the tax code’s provision not available or useful for the ordinary taxpayer; proof that capitalism is unfair for allowing someone as despicable as Trump to become unimaginably wealthy; that Trump is just one of many super-wealthy who is guilty of exploiting the system; all building the case for taxing the rich even more based on “proof” that Trump isn’t paying “his fair share.”

But what if their analysis comes up with a nothing burger, just like the Mueller report? What if it turns out that Trump paid his taxes on time, millions of dollars in amounts, taking advantage of the same deductions and exemptions as the average taxpayer? What if his foreign interests are all fully disclosed and legitimate? What if, even worse, Trump is using the same strategies as Democrat billionaires Michael Bloomberg, Howard Schultz, and Tom Steyer have been using to keep their wealth away from the tax man?

For the Democrats, there seems to be no way out of the predicament they have put themselves in. Best of all, the American people have had it with Democrat investigations and insinuations. As Rasmussen Reports just discovered, the average registered voter couldn’t care less whether Trump releases (or is forced to release) his tax returns. It was a big issue in 2016, but they elected him anyway. Now they don’t care. The majority of those polled say that their vote in 2020 won’t be influenced one way or the other.

Democrats seem intent on their own self-destruction.

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Sources:

Wall Street Journal: Congressman Sets April 23 Deadline for Trump Tax Returns

Background on House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal

New York Post: Huckabee Sanders: Congress isn’t smart enough to go through Trump’s tax returns

ABC News:      House Democrat, treasury chief bicker over Trump tax returns

Fortune: Will We Ever See Trump’s Tax Returns—And Does It Matter?

Rasmussen Reports: Democrats Hot for Trump’s Tax Records, Others A Lot Less So

Trump’s attorney’s letter to the Department of Justice

History of McGovern’s 1972 president campaign

CNN: Billionaires helped Democrats win. Do they stand a chance in 2020?

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