When Will Donald Trump Demand That Romney Show His Papers?

07/17/2012 01:14 pm ET | Updated Sep 16, 2012
  • Debbie Hines Trial Attorney, Former Prosecutor and Founder,

Donald Trump joined the birthers and demanded that President Obama show his birth certificate to prove his U.S. citizenship. Trump repeatedly called on the president to produce his papers. Where's Donald Trump when you need him to demand that Mitt Romney produce a sufficient number of past tax returns? So far, Trump has been silent on the tax return issue.

Mitt Romney has produced one tax year -- 2010 -- and estimates of his taxes for 2011. That's hardly a sufficient amount of tax returns for someone who is running for president of the U.S. Producing tax returns is not a requirement for running for president, but being transparent should be a requirement.

Republicans are good at asking persons for papers but are bad when it comes to showing their papers. Republican lawmakers across the country have enacted voter ID laws in more than half the states requiring citizens to produce some form of government issued ID in order to vote. Every citizen in a state requiring voter ID must produce one. Alabama and Arizona, under Republican lawmakers, passed strict immigration laws that require those suspected of being illegal immigrants to show their papers. Yet, when it comes to Mitt Romney producing his papers -- his tax returns -- he flat-out refuses.

Even some Republicans are joining on the side that Romney should produce his papers. Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, former RNC chairman Michael Steele and Alabama governor Robert Bentley have called on Romney to produce more of his tax returns to show "total transparency." Alabama GOP governor Bentley said, "If you have things to hide, then maybe you're doing things wrong. I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people."

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Obama administration White House chief of staff, states that Romney released 23 years of returns to the John McCain campaign when he was being vetted for vice president. Now that he's running for president, he will only release one year. Like Donald Trump said about President Obama's birth certificate, there's something on it he doesn't like. There was nothing on the President Obama's birth certificate that he didn't like. But there's probably something on Romney's tax returns that he doesn't like.

There is no requirement that a presidential candidate release his tax returns. Ironically the first presidential candidate to release tax returns was George Romney, Mitt Romney's father, in 1967 for the 1968 election. George Romney produced more than a decade of tax returns. In late March 2008, then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama released six years of his tax returns, from 2000 to 2006. In December 2011, Mitt Romney said he might release his returns in April 2012, if he became the nominee. Well, April has come and gone. During the 2008 campaign, while running for president, Romney did not release his tax returns. Since 1976 there have been a few former presidential candidates who did not release any tax returns. However, none became president.

Being in the 1 percent elitist and having off-shore accounts is one reason for Romney to show his tax returns. Everyone knows that Mitt Romney is wealthy. By being transparent, his release of tax returns would show that he's not above former presidential candidates, including his father, who released their tax returns. By not releasing the returns, it shows a sense of arrogance and privilege. It also brings back the issue of what doesn't he want us to see. If citizens are required to produce voter ID to prevent fraud, shouldn't Romney release his tax returns to prevent committing a fraud on the American people? Where is Donald Trump when you need him to demand that Mitt Romeny's papers be produced?