What it means to THINK THE VOTE

// The importance of civic discourse

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Q: Should there be a federal law requiring a candidate for president to release his or her tax returns?

yes

“In light of running for public office you are already volunteering to do away with any semblance of privacy. So there should be no issue with being forthcoming in making your tax return public. Taxes are a major part of our nation’s economy and if a candidate has either lied or dodged paying them then they have done a great injustice to the very government they are preaching that they would like to lead. I see that many argue that tax returns may be used as a weapon among candidates but isn’t it also a useful weapon if the candidate does not release it? Just my opinion, but either way it will be used against a candidate so you might as well be truthful to begin with. Then again we are talking about politics which is no stranger to corruption. Many citizens have a slanted viewpoint of politicians and maybe the public will gain more respect for a candidate who bears all and lets the public formulate their own opinions. So in retrospect there should be a federal law requiring for candidate’s to release their tax returns. It will serve as a checks and balances system in the race for candidacy. We formed our government to be sure that there were always checks and balances and that no one person could control all. Requiring the release of tax returns is just another way for citizens to formulate an educated opinion and vote for the future President of America.”

Autumn from New York

no

“There should not be a law requiring Presidential candidates to release their tax returns. The 4th Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, PAPERS, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." A person has a right to the privacy of their papers (which in this case would be their tax returns). Additionally, voters should not support a candidate simply based on their financial history. Voters need to focus on the future and not the past. Should the voters show the candidates their tax returns to see whom the candidate wants supporting them? It does not make sense. Voters should focus on the issues that face the country, not how a candidate filed their taxes.”

Brady from Illinois

Think the Vote helps you to understand controversial topics and current events. Thinking through your vote is more than showing up on Election Day and picking the person that you like the best—it’s showing an interest in the world and the issues that surround you every day.

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“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”

– President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961