False and Misleading, but Legal?
Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee’s ranking member tried to pull off a well-worn Republican tactic to hide malfeasance and misdeeds. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) wrapped himself in the skirts of MAGA America, defending the former President of the United States. Brady asserted that all Americans should be on alert ostensibly because his party’s standard bearer was a chronic liar. Mr. Trump promised to release his tax records before the 2016 election on at least four separate occasions. [The release of Trump’s tax records is] “a dangerous new political weapon that reaches far beyond the former president,” said Brady. As usual, the GOP hierarchy is either afraid or complicit in backing the lies of the former President.
The Daily News compiled a chronology of Trump’s tax lies. In 2011, as part of his racist bid to bring down former President Barack Obama, he vowed to release his taxes if Obama released his birth certificate (we waited). Again in 2012, when now Senator Mitt Romney ran against Barack Obama, he advised that a candidate must release his taxes “ASAP” (yes, we still waited). When the Obama birth certificate ploy was exposed in 2014 as a racist and divisive tactic, he promised to release his returns if he ran for President, “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely. And I would love to do that,” he said (the mind wandered). In a bit of braggadocio with radio interviewer Hugh Hewitt, in 2015, Trump said his taxes would show the country his ability to make money would be born out by his tax records. Also, this was a harbinger of his future hedging on their release, “I would certainly show tax returns if it was (sic) necessary,” he said (ok, we entered never-land).
Did Mr. Trump’s propensity to lie—without consequence, open a gold-plated highway to success or camouflage the fool’s gold ditch? The silence on the recent exposure stories about incoming House member George Santos is telling. Incoming congressman George Santos seems to have opened the diversity tent in the GOP, the son of Brazilian immigrants and the first non-incumbent, openly gay Republican elected to congress. The failure of Herschel Walker, the former Georgia Senatorial candidate, to achieve office with a resumé worthy of Disney was a hopeful sign, albeit too close for comfort.
All the goodwill and success beating back a liar like Walker is under question because the victories by the GOP in blue New York are tainted by a series of questions and what appears to be a downright series of lies from the before-mentioned Santos. His promise on his campaign website to apply his business acumen from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs to congress has come under question. No records can be found—to date to show Mr. Santos was employed at either firm. According to a story from NBC News, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs representatives said they had no record of his employment. Similarly, Baruch College and New York University spokespeople said “they had no record of his attendance,” despite Santos’ claims of having attended and graduated.
Santos has stopped short of using the term fake news, but he and his lawyer accused the New York Times of a smear campaign but never denied the allegations of lying. Unfortunately, lying to potential voters about your money or education is not illegal, just unethical, but the GOP ditched ethics long ago (we are waiting—again).
Continue to Vote for Change.