David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer prize-winning tax columnist for Reuters, deems it necessary for our leaders to be candid and forthright with the American public. Quite a radical idea, wouldn't you say?
"We're trusting someone here with their finger on the button," Johnston told us after the show in a Last Word web exclusive. "With the authority to send us into war…It is crucial that we know the character of the people in the White House."
On Tuesday's show, Johnston implored the Romney campaign (and journalists on the trail) to press the candidate for earlier tax records, to hold Mitt to the standard of his father, George Romney, who released 12 years of records when he ran for president in 1968. To date, Mitt Romney has only released his taxes for 2010, with plans to release 2011 records before the November election.
Johnston submitted a series of questions to Lawrence O’Donnell, questions that earlier tax records will help to answer. Journos, take note:
- Did you buy any illegal, grey market tax shelters? (Translation for the more Main Street crowd: Did he buy securities or enter into a transaction to solely avoid taxes?)
- Were you audited in a way that the government found serious problems?
- Did you make use of offshore vehicles in order to defer or not pay taxes?
- Did you take advantage of things that were not caught in audits by the IRS?
What other questions do voters deserve to know? Drop us a line in the comment section or tweet us your ideas.