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Photos: All These People Want Trump To Release His Tax Returns

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 16, 2017 5:00AM

Despite assertions from President Donald Trump that no one cares about his tax returns, thousands rallied and marched in the Chicago Loop Saturday to demand he release them to the public.

“In government, sunlight is the best of disinfectants,” Representative Mike Quigley told the crowd amassed at Daley Plaza in the late morning.

Trump is the first president in four decades to buck the tradition of releasing tax returns while in office. Shortly before his inauguration, the real estate mogul turned reality television star turned politician told reporters they were the only ones who cared about his tax returns and that the public did not.

“I won. And became president," Trump said. "No, I don't think they care at all. I don't think they care at all. I think you care."

Several polls at the time however, showed that some 3/4 of Americans actually did care, and more than likely still do. The Chicago rally was one of more than 180 demonstrations planned across the country in 48 states to coincide with the traditional April 15th deadline to file taxes. Among many reasons, participants and organizers say that Trump needs to release his returns to shed light on whether or not he and his businesses are profiting off of his position as president.

“We need to know how much he is really making off his presidency,” Representative Jan Schakowsky told the crowd. Standing on a large stage which featured a large inflatable chicken sporting a golden coif of hair, Schakowsky ticked off a list of reasons she believed the American people deserved to see the president’s returns.

“We need to know how much money Donald Trump and his family, his cronies, would make if they are able to repeal Obamacare. If they are able to repeal meals on wheels for senior citizens. If they are able to get rid of school lunches—how much money would they give to billionaires in tax relief?” Schakowsky also questioned whether or not Trump has actually paid taxes, how much he has actually donated to charity, and what the returns could show about his potential personal, financial and political relationship with Russia.

The rally began with a large brass band playing “the chicken dance,” and after several speakers demonstrators marched through the Loop towards Trump Tower, chanting “show us your taxes” and “Trump has got to go.”

Matt Enloe, a second year student at the University of Chicago Law School was directing people to a makeshift “resist Trump wall” made of cardboard, where attendees wrote various reasons for their dissatisfaction with the president.

“I’m just an individual who cares about politics and our country and thinks it’s important to have accountability and transparency from a president,” said Enloe. “There are a lot of concerns he might have debts to foreign governments or other institutions that could impact his ability to make decisions neutrally and in the best interests of our country...if anything - if there’s nothing in there, that would be great. The concern is that if he waited this long to release them, it doesn’t make any sense if there’s nothing in there.”

In addition to Trump, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was also on the receiving end of some criticism.

“I wish that Donald Trump was the only self interested billionaire who’s enriching himself at the expense of the public we’re dealing with here in Illinois, but we’ve got another one—his name is Bruce Rauner,” said State Senator Daniel Biss. Biss, who is challenging the governor for his post in the 2018 election, is sponsoring a bill in the state legislature which would require candidates who want to appear on the ballot in Illinois to release tax returns for the previous five years. On Friday, the Senator released his own.

“What did Bruce Rauner do when he became governor? Step 1, cut his own taxes. Step 2, triple his income to $188 million dollars. Is he willing to release all of his tax returns with every schedule? He is not. How is he enriching himself at our expense,” Biss asked the crowd.