Since Richard Nixon set the modern precedent in 1969, almost every president has released his tax returns. Even candidates do it. Is it just a coincidence that the president who started the tradition is the only one so far to resign in disgrace?
I can’t figure out what presidential tax returns are supposed to prove. If I’m a president engaging in financial hanky-panky, I’m not going to report the illicit income on my tax returns. So what exactly is the point? Does anybody know?
By the way, Nixon was the first to do it in the modern era, but Franklin Roosevelt did it for years during his (almost) four terms in office. After Nixon started doing it in ’69, Gerald Ford is the only president who hasn’t done it. If I were a candidate, I wouldn’t do it, but that’s probably just one more of the many reasons why I’d never be a candidate.
I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m still constantly amazed at the lengths to which some people will go to make everything into a political issue. I saw several tweets over the weekend similar to this one: “Obama presides over biggest sex scandal in Secret Service history.”
I’m certainly no fan of Barack Obama, but he just happened to be president when this scandal involving Secret Service agents and prostitutes happened. It’s political demagoguery to blame this sort of thing on a president who isn’t responsible, but happened to be in office — whether that president is Obama or Bush or anyone else. It’s intellectually dishonest.
We’ve become so accustomed to star athletes being jerks that it seems almost like the norm, so I’m always happy to see stories such as this one. Former University of Alabama running back Trent Richardson is expected to be among the top 10 picks in the upcoming NFL draft, possibly going as high as the fourth pick. He’s going to be an immediate multi-millionaire and doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone. I’ve always gotten the impression that he was a decent human being, but my respect for him went up this weekend when he took a 17-year-old girl to her senior prom.
Courtney Alvis is lucky to be alive. She’s a senior at Hueytown High School, which is in a lower middle-class suburb of Birmingham. She was diagnosed with leukemia last year and spent a good part of her junior year fighting the cancer as she went through chemotherapy. She’s survived, though, and wanted to make it to her senior prom, but no one asked her. She’s a big admirer of Richardson and he found out about her situation. Richardson’s own mother is a cancer survivor, so he decided to take Courtney to her prom.
ESPN’s SportsCenter has a nice story that’ll make you happy that some athletes are still decent human beings.
With this being tax season, an accountant passed along an important tip to me over the weekend. Here’s a story about a woman who’s rescued 70 cats and takes care of them. She tried to deduct the costs of their care as a charitable deduction, but the IRS wouldn’t allow it. She went before a tax law judge, though, and she’s won her case.
I have no idea why this guy thought this story could possibly be of interest to me, but I have to admit that the thought is starting to occur to me that I should deduct the full cost of operating my home as an animal sanctuary for abandoned critters.
Education is very important to me, but I’m skeptical about the effectiveness of many organized systems of schooling. I ran across a quote this week from Winston Churchill that expressed my views on the subject. I hope it doesn’t seem too cynical for you:
“Schools have not necessarily much to do with education. They are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school.”