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Beyond tax returns

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

There has been much made of the revealing of Trump’s tax returns.

I support revealing much more than tax returns for those seeking public office, any public office, from dog catcher to President of the United States.

In fact, I think all aspirants for public office should release their tax returns as well as a complete standardized form outlining their education, military, and career experiences, with an attestation to the honesty of their responses attached thereto.

They should also attest to their run-ins with the law, from running a stop sign to felony accusations and convictions. Throw in their medical records, too. This should all be in the form of a sworn affidavit, completed three months before any primary election in which the aspirant wishes to participate.

All of this material should be immediately released to the public for perusal. Inaccuracies in the information to which the aspirant has attested should result in a federal felony charge. Throw in a fresh drug test for good measure. You want to run for office, I want to know everything about you.

The Republicans just elected a person to Congress in New York who lied about nearly everything he claimed to have done. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has lied about his service in Vietnam and still remains seated in the Senate as he has for many years. Both of these individuals should be removed from office immediately. Likely there are others who deserve the same fate.

I would go deeper with this protocol. All Congressional, White House and Supreme Court aides should follow the same protocol before hire and this information should be publicly available. On her way out the door, Nancy Pelosi raised the top congressional aide salary to nearly a quarter million dollars per year. What are we getting for this money?

Folks, we trust these people with our tax revenues, local, state and federal. We trust them with making good laws for the benefit of our families and our nation. Yet, they are subject to less scrutiny than a new employee in an Amazon warehouse.

This needs to be a constitutional amendment. The Founders of this Republic had no way of visualizing the complexities of modern society nor the levels of corruption to which elected officials would reach.

With the lack of standardized scrutiny which we casually ignore on our politically aspiring citizens, it is no wonder we get the results we do. There are many documented cases, both in the present and past, of absolute scoundrels being elected to public office.

All I am suggesting is that we apply the same standards any business would apply to applicants. If nothing else, our children deserve to be left with a better country than we currently have.

Honest politicians should have no fear of such an examination; dishonest politicians will do everything they can to block it. Propose this idea to politicians you know and see which ones throw up the most resistance. That will tell you a lot about the skeletons in their closet right now.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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