Maybe Mike Barrett’s Scheme Has Some Merit

There is a push for a law to add an additional requirement here in Massachusetts that to be on the presidential ballot candidates must release their tax returns.

The author of the Massachusetts bill, state Senator Mike Barrett, a Lexington Democrat, said he, too, was inspired by the New York bill and touched base with Tribe. He added a few local provisions that would also require presidential and vice presidential candidates to fill out the same statement of financial interests that all Massachusetts candidates must.

In an interview, Barrett said he approaches the bill with a good-government lens, not a partisan one.

Maybe the idea transparency is good thing. Maybe this particular form of transparency is a good thing. There’s no need for us to guess. There’s no need to do the test run starting at the top.

Massachusetts as a laboratory of democracy should test this out. If it works here let’s try it elsewhere. Looking at it with a good government lens, not a partisan one, it would be a good idea for the new ballot requirement to apply to the members of the legislature who will be up for reelection and maybe even local politicians. When I exchanged tweets with Sen. Michael Barrett in December he wasn’t sold on the idea of this type of transparency being implemented at the state and local level.

He and I disagree on the president and vice-president being unique in their ability to enrich themselves. There are plenty of examples that suggest such things also happen here in Massachusetts. If there’s a need to know about the income tax filings of politicians let’s start here at home. There’s isn’t any legislation necessary for Sen. Mike Barrett to start immediately and post his own returns on his website.

Below is a relevant video where Dinish D’Souza addresses students at Amherst College and tackles the “good for thee, but not for me” line of thinking.

About Patrick

Sometime political guy.