Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. They laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work digging out the truth. Please support this independent journalism today by donating to our critical Fall Campaign. We cannot do it without you. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up at CPAC, 2017.

President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up at CPAC, 2017. The president's state tax returns could be released soon due to a New York law that's making its way through the legislature. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

New York State Senate Passes Bill to Make Trump's Tax Returns Available to Congress

"We must ensure that Congress can't be blocked in their attempts to hold even the highest elected officials in the land accountable to the American people."

Eoin Higgins

Dreams of obtaining President Donald Trump's tax returns may be a bit closer for House Democrats—the New York state Senate passed a bill Wednesday clearing the way for their release by the state's Department of Taxation and Finance.

The TRUST Act passed the state senate by a 39 to 21 vote and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he will sign it. The bill goes to the state Assembly for discussion and a vote Monday. 

In a statement, advocacy group Stand Up America said it hoped that the assembly passes the bill quickly.

"Now that it has passed the Senate, it's time for the Assembly to immediately act and make this bill law," the group said. "We urge Assembly members to send this bill to Governor Cuomo's desk and ensure that Donald Trump's numerous conflicts of interest come to light."

Per NBC, the legislation would allow the state to release Trump's—or anyone's—state tax returns to federal investigators if there's a legitimate reason.

The bill would amend state law to permit the state Department of Taxation and Finance commissioner to release any state tax return requested by the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation for any "specific and legitimate legislative purpose." Existing laws generally prohibit such a release.

The law also states that in order to obtain the records, investigators must exhaust efforts with the Treasury Department. It's a clear rebuke of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who said May 6 he is refusing to turn over the president's tax returns to Congress. 

"Our system of checks and balances is failing," said state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat who was the lead sponsor of the bill.

New York, as the president's home state, "has a special role and responsibility to step into the breach," added Hoylman.

The legislation comes on the heels of a report from The New York Times that found the president lost over $1 billion from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s in a decade's worth of tax documents obtained by the paper. 

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday were also faced with an assertion of executive privilege from the White House over the release of the Mueller report, a move that was decried by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as an "unprecedented" attack on the separation of powers. 

Hoylman referred to that conflict in his statement, tying the state bill to the federal fight.

"I look forward to seeing the bill pass both houses, and reach the Governor's desk for a signature," said Hoylman. "We must ensure that Congress can't be blocked in their attempts to hold even the highest elected officials in the land accountable to the American people."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Schumer Endorses 'Inspiring Community Leader' India Walton as Buffalo's Next Mayor

The U.S. Senate majority leader's move comes as some key New York Democrats refuse to back the democratic socialist.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Who Will You Throw Overboard?' Manchin Targeted for Trying to Sink Democratic Agenda

West Virginians gathered at the senator's yacht to demand that he stop blocking the "popular and needed" Build Back Better package.

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Shouldn't Do It at All': Manchin Admits He's the Enemy of Democrats' Ambitions

The right-wing West Virginia Democrat and fossil fuel investor has previously confessed his intent to quash his own party's sweeping $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package.

Brett Wilkins ·


After Getting 'Stealth Bailout' During Pandemic, US Corporations Try to Kill Proposed Tax Hikes

"When it's time to finally put workers first, big businesses are spending millions to maintain their advantage and preserve the status quo," said Kyle Herrig of Accountable.US.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Disgraceful': Just 9 Republicans Join With Dems to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

The vote "reveals just how far the Republican Party has fallen" since Trump took control as GOP's de facto leader, said one pro-democracy advocate.

Jon Queally ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo