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GOP candidates refusing to release tax returns

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A millionaire-heavy field of potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates are reluctant to let the public have a look-see at their tax returns, unlike President Obama. Donald Trump — the Joseph McCarthy of Birthers — is the only exception, on the condition that Obama provide that supposedly elusive proof of his birth, of course. Presidential candidates must file financial-disclosure forms, though they're not legally obligated to divulge their tax returns.

During his last presidential run, Mitt Romney's financial-disclosure forms revealed that the stormin' Mormon was worth in the ballpark of $250 million, but tax returns showing specific financial dealings weren't proffered. Candidates have a right to their privacy of course, but offering returns for public scrutiny would go a long way in furthering trust in our elected officials.

Perhaps Republicans are cognizant of the questions surrounding the $17,000 in state-sanctioned per diems that Sarah Palin had to answer for after releasing returns in 2006 and 2007 while running for VP. And Mike Huckabee, who beat the drum for transparency when he was in the governor's office, had to file amended returns back in 1994 and 1995, after discrepancies between his financial-disclosure filings and tax returns came to light. But if they have nothing to hide…