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No need for Buehler’s tax returns

It should come as no surprise that two former Oregon governors, both Democrats, have asked Republican Knute Buehler to make his full tax return public. He should just say no.

The idea behind the request is, of course, to embarrass Buehler, a successful surgeon and, among other things, inventor. Orthopedic surgeons like Buehler tend to make more than many other people.

Again, that should come as no surprise. Surgeons cut people open, often restoring their ability to walk and otherwise use their limbs. Should they not be paid well?

No doubt former governors Ted Kulongoski and Barbara Roberts are far less interested in seeing Gov. Kate Brown’s tax returns. For one thing, she’s already made them public. Too, her earnings as governor are a matter of public record and can be found with a quick Google search.

Her income is, no doubt, less than Buehler’s, but then, she can’t solve the life-and-death problems her opponent can.

Nor is anything wrong with the fact that Buehler took advantage of the state’s Business Energy Tax Credit program in 2008. He was not a politician then, and BETC was not yet the embarrassment it was to become.

In any case, he used the BETC program in exactly the way it was supposed to be used, serving as a “pass through” partner and allowing an Oregon biofuels company without taxable income to take advantage of the credits.

Buehler comes from surprisingly humble roots, given what he’s accomplished as an adult. Voters worried that he may not identify with their struggles should keep that in mind. They also should ignore the latest attempt by Oregon Democrats to paint the candidate as something he isn’t.