Rumor vs Reality

Rumor: A government official's finances should be kept private. Reality: People deep in debt are easier to corrupt, making them security risks.

Published October 16, 2020

Intelligence services see people in a lot of debt as easy targets for manipulation. The rules for obtaining access to classified information say “An individual who is financially overextended is at risk of having to engage in illegal acts to generate funds.” Potential red flags for someone applying for a security clearance include a history of not paying debts and the inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts.

An election is one way for the public to say if they find a candidate trustworthy, debts or no debts. Journalists and ethics experts are eager to see each candidate’s tax returns and financial records because it helps the public make an informed choice.


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