Friday, August 28, 2009

The Rangel Rules

Rep. Charlie Rangel, head of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, should be charged with a crime. That is if the Department of Justice and its Public Integrity Unit doesn't just go after Republican staffers.

The WSJ reports:
Earlier this month the Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee "amended" his 2007 financial disclosure form—to the tune of more than a half-million dollars in previously unreported assets and income. That number may be as high as $780,000, because Congress's ethics rules only require the Members to report their finances within broad ranges. This voyage of personal financial discovery brings Mr. Rangel's net worth for 2007 to somewhere between $1.028 million and $2.495 million, while his previous statement came in at $516,015 and $1.316 million.

OK, now recall how the Justice Department handled the case of Weldon Chief of Staff Russ Caso. He was criminally charged and threatened with jail time for failing to report a mere $19,000 that his wife was paid working for a non-profit. Unlike Rangel (and a other high profile Democrats like Tom Daschle and Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner) Caso paid all the taxes owed on the amount he failed to report.

It appears Justice has one standard for lower-level Republican staffers and a different one for powerful well-connected Democrats. In this case Justice isn't blind. It just turns a blind eye.

A Texas congressman has proposed a bill that allows less influential Americans to avoid IRS penalities for failing to report and pay their taxes on time. Under the proposed law, any taxpayer who wrote “Rangel Rule” on their return when paying back taxes would be immune from penalties and interest. What a charming idea.


Anonymous jake said...

Let's see -- Congress is writing health insurance legislation that will increase our costs and limit our care. But they will have their own plan with full coverage.
We must pay into Social Security even though it's going broke and we might not receive any benefits. But our public servants have set themselves up with their own independent, taxpayer-funded, very generous pension plan.
And we learn that the people in the government who write and enforce the tax code, such as Rangel, Daschle and Geithner don't bother to obey the laws the rest of us risk fines and jail time if we ignore.
Yet the Democrats want us to believe that all the town hall anger and tea parties are contrived by outside interests.
Washington had better wake up and realize there's a lot of genuine unrest outside the beltway bubble.

August 28, 2009 at 8:34 AM 

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