The Rangel Rules
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.