Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rangel Likely To Be Censured

As I have been saying, Rep. Charles Rangel, the Harlem Democrat, will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Today's hearings prove the point explicitly when the chief House ethics lawyer says that the charges merit censure.

Indeed, it showcases the folly of ethics trials in Congress when tax evasion and blatant and persistent ethics violations that show a pattern of abuse get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Rangel was the chair of the very committee that sets tax policy, and yet Rangel managed to underreport income on real estate properties for years. Those are serious charges and ones that the IRS can exact serious punishment, including criminal sanctions if willful intent is found.

Meanwhile, Rangel has been whining to whoever will listen about the unfairness of his situation. That is, also, complete nonsense, since Rangel lied about his taxes and took advantage of his position to further enrich himself. He violated multiple ethics rules, showing that he had disdain for the rules of the House - the very institution he claims to honor and respect.

He'd much rather blame others for his malfeasance, when he had every opportunity to settle matters before now. He had legal counsel and spent nearly $1.4 million on legal counsel before sending his lawyers packing. Still, it would have been cheaper for him to have paid his taxes accurately and completely since that's where a good part of his expenses went - to figure out where all his money was and how much he owed the IRS and other state and local tax authorities.

Rangel continues to deny that he was corrupt, but admits that "mistakes were made". You know what else, mistakes were made by Rangel's constituents, who sent him back to Congress in 2008 and 2010 despite Rangel's disregard for the very laws that he wrote.

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