A Republican Congressman, John Carter of Texas, put a shot across Rangel's bow by introducing legislation that would give all Americans the same tax break should we find ourselves unable to pay our taxes on time.
Consider it the Rangel Rule (HT: jcbunga at LGF):
Rep. Carter introduced a bill Wednesday to eliminate all IRS penalties and interest for paying taxes past due.Carter is calling for Rangel to cosponsor the legislation with him. Somehow, I doubt Rangel would do that, nor do I expect Rangel to pay the penalties either.
The legislation calls for the creation of what he calls the, "Rangel Rule," -- drawing attention to the recent legal issues of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., enabling citizens who fail to pay taxes on time to do so later with no additional fees.
Rangel, who writes the country's tax policies, acknowledged last fall that he failed to pay thousands in real estate taxes for rental income he earned from a property in the Dominican Republic.
As of September 2008 the Harlem Democrat reportedly paid back more than $10,000 in taxes but that did not include any IRS penalties.
"Your citizens back home should have the same rights and benefits that come to you as a member of congress. You shouldn't be treated any differently under the law than your citizens back home," Carter said.
He added that citizens should receive the "same courtesy" that the IRS is allegedly granting Rangel and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who also recently acknowledged a failure to pay taxes.
Rangel's situation is so muddled that he's had to hire forensic accountants to figure out his actual tax bill. He doesn't even know what he owes.
This is the man chiefly responsible for setting the tax policy in the House. He sets the agenda as the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and yet his fellow Democrats have no problem with leaving him in this post despite his tax and ethics troubles.