Friday, August 28, 2009

Sorry Charlie; Rangel's Got To Go

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) continues to get away with tax evasion in ways that most law-abiding taxpayers would never conceive. He continues to sit as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which sets tax policies, including penalties and sanctions for tax avoidance and evasion, all while Rangel himself failed to pay city, state, and federal income taxes by failing to account for multiple properties, sales and income from real estate holdings in the millions of dollars, imputed income, and a variety of other items.
Rep. Charles Rangel failed to report as much as $1.3 million in outside income -- including up to $1 million for a Harlem building sale -- on financial-disclosure forms he filed between 2002 and 2006, according to newly amended records.

The documents also show the embattled chairman of the Ways and Means Committee -- who is being probed by the House Ethics Committee -- failed to reveal a staggering $3 million in various business transactions over the same period.

This week, Rangel filed drastically revised financial-disclosure forms reflecting new, higher amounts of outside income and numerous additional business deals that had not been reported when the reports were originally filed.

In 2004, for instance, Rangel reported earning between $4,000 and $10,000 in outside earnings on top of his $158,100 congressional salary.

But the amended filings show that after the sale of a property on West 132nd Street, his outside income that year was somewhere between $118,000 and $1.04 million.
That doesn't even scratch the surface of failing to abide by House ethics guidelines.

Yet, Congressional Democrats, who control the House, have said absolutely nothing on the matter, and would rather ignore the festering mess. Speaker Nancy Pelosi crowed that she and her fellow Democrats would eliminate the culture of corruption in Congress - she would drain the swamp.

Well, she's done the opposite, as the swamp is now a swimming pool where criminality is excused and tax cheats continue to determine tax policy for the rest of us.

How exactly can Rangel have forgotten that he owned properties in Glassboro, New Jersey, or even his hacienda in the Dominican Republic or his multiple apartments in Harlem that violate housing rules? How could he have forgotten to pay property taxes on those residences in New Jersey?

Rangel also apparently forgot that he had $430,000 in stock transactions.

If Rangel is unable to attend to his own business affairs and regularly forgot to include key items for reporting purposes, how exactly can anyone trust what he does with the US Tax Code? After all, his ability to go line-by-line and determine changes to the Code are questionable when he can't manage his own personal affairs.

Rangel must go. It really is that simple. He is doing the nation a grave disservice with his continued presence, but given that Democrats from President Obama on down have no problem with a tax cheat as the Treasury Secretary, a tax cheat setting tax law isn't much of a problem either. And that's the real problem.

Michelle Malkin notes that Rangel doesn't particularly care for people questioning his tax evasion, and Democrats are even less willing to stand up against this corrupt leader of the Party.

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