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AP: Rangel Is Confused About His Taxes

What passes for hard-hitting journalism from the Associated Press:

Tax expert Rangel mangles facts in ethics mess

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Saturday, September 13, 2008

WASHINGTON — Even when Rep. Charles Rangel tries to explain how he got into his tax mess, he mangles the facts so much it’s easy to see how his accounts — and accountants — are muddled. And this from the lawmaker who has such a big say in determining who pays taxes and how much.

The chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee spent the past week reeling from a series of embarrassing revelations: He failed to report about $75,000 in rental income over two decades from a beach villa he owns in the Dominican Republic; he owes about $5,000 in back taxes to the government; he never knew he paid no interest on the villa’s mortgage for more than a decade…

Asked if the congressman had a firm grasp of his finances, his lawyer, Lanny Davis, said, “He has learned important lessons.” …

At a news conference, Rangel said language difficulties with the Spanish-speaking operators of the beach resort contributed to his confusion about the finances of the beach villa. Equally confusing is his version of the facts.

He and his lawyers repeatedly said the price of the beach villa was $82,750. Yet, in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Rangel cited a price of $88,900. Asked about the discrepancy a day later, aides said they were not sure of the origin of the higher figure…

Rangel is usually late filing his financial records to Congress.

Rangel’s basic defense is that he paid little or no attention to a building he bought, the mortgage he got to buy it or the rent it earned to pay the mortgage. Or the taxes due on someone else paying his mortgage. He claims to have no idea what the house is even worth

Republicans say Rangel had to have known exactly what he was doing.

“It is a sick irony that the top legislator on tax policy in the House is circumventing the very tax laws that he himself has authored,” said Ken Spain, spokesman for the GOP’s House campaign committee…

Mr. Rangel is an expert on raising taxes on other people — not paying his own.

So his life of enjoying luxuries and benefits at other people’s expense comes as no surprise.

He is a criminal, but also a Democrat, so he has nothing to fear.

After all, these are just “embarrassing revelations.” There is nothing illegal about hiding your income from the IRS or lying to Congress on your financial disclosure forms.

Not if you are a Democrat.

At a news conference, Rangel said language difficulties with the Spanish-speaking operators of the beach resort contributed to his confusion about the finances of the beach villa.

Since most of his current constituents in Spanish Harlem speak Spanish, it is obvious that Mr. Rangel is not capable of adequately representing them.

He failed to report about $75,000 in rental income over two decades from a beach villa he owns in the Dominican Republic; he owes about $5,000 in back taxes to the government…

Who formulated this tax rate? Can we get it, too? And of course he doesn’t have to pay any penalties or interest. Those, like taxes themselves are for the little people without a D after their names.

Rangel’s basic defense is that he paid little or no attention to a building he bought, the mortgage he got to buy it or the rent it earned to pay the mortgage. Or the taxes due on someone else paying his mortgage. He claims to have no idea what the house is even worth…

This is almost certainly because he never paid this mortgage, which looks for all the world like yet another highly illegal payoff from a union thug “labor lawyer”:

The selfsame “labor lawyer” who miraculously negotiated preposterously lopsided deals for the Teachers Union, SEIU, AFSCME and Transit Workers in New York City.

Mind you, if Mr. Rangel were a Republican, he would suddenly become the media’s new poster boy for the GOP.

And the trumpeting of these embarrassing revelations his crimes against humanity would lead to a landslide victory in November for the Democrats on a platform of honesty and openness.

After all, some might see lying to Congress and not paying thousand of dollars in taxes as an even worse crime than sending innocuous emails to your former pages or tapping your foot in a bathroom stall.

But again, only if you are a Republican.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, September 13th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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