The following column was written by me on October 16th, 2009. All his problems and violations were very clear five months ago, yet no admonishment or censure until now. As of today, Rangel is stepping down from his post as Ways & Means Chairman.
It only took Obama’s “transparent” government at least an additional five months to finally admit their key guy on that powerful committee had serious ethics and tax problems. It was Nancy Pelosi herself, now Speaker of the House, back in 2005 that admonished then House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, for the very same situation Rangel has been in for many, many months.
How quickly lightweights like Pelosi conveniently forget when it’s “her man.” Here’s the October 16th, 2009 column in its entirety. If I could write this and know the facts at that time, why didn’t the Speaker?
Why hasn’t Charlie Rangel faced justice?
With all the attention these days over health care reform, Afghanistan and when the president will accomplish anything important, the strange case of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has stayed off the front page.
Rep. Rangel is the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the House. He waited 12 long years to reach that position and appears to be trying to keep it no matter what!
Along with House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi and Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) & Henry Waxman (D-CA), they rule over the most important agendas facing the house. Those include the environment, health care and finances. Together, they make up what amounts to the “Fearsome Foursome” in the House.
Not long ago, we learned that Rangel filed a grossly misleading financial disclosure report in 2007. “Grossly” meaning a report that failed to account for at least half a million dollars in assets. Actually it was a credit union account worth at least $250,000 and more like $500.000.
Representative Rangel, the Head of the House Ways and Means Committee failed to report this money. The man MOST DIRECTLY linked to the American taxpayer’s pocket.
Above and beyond that, he has also failed to report assets totaling more than $1 million on legally required financial disclosure forms dating back to 2001.
So far, the IRS has been kind to Mr. Rangel concerning some of those assets including a Caribbean villa he owns. He ended up paying about $10,000 in back taxes but avoided any penalties whatsoever. It is a highly unusual action by the IRS in such audits.
Rangel’s ethical problems are on the back burner with the Democratic controlled Ethics Committee, which to this point has taken no action at all. The GOP introduced a resolution calling for his resignation as Ways and Means Chairman, but it was defeated 242 to 157 last February.
Then there is the bill introduced in the House by Texas Rep. John Carter, HR 735 that would require the IRS to treat all Americans with “kid gloves” as Rep. Rangel has been.
It is now known throughout Washington as “The Rangel Rule”.
The idea behind the bill is simple: If you’re caught cheating on your taxes, you would pay what you owe, then write “Rangel Rule” on the top of your return form. You would not be charged any penalties or interest. That would enable all U.S. taxpayers to be treated with the same courtesy as Rep. Rangel.
Of course the bill has absolutely no chance of passing the House of Representatives, but just those words, House of “Representatives” sounds foolish in light of this preferential treatment for old Charlie” down yonder in Washington DC.
How many more like Rangel still hide in the shadows violating the very laws they write?
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