Bags Fly Free

It’s pretty sad when the two biggest tax cheats in our country, not currently in jail, are the men responsible for writing and implementing our tax laws.  Geithner, of course, is the Treasury Secretary who underreported thousands of dollars in unemployment taxes to the US Treasury before he became the boss there.  Charlie Rangel, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, is responsible for helping to write the taxes that the rest of us Americans have to pay.  Still, he has cheated with NY rental properties and overseas tax shelters.

Now Rangel is in even deeper trouble for taking corporate paid vacations to the Bahamas, in violation of House rules.  Apparently he didn’t bother to question when he was given free tickets and a free vacation.  The country is holding our collective breath to see if Pelosi will uphold her promise of the most open and ethical congress in history.

No, not really.  I don’t think anyone expects Pelosi to tell Rangel to step down.  Rangel was told by staffers three times that special interests were paying for his vacations.  But still he insists he had no idea who was sending him to the Bahamas on free vacations.  Come on.  But no one expects Pelosi, who likes to fly her friends and family around the country in a military jet at taxpayer cost, to take a stand against an unethical Democrat for the first time in her career.

Americans have known about Democrat loose ethics for a long time.  House Minority Leader John Boehner wrote a letter to Pelosi back in September of 2008 asking for Rangel’s resignation after it was discovered that Rangel was hiding $75,000 worth of taxable income in his Caribbean tax shelter, and using his rent-controlled New York property as a campaign office illegally.  Many of us found it sadly ironic since two years before the Pelosi congress was ushered in when she was able to convince the majority of Americans that Foley was part of a culture of corruption while characters like William Jefferson were not.

The worse part about this congress is that things like vote-buying, bribes and favors are now considered to be just the way business is done in Washington.  Nobody inside the beltway batted an eye at the Louisiana purchase or Ben Nelson buyout (two instances where votes for Obamacare were purchased with legislative favors).  Many don’t even know that Rangel is also in hot water for keeping tax loopholes on the books for Nabors Industries in exchange for donations to one of his private charities.

We rid our government of unethical Republicans back in 2006.  In 2010 we have a chance to clean out the Democrat party.  Who knows, maybe one of these times politicians will get the hint.


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