OCTOBER 08, 2009
Defending the embattled chairman of the powerful House committee that writes the nation’s tax code, a fellow lawmaker claims many members of Congress hide their fortunes and don’t pay taxes like her good buddy Charles Rangel.
They simply suffer from innocent lapses in judgment, according to California Democrat Maxine Waters, who insists Rangel should not step down as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee simply because he omitted nearly $1 million in assets on mandatory financial disclosure forms. Many members of Congress regularly fail to disclose this sort of stuff, according to Waters, who’s currently embroiled in a corruption probe and is tight with a convicted Black Panther cop murderer who fled to Cuba after a jailbreak.
Rangel, a New York Democrat, omitted nearly $1 million in assets on federal disclosure statements, including tens of thousands of dollars in rental income on a Caribbean villa and eight years worth of rental income on a six-unit structure he owns in the Harlem district that he’s represented in the U.S. House for three decades. Democrats have solidly stood behind him, however.
While justifying this sort of indefensible criminal behavior may seem unbelievable for a United States congresswoman, just consider the source; Waters is currently under investigation for bullying the Treasury Department to give her husband’s bank a $12 million federal bailout. The veteran legislator also holds a huge financial stake in the minority-owned bank and its executives have donated heavily to her political campaigns.
This sort of malfeasance is simply the norm for California’s most influential black lawmaker, who over the years has repeatedly abused her political clout to benefit her family financially. It’s not surprising, then, that Waters is shielding her good—and similarly crooked—friend from the fire, helping him fend off calls to resign from the committee that actually controls the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
A Republican congressman (John Carter of Texas) who sponsored a failed measure to oust Rangel offers a bit of a reality check: “When the boss of the IRS, and the chairman of the House committee that controls the IRS, fail to pay their taxes and walk off without penalty, we have made a mockery of our tax system and the rule of law itself.”
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