SEPTEMBER 01, 2010
Following the steps of the nation’s Treasury Secretary and a powerful
Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill, a gubernatorial candidate, owes the state about $15,000 in taxes for income his campaign committee account has earned from investments in the last ten years. Like the other high-profile public servants who failed miserably to fulfill their civic duty, Cahill only agreed to right the wrong after the media exposed the crime.
Cahill has raised millions of dollars for his political campaigns over the years, much of it from sources with business before his agency, and a local newspaper discovered that there was no record of checks to the state to cover taxes. A former Democrat who is running for governor as an independent, Cahill quickly acknowledged the “lapse” and vowed to pay the decades worth of taxes.
He’s hardly the only public servant to blow off taxes. President Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, got busted during confirmation hearings for failing to pay $34,000 in federal taxes on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) graciously waived the hefty penalties when Geithner was forced to pay the debt before getting confirmed.
Another high-profile tax evader, ethically challenged Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel, was actually the chairman of the House committee (Ways and Means) that writes the tax policy for the entire nation when he blew off the IRS. For two decades Rangel, who is embroiled in a major ethics scandal, “forgot” to pay taxes on rental income from a Caribbean villa.
Tax delinquency is so rampant among federal workers—including those at key presidential cabinet agencies—that Congress introduced legislation last year to fire derelict employees and ban the hiring of other scofflaws. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees and retirees owe Uncle Sam billions of dollars in taxes and the figure increases annually, according to the IRS, which revealed that in 2008 alone 276,300 federal workers stiffed the government out of $3.04 billion in taxes.
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