Leave Charlie Rangel Alone!

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The New York Post digs into the finances of House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and finds the third big-time irregularity in as many months.

A Post investigation into Punta Cana found that the sun-drenched beach front "casita" 412 was regularly rented out for up to $1,100 a day, yet Rangel had said he received no income in 2006, 2007 and other years. In other years, he had declared rental income of up to $15,000. He now admits that over 20 years he made at least $75,000 in rental income that he didn't report.

The chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee at first denied that he earned any money to a Post reporter, then said the whole thing was "a private matter." But now Rangel's lawyer says disclosure forms will be refiled for a number of years. Filing a false disclosure form can result in civil penalties and a possible five-year prison sentence.

His three-bedroom, three-bath villa, which can accommodate three couples, is rented for between $500 in the low season to $1,100 a night in the busiest tourist season and is one of the resort's most popular, managers and staff say.

The congressman, battered by the stories, will file new tax returns. Democrats will laugh off Republican demands for Rangel's resignation. New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson will rush to Rangel's defense.

He has been fighting the battle for years, and now he's the chairman of the most powerful committee in the House of Representatives, and all of a sudden, people are taking shots at him… It just appears as if there's a piling on, almost, against Congressman Rangel. And at a certain point, whether it is valid or not, it just appears to be excessive. And I think he deserves to be defended.

Whether valid or not! I'm going to apply that standard to tax collectors the next time I get audited.

NEXT: NY Gov. David Paterson Is Really Anti-Markets and Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland Is Really Stupid

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  1. All animals are equal.

    But some animals are more equal than others.

  2. Spitzer bangs a prostitute using his own money and he’s finished. Rangel sits on the Ways and Means Committee and lies on his tax filings, and he’ll probably come out of this with a little egg on his face. Is it two much to hope for to have another scumbag NY politician do a swan dive into an empty pool?

  3. I don’t get it. Why would he not disclose that?

  4. Charlie Rangel is one of the loathsome grease balls walking the planet. No amount of suffering is as much as he deserves.

  5. Brian24: quite right.

    If you’re an elected public servant, very little is or should be a private matter.

    The least that should happen is that Rangel should be removed from his chairmanship, by his choice or by the democratic “leadership”.

    Hopefully, New York voters will kick him out, but I’m not holding my breath.

  6. Amazing. And without shame.

  7. Please! Haven’t you heard? Accurate tax returns are inherently racist!

  8. Pay your taxes like everybody else, you parasite.

    With interest. And penalties.

  9. I like the hypocritical-congressman stories as much as the next guy, maybe more. But this story is overblown.

    It comes down to whether he viewed this property as an investment, in which case the income is much less than the depreciation and no tax is owed, or a second home, in which case the income is taxed as income.

  10. It’s a voluntary tax, after all.

  11. It comes down to whether he viewed this property as an investment, in which case the income is much less than the depreciation and no tax is owed, or a second home, in which case the income is taxed as income.

    Uhhh, no.
    It comes down to whether he lied on his tax return. It does not depend on whether he viewed it as an investment, he’s have to report the income anyway. He didn’t. Any questions.

    Good golly Miss Molly, some partisans will excuse anything if the miscreant is on their team.

  12. While some of these scandals are pretty much irrelevant to the Congresscritter’s activities, I would think that being an admitted tax cheat should disqualify you from even sitting on the Ways & Means Committee, much less chairing it.

  13. I know I’m a broken record on this point, but Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion. When you catch these guys doing anything immoral, unethical, unprincipled, unconstitutional. . .really, anything ungood, then bounce them from public office! Jesus! Am I taking crazy pills? Out!

  14. I bet the dems would be firing up the stake and stoking the flames if that were Sarah Palin who’d evaded her taxes. Because, “Like ohmygod! She’s so scary!”

  15. If I’m ever dragged into court, I will say if the law doesn’t apply to Spitzer or Rangel, then it doesn’t apply to me. Woe to anyone who takes issue with that defense.

  16. Charlie Rangel: the Leona Helmsley of politicians.

    I hope he goes to prison.

  17. Pay your taxes like everybody else, you parasite.

    Racist.

    With interest. And penalties.

    Prove you’re not doing that merely because he’s black, you robe-wearing, minority-lynching, white-supremacist.

  18. Maybe this corruption scandal will push his vote total below 85% this November.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York's_15th_congressional_district#Election_results

  19. Maybe this corruption scandal will push his vote total below 85% this November.

    But not much. Like Detroits own John Conyers, he is beyond the dead woman/live boy stage. It will require death retirement or prison to get him out of office.

    I’ll take this opportunity to point out, though they won’t admit it, Republicans and the incumbents absolutely love majority minority districts. Thinking Democrats hate them.

  20. I’ll take this opportunity to point out, though they won’t admit it, Republicans and the incumbents absolutely love majority minority districts. Thinking Democrats hate them.

    That piqued my interest. Could you point me to a website where this interesting breed congregates?

  21. No website, just do the math. Your party (Dems) gets a seat with 90% of the minority majority district vote. We’ll call that district vote V. The other side (GOP) takes 2 districts of equal size by 52% each. Your party has garnered 0.9V + 0.48V + 0.48V for a total 1.86V. Now the GOP garners from those three districts a total of 1.14V. Remove the minoroty majority gerrymandering from the system and the Dems take all three seats with 62% of the vote. I doesn’t work out near that drastically in reality, but I’ll wager that gerrymandered minority majority districts cost the Dems about 3-6 seats in the house every election.

    The congressional black caucus would be smaller, but the Democratic majority would be larger.

    It also leads to folks like Rangal embarrassing your party on the national stage. Totally secure districts send the biggest fools to congress. I’ll leave it to others to explain that phenomenon.

  22. Naturally, he was a major Hillary supporter. Stories like this are why I feel that though the Republican party needs to be fired, the democratic party establishment needs an enema.

  23. Good golly Miss Molly, some partisans will excuse anything if the miscreant is on their team.

    I’m defintely not on Mr Rangel’s xmas card list, but on the notion of overblown (e.g. “Leona Helmsley in a 3 piece suit”), I agree, a little.

    If the unreported income is indeed around $75K (over 10 years) then the unpaid tax (minus interest and penalties) is on the order of $30K (or about $3K per year). Pretty small potatoes in the scheme of tax evasion.

    That said, concur with the Caesars wife comment and defintely agree that if one of his constituents was in the same situation, they’d be in a whole heap of legal trouble.

  24. “Charlie Rangel: the Leona Helmsley of politicians.”

    Except that Leona Helmsley was innocent and was convicted on perjured testimony. Otherwise, yeh, just like Leona Helmsley.

  25. But, yeh, Charlie Rangel will get off scot-free so just like the Helmsley case an injustice will be done.

  26. There is something hypocritical about a welfare-statist politician who cheerleads for higher taxes and bigger government trying to reduce his personal tax bite.

    It’s the flip side of allegedly gay-hating Congresscritters with wide stances in airport bathrooms.

  27. Good luck getting Pelosi to demote this criminal.

  28. There are few things I loathe more than tax and spend politicians. Tax and spend politicians who file inaccurate tax returns — and wouldn’t you know it, he underreported his income — fit the bill.

  29. isn’t Rangel the guy that was talking about blowing up the tax code and starting over completely a few years ago?

    Personally, I don’t care that he didn’t report income. The Supreme Court* has said we have a constitutional duty to pay as few taxes as possible.

    *it might have been a Circuit Court of Appeal, I don’t have the quote handy at this late hour.

  30. Just a preview of the party coming to power. Expect more.

  31. I have 2 condo’s in Costa Rica, like Charlie’s these central american investments are cash cows. When we visit, we can bring back into the U.S. up to $10,000 in cash without declaring it through customs. Check his passport for the number of visits to the Dominican Republic over the last 20 some years X $10,000 per visit, that number will be more like the amount of income not reported.

  32. Goddamn Democratic tax breaks for the rich.

  33. I still say this is the revenge of the Hildebeast.

  34. spaghetti cat:

    It comes down to whether he viewed this property as an investment, in which case the income is much less than the depreciation and no tax is owed, or a second home, in which case the income is taxed as income.

    Another example of just how fucked up the tax code is, BTW. You get to take depreciation on a property (if it’s an “investment”), even though the property has actually probably APPRECIATED by a multiple of 2-3?

  35. Rangel should be subjected to a full scale Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program (TCMP) IRS tax audit.

    The experience might even improve his work as House Ways and Means Chairman.

    So it rented for $1,100 per night and it “is one of the resort’s most popular, managers and staff say”, but he only made $75,000 in ten years??? Hard to believe to say the least.

    Send in the toughest tax auditors that the IRS has!!!

  36. Another example of just how fucked up the tax code is, BTW. You get to take depreciation on a property (if it’s an “investment”), even though the property has actually probably APPRECIATED by a multiple of 2-3?

    I don’t know if “get to take…” is the correct terminology. It’s more like “have to take…” and then if you sell the place in 10 years, your basis in the property is lowered by 10 years of depreciation that you had to take. For example, if you purchased a condo for $100K in 1995 and then sold it in 2005 for $180K, your taxable profit is not $180K – $100K = $80K, it’s something on the order of $180K – $65K ($100K depreciated 10 years) = $115K.

    In short, it’s a (manditory) deferral of taxes rather than a big giveaway as people tend to think. Incidently, if you forget to take the depreciation for any of the years of ownership, you still have to use the fully depreciated basis to calculate your profit at the time of sale.

  37. This man chairs the commitee that writes our tax laws. If he made a mistake as simple as this he certainly is not qualified to chair the commitee that tell us how we must behave with our income. I don’t think that is the case. He is quite qualified. That would mean that the only other conclusion possible is that he did this intentionally. OOPs! Did you also know that he “accidentally” didn’t know that the mortgage company for this property hasn’t been charging him interest for eighteen years? OOPs! Us Americans, yah, we expect only the best. Let’s re-elect this Bozo for another term. Maybe he can teach those wascally wepublicans a thing or two.

  38. Charlie Rangel admits that his Punta Cana property was a rental property that generated income. Moreover, he admits that he has NEVER (NOT ONCE) paid tax on the rental income it generated claiming it was a mistake. His primary excuse was that “the income had gone directly toward paying down the mortgage on the property and he had rarely if ever received income statements related to it”. Doesn’t that suggest that he knew the unit was generating income? Following, as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is he suggesting that he does not know that income, even if is being used to pay down a mortgage, needs to be reported to the IRS (and in his case to Congress). I have income too (it’s called a paycheck). And, the majority of that income is automatically deducted from my checking account each month to pay my mortgage. Should I no longer declare my income on my Tax Return?
    Charlie Rangel is a crook! And, the easiest way to confirm that this was a scam is to look at the tax returns of the other “pioneer investors” including his friend Theodore Kheel who purportedly suggested this investment property. If the other investors “forgot” to declare the income they received that would pretty much prove that malfeasance was involved here.

  39. His primary excuse was that “the income had gone directly toward paying down the mortgage on the property and he had rarely if ever received income statements related to it”

    As all real estate investors know, loan principal is not a deductible expense, so this is an admission of tax fraud. Even if loan principal were deductible, you must still report the associated income. Failure to report income when you knew, or should have known, you were receiving it, is tax fraud. The US taxes worldwide income, a fact that somebody on the Ways and Means Committee should be intimately aware of considering how much effort Congress expends to combat non-reporting of foreign income, so he has no excuse not to report it. My verdict: rope!

  40. charlie rangel owns more than one home? he should be drummed from the democratic party. maybe he’s a closet republican! b.o. ought to be on his buttox like a duck on a junebug.

  41. NAL and Bob Smith make an excellent point. I’d also like to point out to that you don’t depreciate land, just structures, and since its beachfront, I’d imagine that most of the appraised value is based on location, not structure, so his unclaimed depreciation is likely peanuts relative to the ammount of money he has made renting the cottage.

    Good Riddents Chuck, he screwed IndiMac Bank, and his time has come ….

    Also, what’s this I read that the bank hasn’t been charging him interest on the mortgage?

  42. Amazing that Pelosi states a short time ago that the Dems will run “the most ethical Congress ever.” If Obama is all about CHANGE in Washington then he should demand Charlie step down. If this is the most ethical Congress ever God help us all!

  43. I think if Rep. Rangel is asked to step down for his tax problem, then Sen. McCAIN should step down for HIS TAX problem of not paying taxes on one of his seven reported homes. Running for president of a major party is a higher position than chairing a committee and should be held to a higher standard.

  44. McCain isn’t paying income tax on one of the rental properties? Where did you hear that?

  45. NAL, thanks for setting me straight on the depreciation thing. It makes perfect sense now.

  46. Brenda,

    Obama hasn’t paid taxes on the income from renting out his A-hole to gerbils either.

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