"Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they'd start speaking Spanish"

|

Embattled rent control crook Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) defended his failure to pay back taxes on rental income from his Dominican Republic villa today, claiming it was all an innocent mistake due to "cultural and language barriers." From The New York Times:

"Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they'd start speaking Spanish," Mr. Rangel told reporters.

But the 78-year-old congressman, a Democrat from Harlem who has been in Congress since 1971, brushed aside calls that he step down as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the federal tax code, and accused Republicans who have called for him to do so of politicizing his financial issues.

"I really don't believe making mistakes means you have to give up your career," Mr. Rangel said.

Good grief. The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee can't hire a bilingual tax adviser?

Whole thing here. Previous reason Rangel blogging here and here.

NEXT: In Putin's America!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish,” Mr. Rangel told reporters.

    Can you imagine the uproar if, say, a white conservative were to say this?

    “I really don’t believe making mistakes means you have to give up your career,” Mr. Rangel said.

    Out here in the real world, making mistakes can not only cost you your job, making mistakes on your taxes can cost you your house and land you in jail.

    What an unmitigated shithead. Ane Pelosi is protecting him. So much for attacking that culture of corruption, eh?

  2. You got caught cheating on your taxes Charlie. Spin away if you want but my BS detector is fully operational.

  3. If Rangel gets taken down the same year as Eliot Spitzer I might just have to go down to Mohegan Sun and put it all on 33.

  4. “I really don’t believe making mistakes means you have to give up your career,” Mr. Rangel said.

    Really? It would be interesting to see him apply that same logic in areas that aren’t necessarily personal to him.

  5. For someone who sits on the committee that WRITES THE $&*!# TAX CODE he sure seems naive.

  6. Will Charlie hang in there long enough to introduce Barack Obama’s National Service Bill to congress ?

  7. Chaaarlie, you have some espalin’ to do.

  8. Let him off the hook here…if he, and all other Congressmen, agree to fill out their own tax returns in the future and let the IRS do their full-bore proctology audit on all who flub.

  9. Just a misunderstanding. Just like Pelosi supporting this clown. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

    *winks at joe*

  10. Are we libertarians supposed to get happy when someone pays his taxes and angry when he doesn’t? I’m so confuuuussssed….

  11. Damn wetback lawyers!

  12. Before I start screaming for his head, could someone let me know who is most likely to replace him?

    I worry that we might be in a “stick with the devil you know” situation.

  13. Jaybird – like it could get ANY worse?

  14. Before I start screaming for his head, could someone let me know who is most likely to replace him?

    Another tax happy Democrat. Maybe one who actually pays his fair mandated share.

  15. H man:

    Chaaarlie, you have some espalin’ to do.

    *Rangel in full drag and red wig* Waaaaaaaah!

  16. Mike:

    Are we libertarians supposed to get happy when someone pays his taxes and angry when he doesn’t? I’m so confuuuussssed….

    No, but when the person is question is one of the assholes who make sure that WE pay taxes is caught abusing his position to avoid same…

  17. Are we libertarians supposed to get happy when someone pays his taxes and angry when he doesn’t? I’m so confuuuussssed….

    It’s not confusing. Rangel is on the government dole, his tax burden can’t be high enough.

  18. This guy is a sleaze bag. I heard the Dominican Republic is well known for its “boys towns” if you get my drift.

    What to do? Jefferson, “The tree of liberty needs, from time to time, to fertilized with the blood of tyrannts and patroits.”

  19. Good god. Where I live senators and congressmen get forced into retirement for saying stuff like that. At least the white conservative ones do.

    Such bullshit.

  20. “I heard the Dominican Republic is well known for its “boys towns” if you get my drift.”

    I always did think Rangel was a closet case. He’s got that lazy lilt about him.

  21. ?putos politicos!

  22. @Kant feel Pietzsche, my Balzac is Ietzsche:

    Imagine Rangel owes $1M in back taxes. Great! That’s $1M less that the state could spend killing, robbing and deceiving.

  23. What R C Dean said in the first post.

  24. What J sub D said in the second.

  25. What Epi… Ah screw it. I got nothing. I agree with everybody

  26. Charlie says:
    Love that Good ‘n’ Plenty!

  27. OK, here are the lyrics. Make of them what you will.

    Once upon a time there was an engineer
    Choo Choo Charlie was his name, we hear.
    He had an engine and he sure had fun
    He used GOOD & PLENTY candy to make his train run.
    Charlie says “Love my GOOD & PLENTY!”
    Charlie says “Really rings my bell!”
    Charlie says “Love my GOOD & PLENTY!”
    Don’t know any other candy that I love so well!

  28. *with lazy lilt*

    I take exception to that Raphael! Also, whatever you have heard from Epi and Pro Lib is slander! Slander I tell you!

  29. The part Other Matt mentioned really gets me going. Oh, mistakes shouldn’t mean you have to give up your career? Tell that to all the people paying ridiculous penalties in all phases of life based on laws you passed.

    Furthermore, I don’t get the implication at the end of the article that there’s nothing illegal about renting more than one rent-controlled apartment. If a rent-controlled apartment must be a primary residence, how can you legitimately have more than one? And I love his excuse that two of them were combined by a previous tenant. Sounds like now it’s more a luxury apartment than something that should be rent-controlled.

    Not that I’m in favor of rent controls. But if you’re going to pass laws about it while spouting off that it’s for the less fortunate…

  30. Why should he know anyone who can translate Spanish for him? He also doesn’t know any rent-regulated tenants who’ve been harassed.

    Guy doesn’t get out much. Like into his own district.

  31. “?putos politicos!”

    Si

  32. Say it ain’t so, Chuckles.

    All those years, a crafty butcher like you, gettin’ your meat delivered around back, down in the Dominican Republic, without detection, only to get busted for something like this?

    For shame.

  33. “”I heard the Dominican Republic is well known for its “boys towns” if you get my drift.”

    I always did think Rangel was a closet case. He’s got that lazy lilt about him.”

    Boys Towns as I understand it are places with female hookers and donkeys (e.g., Nuevo Larado, Mexico) Not gay playgrounds.

  34. @Mike
    >>Imagine Rangel owes $1M in back taxes. Great! That’s $1M less that the state could spend killing, >>robbing and deceiving.

    I agree with you in principle, but the practical problem is that they will just steal the extra million from us if they feel that they need it.

    My point is that if the bastards who steal from us in order to kill, rob, and deceive nice people who are here to help us were held to the same standard as you or I, it’s at least in the realm of possibility they might be less inclined to do so.

  35. ?putos cabrones politicos!”

  36. The CREW “Most Corrupt” list:

    Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
    Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
    Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA)
    Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)
    Rep. Vito J. Fossella (R-NY)
    Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA)
    Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
    Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
    Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
    Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-CA)
    Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
    Rep. Timothy F. Murphy (R-PA)
    Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA)
    Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
    Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) Uh oh, Chollie!
    Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
    Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY)
    Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
    Rep. Don Young (R-AK)
    Dishonorable mentions

    Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
    Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
    Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
    Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)

    First, I’m surprised there a member of the Alaska delegation that didn’t make the list.

    Second, the Senate Minority Leader? The MINORITY LEADER!?! That’s just awful.

    No New Jersey? No Nevada? No Rhode Island? Man, things have changed. At least Louisiana is holding up its end.

  37. That’s just awful.

    And he’s a Democrat too, as hard as that must be for you to wrap your head around.

  38. Joe,
    Where did you get that list. I believe it but I would guess they’re would be more democrats on it.
    Where is Reid and Byrd and Kennedy?

  39. “Where did you get that list.”

    No doubt he made it up.

  40. “Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish,” Mr. Rangel told reporters”

    Damn, I hope he nevers owns any land in south Texas. He would really be fucked.

  41. No, Matthew, Mitch McConnel, the Republican Senate Minority Leader, the one with “(R-KY)” next to his name, is not a Democrat. What might have tipped you off to this fact is the term “Minority Leader,” and a passing familiarity with American politics.

    Thank you for playing, have some Turtle Wax.

  42. Terry | September 10, 2008, 8:45pm | #

    Joe,
    Where did you get that list. I believe it but I would guess they’re would be more democrats on it.
    Where is Reid and Byrd and Kennedy?
    Granger | September 10, 2008, 8:49pm | #

    “Where did you get that list.”

    No doubt he made it up.

    Why, right here, Terry.

    http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/34052

    Granger, is it painful to be that stupid, or is it just sort of a numb sensation?

  43. Where is Reid and Byrd and Kennedy?

    Disagreeing with you about politics is not the same thing as corruption. There has never been whiff of actual public corruption – bribery, pay-to-play, personally enriching themselves and their families out of the public treasury, and whatnot – around those three. You just don’t like them.

    I don’t like George Bush or Mitt Romney, but they’re not corrupt. They’re just assholes.

  44. Joe’s list is total bullshit. Sorry, but without providing the criteria for being labelled corrupt, that list is a bunch of bullshit.
    And for christ sake, the Democrats let William Jefferson keep his committee position AFTER $90,000 was found in his fucking freezer. The same can be said of the douche from W.VA.

    As far as Mitch McConnell is concerned, that label is garbage. I live in the state of KY, and if he was as corrupt as that list claimed, you would think his reelection opponent would have mentioned it. So far, there have been no allegations of impropriety from either his opponent or the KY media. I think CREW’s (whoever the fuck they are)definition of corruption is a little too broad.

  45. “Granger, is it painful to be that stupid, or is it just sort of a numb sensation”

    Joe, you must be tingling all over.

  46. I went to that site and read some of the articles. It is interesting how quite a few of the individuals named are under no investigation whatsoever. I guess a mere allegation is enough to be labelled corrupt. If such is the case, it is shocking that everyone in the House and Senate is not labelled corrupt.

  47. “That’s just awful.

    And he’s a Democrat too, as hard as that must be for you to wrap your head around.”

    Actually, he’s not.

  48. “”Granger, is it painful to be that stupid, or is it just sort of a numb sensation”

    It feels about the same as being a partisan hack.

  49. “Why, right here, Terry.

    http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/34052

    Next time please post the link up front. Thanks.

  50. “I really don’t believe making mistakes means you have to give up your career,” Mr. Rangel said.

    How many people who have run afoul of the hopelessly complex federal tax code that Charlie Rangel helps write have thought the same sort of thing? The schadenfreude you feel when the monsters finally turn on their creators is just so darn satisfying.

  51. Term limits. Why do we put up with this corruption and the excuses these idiots put forth. You or I pull this kind of stunt, we’d be lucky to choose top or bottom bunk.

  52. “Term limits. Why do we put up with this corruption and the excuses these idiots put forth. You or I pull this kind of stunt, we’d be lucky to choose top or bottom bunk.”

    Are you nuts? Term limits would mean that Ed Kennedy would have to go and to quote joe, “There has never been (a) whiff of actual public corruption – bribery, pay-to-play, (personal or family enrichment) out of the public treasury, and whatnot – around (Kennedy)”

  53. Why is it that black politicians can commit crimes such as income tax evasion and continue to serve, and never face the threat of arrest?

    Is it because they’re black?

    Do we really want a black president who is immune from prosecution for crimes, such as income tax evasion, while in office?

  54. Where is Reid and Byrd and Kennedy?

    Disagreeing with you about politics is not the same thing as corruption. There has never been whiff of actual public corruption – bribery, pay-to-play, personally enriching themselves and their families out of the public treasury, and whatnot – around those three. You just don’t like them.

    Well, Teddy did waltz away from what you and I would have been charged multiple felonies for, but yeah, he doesn’t want for dollars.

  55. Seriously, Granger, you go on “The Google,” and enter a few words like ‘CREW corruption Congress,” and poof! There it is. Do you use The Google?

    I know, why don’t you just assume I don’t know what I’m talking about and don’t have any evidence for what I write? That’s a really good idea.

  56. Black people get all the breaks, and any one is just like any other.

    Thanks, whyisit. Great comment.

  57. My corrupt list is quite a bit longer than your corrupt list…like every goddamned one of them.

  58. “Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish.”

    So, the conversation started in English. It progressed to the point of revealing the amount of tax due, then, just to mess with his mind, they switched to Spanish. Ole Charlie fell for it every time! I bet the guys in the tax assessor’s office are still punching each other in the ribs and rolling around on the floor laughing at the idiot gringo. But the joke was on them, eh Charlie, they never got paid.

  59. “Seriously, Granger, you go on “The Google,” and enter a few words like ‘CREW corruption Congress,” and poof! There it is. Do you use The Google?”

    Thank you task-master. May I have another?

  60. Is Rangel claiming that his advisor speaks Spanish?

    I don’t get it.

    He receives checks from his rental properties and he cashes them. This is income. Is he claiming that he can’t properly calculate his depreciation without speaking Spanish? That should result in overpayment of taxes, not underreporting of income.

    What’s really happening is that he’s rallying his constituents. “White people are hassling me, and it’s the hispanics’ fault.”

  61. You mean you’re supposed to pay income tax on rent receipts? Who’s supposed to know that?

    And of course, the chairman of one of the most powerful committees in Congress has plenty of time to pour over spreadsheets with rent receipts and depreciation schedules. He saves a lot of money not having to hire a CPA.

  62. I’m just waiting for Rangel to say “Mathematicas es dificil”.

  63. “Where is Reid and Byrd and Kennedy?

    Disagreeing with you about politics is not the same thing as corruption. There has never been whiff of actual public corruption – bribery, pay-to-play, personally enriching themselves and their families out of the public treasury, and whatnot – around those three. You just don’t like them.”

    If you haven’t found a whiff of corruption around Harry Reid, your nose doesn’t work.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Harry_Reid

    Special benefits for family members and their clients? Check.

    Misusing campaign funds? Check.

    Special legislation that will radically increase the value of his own landholdings? Check.

    False financial disclosure forms that get changed years later after the press starts investigating? Check.

    Close ties to Jack Abramoff and repeated actions for Abramoff’s clients, timed around the time of the donations? Check.

    Keeping the Abramoff money? Check.

    Is there a dirtier member of Congress than Reid who’s not on CREW’s list?

    Nick

  64. Wasnt it CHUCKY RANGEL who called TAX CUTS and RACSIS? proving his brain is smaller then a pea i mean a turkey is more intellegent

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.