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?