Commentary by Kay B. Day
Not surprisingly, Democrats shot down an effort by House Republicans to pass a resolution calling for removing Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) from his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means committee. By this action and others, it is entirely possible Democrats have indirectly banned punishment for tax infractions. Bear with me as I have some fun explaining my position. I believe the jails could be emptied of all tax evaders immediately, in fact.
Rangel, says Fox News, “failed to pay his taxes and disclose income on multiple properties -- as much as $1.3 million.” To be fair, Rangel is not flying the tax plane solo. He’s in esteemed company, with US Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner having experienced his own tax snafu, and wannabe for chief spot at the Dept. of Health and Human Services Tom Daschle experienced the same. Daschle, as most observers will recall, was a powerful Democratic senator who is by many accounts a big buddy of President Barack Obama.
Then there was Nancy Killefer, designated for the newly created post of chief performance officer. CNN said, “Officials said privately the reason for Killefer's withdrawal was unspecified tax issues. The much-touted post was designed to scrub the federal budget.” Thus a performance of sorts lost her the performance post, excuse the alliteration.
Republicans wanted Rangel to step aside from his chairmanship because the committee oversees the tax code.
It becomes readily apparent the reason Democrats have such a ‘Tax and Redistribute’ mentality. Many of them appear to be concerned only with taxing and redistributing our income, managing to hang on to their own. No wonder they’re so creative about taxing everything from cigarettes to the air we exhale.
I am known for the glass-half-full mindset, so I am forcing myself to find a silver lining in the fiscal clouds covering our Democratic leaders. It seems to me a precedent has been set, one of gargantuan proportions.
Let us recall Wesley Snipes, action film star. I advocated for Snipes last year when he was sentenced by a federal judge in Florida to 3 years in prison over his errant tax ways. It seemed foolish to me to lock Snipes up because he harmed no one by his action, unless you count the coffers of a fiscally irresponsible federal government. Would that we all were as brave as Snipes, but I confess I am a weakling when it comes to defying our tax code.
If ever there were grounds for reforming our antiquated, murkily written tax code, now is the time. Our tax code is the single greatest threat to freedom in the land because you can go to jail for doing something you didn’t know you were doing and perhaps even your tax preparer might interpret parts of the code incorrectly. At least you can go to jail as long as you’re not a top Democrat leader.
Because top Democratic leadership has given Rangel, Geithner, Daschle and others a pass, it will be easy for creative lawyers to note the precedent set by our leaders when it comes to their own taxes. It seems to me no one should ever go to jail for tax evasion again, and the Democrats have kindly set multiple examples that could be cited in any courtroom. We will leave it to tax lawyers to work out the finer points of my argument, and we wish them the best in that endeavor.
Where’s that integrity promised by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) 3 years ago when Democrats took control of Congress? I suspect it’s in Rangel’s back pocket, along with a few crumpled tax returns.
[Please use the icons below to share this article. Search engines seem to give conservatives a lesser kind of love.]