The Rangel Rule

US Representative John Carter (R-TX)U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-TX) will introduce new legislation to Congress today, Thursday January 29, 2009, to eliminate all penalty and interest charges imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against U.S. citizens who have failed to properly pay their federal income tax correctly and on time.

The bill is designed to provide the same treatment for all U.S. taxpayers owing back taxes as that enjoyed by House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY).

Carter’s bill, known as the Rangel Rule, draws attention to the recent legal issues of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, (D-NY), and would enable citizens who fail to pay taxes on time to do so later with no additional fees or interest.

Rangel, who writes America’s federal tax policies, finally admitted last fall that he failed to pay thousands in real estate taxes for rental income he earned from a property in the Dominican Republic. Yet, as of September 2008 the Harlem Democrat reportedly had paid back more than $10,000 in taxes but that did not include any IRS penalties.

Your [Rangel] citizens back home should have the same rights and benefits that come to you as a member of congress. You shouldn’t be treated any differently under the law than your citizens back home.

— Rep. John Carter

Carter also added that normal American citizens should receive the “same courtesy” that the IRS is supposedly granting to Rangel and Obama’s incoming Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who was also recently exposed as having failed to pay his taxes.

I absolutely adore it when someone takes filthy, puling racist thugs like Rangel to task for their misdeeds. After all, there is a precedent; the IRS was used to break up the KKK in the 1944.

It gets better though. Apparently Rep. John Carter wrote to Rangel earlier in January and said that Rangel should either pay the IRS fees he should owe or join Carter in co-sponsoring the legislation establishing the law that such fees are no longer acceptable.

Is There Any Point?

Is there any point to Rep. John Carter’s introduction of the Rangel Rule bill to Congress? If one is solely concerned with getting legislation passed, then there was no point to Carter’s doing this; there is no chance at all that the Rangel Rule will be passed – or even voted upon. Carter knows this.

I am raising this issue not so much to just push the issue but to open the discussion. I don’t think it’s wrong for us to start having a free discussion in congress and with a certain amount of humor in it about how should people be treated in Congress.

— Rep. John Carter

I think it’s time – in fact, past time by a long margin – for such a discussion to happen. The people in Congress need to be held accountable for the actions instead of being granted special privileges and considerations because of the offices that they hold.

Related Reading:

Taxes Made Simple: Income Taxes Explained in 100 Pages or Less
Congress and Its Members (Sixteenth Edition)
The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade. New Preface and Epilogue with Updates on Economic Issues and Main Characters
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The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

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