Earlier today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY), told reporters that the tax cut provisions in the economic stimulus plan will be cut, without offering further details.
You may remember that earlier in 2008, Chairman Rangel was investigated for violating a number of House ethics rules, which led to three separate investigations. During this time period, he admitted that he failed to report at least $75, 000 of income made off of his beachside condo in Punta Cana. He is also currently under investigation for failing to report imputed income from storage of his Mercedes-Benz on U.S. Government property.
Even the New York Times found it ridiculous that Rangel still held tax writing authority, and asked him to resign his committee chairmanship.
This comes on the heels of yesterday’s news that President-elect Obama’s choice for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, failed to pay at least $34,000 in payroll taxes while working for the International Monetary Fund a few years ago. In fact, after being audited in 2006, Geithner only paid back some of what was owed. It wasn’t until two days before his nomination that Geithner chose to pay back the rest of his back taxes, after Obama’s transition team asked him to do so.
To get this straight, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and potentially the incoming Treasury Secretary, have chosen to exempt themselves from paying taxes. Minority Leade Boehner said it best in September: “The Democratic chairman of the tax-writing committee doesn’y pay them, so naturally he doesn’t mind raising yours.”
Short term tax rebates and tax holidays, like the ones being discussed in the current stimulus proposal do not work, as we have pointed out in the past, especially in contrast to the permanent tax cuts we support. However, Charlie Rangel should be the last person to eliminate any type of tax cuts from the debate.
Charlie Rangel and Timothy Geithner are taking “tax holidays” to a whole new level.