Rep. John Carter
New York Post
If powerful politicians suffer no penalty for “forgetting” to pay their taxes, said Texas Republican Rep. John Carter, why should you? I have introduced legislation I’m calling the “Rangel Rule,” named after my colleague Charles Rangel, the powerful Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Rangel failed for years to pay taxes on some rental property in the Caribbean; after he was exposed, he apologized and paid up, but has not had to fork over any interest or penalties or suffer any prosecution. The new treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, recently came clean about his own failure to pay federal taxes, and he, too, “has paid no penalties and faces no charges.” Make no mistake: If these “oversights” had been yours, you’d be facing serious consequences, possibly including jail. But under my bill, any citizen caught owing back taxes could, by writing “Rangel Rule” on his return, be exempt from interest and penalties. Not only would this “restore equal treatment for working Americans,” it would also keep more money in the hands of taxpayers—which happens to be the best way to get our economy moving again.