The Washington Post Sunday edition had the headline, “Battle Looms on Tax Breaks: Bush-Era Cuts for Rich at Issue.” There is definitely a fight brewing on Capitol Hill as the Bush Tax Cuts near an end and the Obama administration is looking at sticking it to the rich with tax hikes. You would think that the Bush Tax cuts were only for the rich as you listen to the debate. What I propose is that the rich and powerful actually pay their taxes and stop using loopholes, shelters, and deceit.
Senator John Kerry is docking his built in New Zealand 76 foot luxury yacht in Rhode Island. Kerry, of Massachusetts, wants to avoid the high tax bill that he would receive in MA for his $7 million custom boat. The Boston Herald reported that he saves “approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.” Kerry, one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, has yet to see a tax hike he would vote against. He frequently states that the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes. In his own case, he is right on the money.
We have another wealthy and powerful member of Congress who has some trouble paying his share of the tax bill. Representative Charles Rangel of New York was last week charged by the House Ethics Committee with multiple violations. The exact nature of the violations has not been released to the public. Rangel has been investigated for failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets, improper use of several rent-controlled apartments in his Harlem district, and also for failure to pay taxes on property he owns in the Dominican Republic. Again someone who is adamant about raising taxes on the rich has issues paying his own. Rangel faces a trial-like session before a select subcommittee and could possibly face a trial in actual court.
Now as the debate begins and the administration looks for ways to raise taxes on the rich, I hope the first order of business will be to demand that Obama’s rich friends and allies such as Senator Kerry actually pay their taxes in full. “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting to pay my tax bill.” Isn’t that a catchy phrase?