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Washington's Tax Day hypocrites

April 16, 2012
It's hard to take someone seriously if they don't practice what they preach. I remember being sent to the principal's office countless times in 6th grade for refusing to turn in my English essays to Ms. Lee. I told her, when she started handing back our graded essays when she said she would, I'd start getting them to her on time. I was kind of a punk.

But 6th graders don't really care about being punks, and neither does the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In the lead up to tax day, the DCCC is calling out a group of House Republicans as being hypocrites.

"There are at least 23 House Republican Members, plus some Republican candidates, who have current or past tax problems according to public records and news reports," the DCCC said in a release. "Not only are these Republicans relentlessly protecting tax breaks for the ultra wealthy, but they fail to pay some of their own."

And unlike when Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., said he knew of 80 communists in the House, the DCCC is willing to name names. 

The list includes big issues like the FBI's current investigation of Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., for failing to pay capital gains taxes after he claimed he was forced to sell his land under eminent domain (these claims are disputed) and small ones like the $87.61 in penalties Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Arkansas., paid for delinquent taxes. 

A couple of interesting tidbits: between 1992-2002 Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., waged an 8-year tax fight that resulted in him having to pay the IRS $2.5 million (he is also currently under investigation by the IRS for possibly claiming improper tax deductions); Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, was assessed about $1.4 million in unpaid state taxes, interest and fees in 2006;  and Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., is under investigation by the IRS for possible income tax evasion.

This is not an affliction limited to Republicans of course. Plenty of Democrats have run into tax troubles, including Timothy Geithner, who just happens to now run ... the Treasury Department.  

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