Texas Congressman John Carter corrects an error, posts federal tax returns online, and encourages Tim Geithner and Charlie Rangel to do the same
Mr. Speaker, this past week I discovered I made an error on my House Financial Disclosure forms for 2006 and 2007. I properly reported my stock dividends, sales, and capital gains on my federal tax returns and paid all taxes in full. I also properly reported dividend income on my stocks and the sale amount of my stocks on my House Financial Disclosure form in both years. My error was in leaving out the amount of the capital gains from the sales. I have amended my returns to reflect those amounts. None of this changed my net worth a penny. There is a good editorial on this in today’s Roll Call and I urge each member to read it.
To make the point on this issue of my amending my House disclosure, and my continued campaign on the Rule of Law, I have today posted my federal tax returns for 2006 and 2007 online. I am not the first to take this step to clear up the matter. President Barack Obama did the same last year when he discovered he made the identical omission as mine. He amended his return, and posted his federal taxes online.
Now it’s time for House Ways and Means Chairman Rangel and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to pony up. The only reason for these two to hold back is if they have something to hide.
Chairman Rangel failed to pay income tax for over a decade on his Caribbean resort property, while Secretary Geithner evaded withholding taxes on income from the International Monetary Fund over multiple years. Neither has paid any penalty on their violations, as would have the average American taxpayer. The American public needs to know that Chairman Rangel has not again failed to report or pay federal taxes while still not paying penalties and interest on his previous evasions, all while overseeing the IRS.
They also need to know that the Secretary of the Treasury is not using his high station to avoid complying with the same IRS rules as his fellow citizens. While he is asking his fellow taxpayers to pay a 20-50% penalty for failure to report and pay income tax on foreign deposits, he has failed to pay a nickel on multiple years of evading federal taxes on income from the IMF.
My opinion is that anyone who fails to disclose income and pay their taxes should pay a reasonable penalty with interest. If not, our tax code becomes unenforceable.
But I also believe the higher law is the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Secretary Geithner cannot legally charge his fellow Americans penalties when he has paid none himself. That is a violation of the Constitution.
Next week I will introduce legislation dealing with the Treasury Secretary’s failure to abide by the same tax laws as the rest of the country. So if anyone was thinking I would slack off defending the Rule of Law because of a House Disclosure error they obviously have another thing coming. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I yield.