Saturday, July 31, 2010


Organization of the Federal Reserve SystemImage via Wikipedia

Did you know that you and I can create millions, billions and even trillions of numbers just as easily as the Federal Reserve?  All you have to do is use your imagination.
I’ll use the number proposed by Obama for his 2011 Federal Budget.  Its numerical value looks something like this: 3,800,000,000,000

Translated into words, that number is pronounced as three trillion eight hundred billion.
That’s a big number, huh?  It only took me three seconds to produce that number.  Let’s put a dollar sign in front of that: $3,800,000,000,000

Now, let’s take that number and put it in the deposit column of our checkbook ledger and add that in to what we have on account.  For me, that figure would add up to be: $3,800,000,000,127.14


Let’s do the same for the Federal government.  Let’s take that $3,800,000,000,000 that Obama wants for his 2011 Federal budget and put it into the deposit column of what the Federal government has on account.

Wait a minute!  The Federal government has no money on account.  As a matter of fact, they are this many dollars in the hole:  $13,053,274,954,598

O.K., so if the Federal Reserve gives the Federal government $3,800,000,000,000, does that bring the number down to:  $9,253,274,954,600?

Well, it would be if the Federal Reserve actually gave that money to the Federal government.  Unfortunately, that money is only a loan.  So, if we add what the Federal government already owes to the Federal Reserve to what it wants to borrow in the future, that number would be:  -$16,853,274,954,600

Did you catch that minus (-) figure I inserted before the dollar sign, children?  That ((MINUS!!!)) represents what you and your children and your children’s children and their children will be expected to pay back to the Federal Reserve the minute they’re born.

Now, if you’d like to spare your children all that grief and pay off your share of that debt right now, all you need to do is cough up $42,265.41.  But that doesn’t quite get you off the hook because starting next year, you’ll have to come up with about $1500.00 per month to pay for your share of the 2011 Federal budget.
Let’s pretend that this milk cow represents YOU and that this CHAINSAW represents the Federal Reserve.

Now, let’s pull this cord and get this baby warmed up!

Hear that?  That’s the sound of TYRANNY!  Smell that gasoline?  That’s the armpit of the policeman who’s got you in a chokehold for exercising your 1st amendment right to complain about it!  See those teeth? That’s just a reminder that they can slice you into T-bone steaks any day you decide to stop producing milk.

Oh, now, stop crying!  At least you get something in return for all that money, right?  Well, if your name happens to be Israel then that may be true—they get about a million dollars per day.  If your name isn’t Israel, then all you get are a bunch of wars to die in, ugly buildings you aren’t allowed to enter and a whole lot of alphabet soup agencies that take away things you aren’t willing to give up voluntarily.  Here’s some examples:  The NSA takes away your privacy, the ATF takes away your guns, the IRS takes away your money and the TSA takes away your dignity.  Any questions?

Let’s break that Federal budget down and I’ll show you what I mean.

Wow, looks like I was right!  The biggest chunk of that bill is for war and alphabet soup—I mean—national security.  $721.3 billion goes to the Department of Defense, $2.7 billion is for FBI counter-terrorism, $54.2 billion is for International Affairs, $20.9 is for defense related projects with the Energy Department, Veteran’s affairs gets $66 billion, Homeland Security gets another $54.7 billion, $8.5 billion pays for NASA satellites, $58.4 billion for Veteran’s pensions (a good thing), $7.5 billion for miscellaneous expenses and $228.1 billion goes towards interest on the debt incurred in past wars.  That brings us to a grand total of 1.223 trillion dollars or roughly 1/3 of the entire Federal budget.

Get a pad and paper ready, kids, cause I have a lot more figures to throw your way.

33,000,000,000 are the number of dollars the GOP doesn’t want to spend on an unemployment extension.  The GOP wants the unemployment to rise so they can use that number to embarrass the Democrats seeking reelection this November.

58,900,000,000 are the number of dollars the GOP does want to spend on additional war funding in Afghanistan, but only as long as it doesn’t come attached to an additional bill adding new education funding that would avert teacher layoffs.

You see?   It’s all about priorities.  War comes first and you and I come last!
Ready for some more numbers?

600 are the number of dollars spent each second on the drug war.

690,000 are the number of homeless people sleeping in the streets on any given night.

2,800,000 are the number of homes that went into foreclosure in 2009.

2,380,000 are the number of people currently incarcerated in U.S. prisons.

245,000,000,000 are the number of dollars spent to bail out banks and other financial institutions.

145,000,000,000 are the number of dollars spent to bail out Fannie and Freddie.

80,000,000,000 are the number of dollars spent to bail out the automobile companies.

48,000,000,000 are the number of dollars spent to bail out AIG.

I think Senator Dirkson said it best, “A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

Of course, the government doesn’t want you to be aware of these numbers and will take every opportunity to make the actual numbers appear much smaller.  This is what we call “Government Math.”

Let’s take the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for instance.  The CPI is a list of things that the average American needs—like a gallon of gas, a sirloin steak, etc.  It used to be simple to calculate the CPI.  You simply took the price from the previous year’s list of goods and compared them with the current price.  However, in the late 1980’s, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and friends tweaked the model, adding an assumption known as “Product Substitution”.  In other words, they assumed that people would switch to cheaper goods if the price of any given commodity got too expensive.

They assumed that if the price of steak went up, people would buy hamburger, and the cost of living would go down instead of up.  So instead of using the CPI to measure a standard of living, it was changed to measure what it takes for one to survive.  That way the government could reduce everything from interest payments on the national debt to cost of living adjustments to social security payments.

But that’s not the only thing they changed on the CPI.  Geometric weighting assumes that as prices of goods got too expensive, people would simply stop buying those goods and, as a result, were therefore given less importance in the index. This is what is known as a “Hedonic Adjustment,” which assumes that as the quality of goods improves, the overall price in those goods declines as well.

The government also likes to play with the unemployment numbers.  Right now, the government tells us that the unemployment rate is at 9.3%.  Actually, unemployment is more realistically somewhere in the neighborhood of 22%.  That’s a big difference, huh?

The problem is how unemployment figures are now calculated.  The government low-balls the number by excluding those who fall under the contemporary definition of ‘discouraged worker’ and those who can only find ‘part-time’ work. 

Today’s definition of a discouraged worker is one who has not found work within the last year.  Before 1994, a discouraged worker was defined as one who had not found work within the last month.  That’s a big discrepancy isn’t it, children.  If we add those people back into the equation, we come up with a more realistic unemployment rate of right around 22%.

There are other numbers that the government likes to play with as well—like the gross domestic product (GDP), the money supply, the actual value of the dollar, gold…. …am I losing you?

O.K., I’ll tell you what.  Let’s take a break and view this short video that demonstrates how numbers can be manipulated to produce any desired result.

Did you like that, children?  Now you know how the Federal Reserve does it.  All you need is an imagination and a gullible public to believe anything you tell them.  If you have those two things?  The world could be yours!

OOOPS—sorry!  I forgot. This world’s already taken.
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Recession was deeper than gov't previously

Recession inflicted more damage on economy than previously thought, government data show 

"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche," which essentially means "let them eat a type of egg-based bread" (not quite cake, but still a bit extravagant). 


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The recession was deeper than the government previously thought.  [SO, LET'S REWRITE THE HISTORY BEFORE THE INK DRIES]
The Commerce Department, in revisions issued Friday, estimates the economy shrank 2.6 percent last year -- the steepest drop since 1946. That's worse than the 2.4 percent decline originally estimated.
The economy's plunge underscores why the unemployment rate surged to 10.1 percent in October, a 26-year high.
The revisions in gross domestic product, or GDP, now show zero growth in 2008. That compares with a 0.4 percent gain previously estimated.The economy also grew less in 2007 (1.9 percent) than earlier thought (2.1 percent).
For all three years, consumers spent less and home builders cut more deeply than had been thought. Those factors help explain the downward revisions on the economy. [Factors weighing on the housing market include high unemployment, rising interest rates and the large number of distressed properties that remain in markets such as Florida, Arizona and Nevada.]
The revisions also show that struggling state and local governments cut spending more last year than previously thought. And they spent less in 2007 and 2008.
The economy slid into its worst recession since the Great Depression in late 2007. Many economists think the recession ended last summer, although a panel of academics that dates the start and end of recessions hasn't declared when this one ended. The panel usually does so well after the fact. [I WOULD RATHER TRUST THE OPINIONS A PANEL OF MOTHER'S WHO SHOP WEEKLY]
From the start of the recession in December 2007 until the April-to-June quarter of 2009, the economy sank 4.1 percent. That was deeper than the 3.7 percent decline previously estimated for the recession.
GDP is the broadest gauge of the economy's health. It measures the value of all goods and services -- from machinery to manicures -- produced in the United States.
The Commerce Department's latest revisions reach back to 2007. They're based on more complete data and on methodology thought to be more accurate.

Friday, July 30, 2010



Posted 06:30 PM ET

The Internet is a large-scale version of the "Committees of Correspondence" that led to the first American Revolution — and with Washington's failings now so obvious and awful, it may lead to another.

People are asking, "Is the government doing us more harm than good? Should we change what it does and the way it does it?"

Pruning the power of government begins with the imperial presidency.

Too many overreaching laws give the president too much discretion to make too many open-ended rules controlling too many aspects of our lives. There's no end to the harm an out-of-control president can do.

Bill Clinton lowered the culture, moral tone and strength of the nation — and left America vulnerable to attack. When it came, George W. Bush stood up for America, albeit sometimes clumsily.

Barack Obama, however, has pulled off the ultimate switcheroo: He's diminishing America from within — so far, successfully.

He may soon bankrupt us and replace our big merit-based capitalist economy with a small government-directed one of his own design.

He is undermining our constitutional traditions: The rule of law and our Anglo-Saxon concepts of private property hang in the balance. Obama may be the most "consequential" president ever.
The Wall Street Journal's steadfast Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote that Barack Obama is "an alien in the White House."

His bullying and offenses against the economy and job creation are so outrageous that CEOs in the Business Roundtable finally mustered the courage to call him "anti-business." Veteran Democrat Sen. Max Baucus blurted out that Obama is engineering the biggest government-forced "redistribution of income" in history.

Fear and uncertainty stalk the land. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says America's financial future is "unusually uncertain."

A Wall Street "fear gauge" based on predicted market volatility is flashing long-term panic. New data on the federal budget confirm that record-setting deficits in the $1.4 trillion range are now endemic.
Obama is building an imperium of public debt and crushing taxes, contrary to George Washington's wise farewell admonition: "cherish public credit ... use it as sparingly as possible ... avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt ... bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not ... inconvenient and unpleasant ... ."

Opinion polls suggest that in the November mid-term elections, voters will replace the present Democratic majority in Congress with opposition Republicans — but that will not necessarily stop Obama.

A President Obama intent on achieving his transformative goals despite the disagreement of the American people has powerful weapons within reach. In one hand, he will have a veto pen to stop a new Republican Congress from repealing ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank takeover of banks.
In the other, he will have a fistful of executive orders, regulations and Obama-made fiats that have the force of law.

Under ObamaCare, he can issue new rules and regulations so insidiously powerful in their effect that higher-priced, lower-quality and rationed health care will quickly become ingrained, leaving a permanent stain.

Under Dodd-Frank, he and his agents will control all credit and financial transactions, rewarding friends and punishing opponents, discriminating on the basis of race, gender and political affiliation. Credit and liquidity may be choked by bureaucracy and politics — and the economy will suffer.
He and the EPA may try to impose by "regulatory" fiats many parts of the cap-and-trade and other climate legislation that failed in the Congress.

And by executive orders and the in terrorem effect of an industrywide "boot on the neck" policy, he can continue to diminish energy production in the United States.

By the trick of letting current-law tax rates "expire," he can impose a $3.5 trillion 10-year tax increase that damages job-creating capital investment in an economy struggling to recover. And by failing to enforce the law and leaving America's borders open, he can continue to repopulate America with unfortunate illegals whose skill and education levels are low and whose political attitudes are often not congenial to American-style democracy.

A wounded rampaging president can do much damage — and, like Caesar, the evil he does will live long after he leaves office, whenever that may be.

The overgrown, un-pruned power of the presidency to reward, punish and intimidate may now be so overwhelming that his re-election in 2012 is already assured — Chicago-style.

• Christian, an attorney, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Ford administration.
• Robbins, an economist, served at the Treasury Department in the Reagan administration.


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The picture is of a Congressman who came to see himself across his 40-year career as a political baron whose stature made him immune from the rules everyone else lives by. Mr. Rangel seems to think he's no different from many other Members, save for sloppy bookkeeping. And he has a point. He also deserves to be remembered for dodging Chinese bullets in the service of his country in the Korean War. But given the gravity of the charges and the voluminous evidence the ethics committee has assembled, it is hard to see how Mr. Rangel can in good conscience remain in office. Don't you just hate it when people can't see beyond their own nose!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Oh yeah, well then explain why they don't produce anything except debt and never answer the phone!

Today, the White House is launching its second annual SAVE Award, which encourages federal employees to submit ideas on how to save taxpayer dollars. Federal employees will be able to rank the submissions submitted by colleagues, and then the general public will be able to vote on the top submissions later this year. Last year's contest generated more than 38,000 submissions from government employees and more than 84,000 votes. Last year's winner? A Department of Veterans Affairs employee from Colorado who suggested that VA medical centers should permit patients to take home extra bandages and medication when they are discharged. Estimated savings: $14.5 million by 2014. Not bad. But we have a better idea. How about paying federal employees what they would be worth in the private sector? Potential savings: $47 billion a year.



The more one reads on the subject of illegal aliens the more one questions the sanity of the American people in general?  American has become a 'sink hole' and will collapse from within ... wake up ... gaze into the mirror and ponder the question ... what does an a-hole look like?

Illegals leaving Arizona for sanctuary cities bring contagious diseases with them

July 26, 1:33 PM · Martha R Gore - Watchdog Politics Examiner
As long ago as in 2005, Arizona hospitals and doctors were worrying about the resurgence of some serious infectious diseases being brought to the United States by illegal immigrants from Mexico. In 2010, if anything, it seems to be getting worse as illegals travel to sanctuary cities and the diseases spread among those populations.
This should worry sanctuary cities who may soon find an increase of diseases such as:
  • Whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis
  • Malaria
  • Measles
  • Leprosy
  • Hepatitis A, B and C
As the approximately 450,000 illegals begin migrating away from Arizona because of the passage of SB 1070, which may go into effect on July 29, 2010, they will seek out the sanctuary cities that more welcoming to them.  The effect will be felt in hospitals and health care systems, many of whom are already financially burdened.
Diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB) is easily spread by coughing droplets so just standing in line next to a person afflicted with the disease who is coughing could mean becoming infected with the disease.
According to a 2009 report from the World Health Organization, in 2007 Mexico had 21,283 TB cases which translated into 20 cases per 100,000 people. The WHO also reported that 25% of the TB cases in the U.S. originated in Mexico.
Many restaurants, especially fast food types, employ illegals to work as cooks, dishwashers and food handlers. If the sanctuary cities do not have strict health codes requiring screening for these workers, many of the contagious and infectious diseases, especially Hepatitis A, B. and C can be spread very quickly among that city's population.
Especially at risk are children, who come in contact with immigrants who can pass on measles, mumps and rubella, and who have not be vaccinated against these and other diseases, such as whopping cough.
Read more about Arizona Politics
Keep in touch with national politics
Border Patrol tried to prevent illegal immigrants from entering U.S.
Border Patrol tried to prevent illegal immigrants from entering U.S.
Getty Photos
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


What did Abraham Lincoln mean by "A house divided against itself cannot stand"?

On June 16, 1858, the Republican State Convention met in Springfield, Illinois, and chose Abraham Lincoln to run against Democrat Stephen Douglas for the U.S. Senate. Lincoln's speech that evening was specifically about the problems of slavery in the United States, and especially the effect of the recent Dred Scott decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Lincoln paraphrased the following passage from the Bible, Matthew 12:25, when he spoke of a house divided:
And Jesus knew their [the Pharisees'] thoughts, and said unto them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand."
Lincoln hoped to use a well-known figure of speech to help rouse the people to recognition of the magnitude of the ongoing debates over the legality of slavery. His use of this paraphrased metaphor is perhaps clearer when you look at some more of his speech:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe the government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
As you can see, in this metaphor, the "house" refers to the Union — to the United States of America — and that house was divided between the opponents and advocates of slavery. Lincoln felt that the ideals of freedom for all and the institution of slavery could not coexist — morally, socially, or legally — under one nation. Slavery must ultimately be universally accepted or universally denied.

This speech, given two-and-a-half years before South Carolina would become the first state to secede from the Union, foreshadowed the coming storm of the Civil War. Although Lincoln lost the election to Stephen Douglas, his eloquent political arguments put him in the national limelight and paved the way for his election to the presidency in 1860.
The end of slavery in the United States inspired conflicting visions of the future for all Americans in the nineteenth century, black and white, slave and free. The black child became a figure upon which people projected their hopes and fears about slavery's abolition. As a member of the first generation of African Americans raised in freedom, the black child ”freedom's child ”offered up the possibility that blacks might soon enjoy the same privileges as whites: landownership, equality, autonomy. Yet for most white southerners, this vision was unwelcome, even frightening. Many northerners, too, expressed doubts about the consequences of abolition for the nation and its identity as a white republic.

From the 1850s and the Civil War to emancipation and the official end of Reconstruction in 1877, Raising Freedom's Child examines slave emancipation and opposition to it as a far-reaching, national event with profound social, political, and cultural consequences. Mary Niall Mitchell analyzes multiple views of the black child ”in letters, photographs, newspapers, novels, and court cases” to demonstrate how Americans contested and defended slavery and its abolition.

With each chapter, Mitchell narrates an episode in the lives of freedom's children, from debates over their education and labor to the future of racial classification and American citizenship. Raising Freedom's Child illustrates how intensely the image of the black child captured the imaginations of many Americans during the upheavals of the Civil War era. Through public struggles over the black child, Mitchell argues, Americans by turns challenged and reinforced the racial inequality fostered under slavery in the United States. Only with the triumph of segregation in public schools in 1877 did the black child lose her central role in the national debate over civil rights, a role she would not play again until the 1950s.

The federal government [Obama Administration] has a duty, right and a responsibility to enforce existing laws; but when they fail to meet their responsibility in effect by condoning drug cartels, human smuggling including terrorist and encouraging cross border violence has essentially draw a 'line in the desert sands' with Arizona and the Immigration Laws.   Either you're on the American and liberty side of this line or you're denying the principles upon which this country character was established.  Raising Freedom's Child could just as well be the "anchor baby" in the immigration debate and narrative gripping our country.  Not acknowledging our existing immigration laws but denying them with empty arguments and political pushing of the envelope will create an significant social unrest at first within complex social fabric of liberty and opportunity.  

"There's nowhere in the Constitution that says a state is limited to what it absolutely won't do and can be stopped for what it might do and to exercise a judgment against a state that has passed a law that is consistent with existing federal law is beyond absurd."  

"This balance between the National and State governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importanceIt forms a double security to the people. If one encroaches on their rights they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by a certain rivalship, which will ever subsist between them."
Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton also struck down the section of law that makes it a crime not to carry immigration registration papers and the provision that makes it a crime for an illegal immigrant to seek or perform work.  



Bush Tax Cuts Calculator Documentation

This calculator estimates a given taxpayer's federal individual income tax liability for tax year 2011 under three scenarios: (1) all of the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire; (2) Bush tax cuts are fully extended; (3) President Obama's tax proposals as laid out in his F.Y. 2011 budget are enacted.
The calculator was developed by Nicholas Kasprak with assistance provided by Gerald Prante and Mark Robyn.
The calculator has many assumptions imbedded in it in order to make the calculator simple for use by ordinary citizens. In all reality and unfortunately, the tax code is even more complicated than this calculator would lead one to believe. With calculators like this one for public consumption, there is always a trade-off between simplicity for ease of use by the general public and accuracy for those who want a very detailed and accurate estimate. In building the calculator in its current format (most notably with the "catch all"/"other income category), we sought to strike the right balance between these competing desires (simplicity for average users and accuracy for those with more detailed knowledge of the tax code).
The calculator assumes that under all three scenarios, the most popular tax provisions not in the Bush tax cuts that are typically extended every year by Congress (i.e., AMT patch, standard deduction for property taxes, above-the-line deduction for tuition and fees) are extended. Parameters have been adjusted for expected inflation per the IRS method for adjusting tax parameters for annual changes in the monthly CPI average. (Inflation projections for CPI-U out through September 2010 were required). These may differ slightly with the projections of CBO, JCT, or the Tax Policy Center.
For a complete list of the assumed parameter amounts and tax parameters under all three states of the world, click here. (Note: Although this page says "no AMT patch" under the Bush tax cuts expire and Bush tax cuts extended scenarios, the calculator assumes the same patch under all three scenarios.)
The assumed policies under President Obama's proposals were outlined in his F.Y. 2011 budget. Note that the chances of that exact policy scenario actually being implemented are small, especially given Congress's hesitation to touch the 28% limitation on itemized deductions that Obama proposed in last year's budget. Details for the tax plans outlined in Obama's budget scenario were taken from both the Treasury Green Book and JCT's description of the proposals. JCT describes a scenario where a tax return hit by AMT residing in the phase-out range of the AMT exemption could be impacted by the 28 percent limitation as well. This could affect families making less than $250,000, which is the reason some families under that Obama threshold could see a small tax increase as a result of his proposal. We understand that this interaction between AMT and Obama's 28 percent itemization rule is highly technical and may be the source of some confusion among calculator users.
This calculator does not include any of the provisions that were passed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., health care reform bill) that was passed in 2010. That's because none of the major individual income tax provisions in that bill go into effect until after 2011.
Note also that in most cases for working families, the reason that an income tax bill is lower under Pres. Obama than under the Bush tax cuts extended scenario is the president's proposal to extend his Making Work Pay tax credit through tax year 2011. (His budget calls for it to only be extended to 2011 and not beyond that, citing it as a "temporary recovery measure.")
In order to avoid a long list of questions pertaining to college expenses and students, this calculator makes simple assumptions regarding the tuition tax breaks a family receives, such as each student paying the same tuition in families with multiple college students.
Also for simplicity, the calculator assumes no capital gains in excess of 5 years for the "Bush expire" scenario. Under current law for 2011, capital gains on the sale of stock are set to go back to a system of three different tax rates for three different holding periods (less than 1 year, 1-5 years, and 5+ years).
This calculator ignores the "above-the-line" deduction for one-half of self-employment tax paid, which means those with self-employment income seeking a more accurate estimate should manually calculate one-half of the self-employment tax and enter it as a negative number in the "other income" category. The same principle applies to all other adjustments (i.e., "above-the-line" deductions) except for the tuition and fees deduction, which is calculated by this calculator based upon the tuition expenses amount.
Generally, one-half of self-employment tax for 2011 = ((self-employment income * .9235) *.0145) +  ((self-employment income * .9235) * .062) for those with wages + self-employment income less than $108,900. For those with wages + self-employment income greater than or equal to $108,900, one-half of self-employment tax for 2011 = ((self-employment income * .9235) *.0145) +  ((min(self-employment income, 108,900) * .9235) * .062).
Note: $108,900 is our projection for the Social Security wage cap for 2011.
This calculator should not be used for calculating one's own official income tax. No information entered into the tax calculator is stored in any way. If you find any odd results in the calculator that you feel may be incorrect, please e-mail the Tax Foundation immediately:
Note that the Tax Foundation is not a place that gives personalized tax consulting. Please see a tax lawyer or accountant for that.
Calculator is the property of the Tax Foundation. Click here for more legal information pertaining to the calculator.


Rangel Scrambling to Make Deal on Ethics Charges

Published July 27, 2010
WASHINGTON -- Embattled Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel was meeting with the head of the House ethics committee and other top Democrats amid rumors he may try to work out a deal rather than face a full vetting of the charges he is now facing. 
A settlement would mean Rangel must admit he committed some ethical misconduct. 
"This has been a nightmare," Rangel said Tuesday about the ethics controversy. "I wish this never happened."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Tuesday that "everyone would like for the Rangel issue to go away" and that the ethics process with Rangel is not a pleasant one.
Rangel would not respond to requests for information about the investigation, citing the "sensitive circumstances" of the probe. He added to reporters: "You will not be able to frame any question, no matter how good you think you are, (to which) I will respond."

Asked whether he was trying to avoid a trial, Rangel said, "No. I'm looking forward to almost two years of waiting for an opportunity to respond to alleged violations so I won't have to be saying no comment, no comment, no comment."Asked whether there was a deal, Rangel said, "Not that I know of."
Rangel said he is not in active contact with his lawyers as they negotiate with Ethics committee staff.
Ethics committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren has been preparing to launch a rare, public ethics inquiry on Thursday into alleged misdeeds by the New York Democrat. 
Lofgren will chair an "adjudicatory subcommittee" that will present its case against Rangel. An investigative panel reported last week that it had found ethics violations by Rangel.
For nearly two years, the ethics committee has probed Rangel on a host of issues, ranging from tax evasion to improper use of congressional stationery to raise money for a school of public affairs in the congressman's name at City College of New York.
Rangel met with Lofgren on Monday night and sought closed-door counsel from Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a special assistant to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"I think he's in the process of trying to determine the best course forward," said Van Hollen. "I was presenting him with my observations."
A settlement would spare him an embarrassing ethics trial and would be a relief for other Democrats, who fear that a dragged-out ethics proceeding during the fall election campaign would hurt their ability to maintain their House majority. 
At least two Democrats are trying to distance themselves from Rangel as the process plays out.
"Now that the investigation is complete and provided the facts are as alleged, I think it's clear that he should resign from Congress," said Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho.
"I didn't know him when I accepted money from him," added Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa., who has returned campaign donations. Dahlkemper said it's a "common practice" for party leaders to "give money to people who they think will be successful. So politically it could become an issues, but I decided to take care of it before it did."
Rangel said it's a lawmaker's prerogative to decide whether to return contributions.
Fox News' Chad Pergram and Shannon Bream contributed to this report.