Charlie Rangel, the man with the least trustworthy hair in Congress, has decided to pay taxes on income he forgot to include on his tax return. There are also questions about an interest-free mortgage.
In recent days, Lanny Davis, Washington attorney for Mr. Rangel, disclosed that the congressman didn't report on his taxes more than $75,000 in rental income on a villa he owned at the Punta Cana Yacht Club, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Documents released on Mr. Rangel's behalf also showed he paid no interest for a mortgage used to purchase the beach property. Mr. Davis said the financial issues were mistakes and unintentional.
The loan came from a development company in which New York developer and Rangel donor Theodore Kheel was an investor. Mr. Rangel paid off the loan in 2003 and Mr. Davis said the congressman, 78 years old, was among several early investors offered the interest-free arrangement to offset rental income that was less than initially projected.
Rangel, a Democrat from New York, is Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees the writing and passage of the tax laws Rangel claims to have not understood.
"Oh, really," he is not purported to have said, but should have. "You mean all income is taxable? Really? Well, I'll be dipped. Who would've guessed?"
Rangel has asked the House of Representatives to open an ethics investigation to clear his name. On the other hand, if the ethics investigation is going to make him look like a pampered, entrenched, self-dealing legislative aristocrat, he's not interested.