Ralph at Tuthilltown Posted August 16, 2010 Share Posted August 16, 2010 Rangel's foreign scam ignored by ethics committee Source: The Examiner August 15th, 2010 3:06 pm Perhaps the most serious violation perpetrated by Rangel is being ignored by Congress and the media. While the focus of Democrat Congressman Charles Rangel's ethics charges center on doing legislative favors for donors and failing to pay taxes, his most troubling lapse -- enriching a foreign liquor company with billions of U.S. tax dollars -- continues to be largely ignored, according to a non-partisan watchdog group. A national survey of 1,019 Americans reveals that a clear majority of members of all political parties reported that Rep. Charles Rangel of New York is guilty of the ethics charges brought against him by the House ethics committee. The study which was conducted among self-reported Democrats, Republicans and Independents during July 29-30 by HCD Research revealed that the majority believe that Rangel is guilty, including 67% of Democrats, 87% of Republicans and 86% of Independents. The House Ethics Committee's recent charges against the veteran Democratic congressman from Harlem fail to mention his most serious transgression, one that will end up costing U.S. taxpayers about $6 billion, according to Judicial Watch, a Washington, DC public-interest group. Rangel helped mastermind a shady deal that gives London-based conglomerate Diageo billions of tax dollars to relocate from one unincorporated American territory (Puerto Rico) in the Caribbean to another (Virgin Islands) for no apparent reason, according to attorneys at Judicial Watch. "Uncle Sam will give the European booze maker nearly $3 billion in tax credits and benefits, help it build a new $165 million state-of-the-art rum distillery, allow it to take half of the Virgin Islands' rum-tax money, a 90 percent income-tax break and a property tax exemption," said Judicial Watch officials in a statement. Rangel's move will drastically boost Diageo's already lucrative profits -- and cheat the U.S. government out of much-needed tax revenue -- because it will slash in half the amount of taxes the liquor company currently pays for each gallon of rum. For years the rum has been produced in Puerto Rico, where a law caps the amount of tax rebate that can be kicked back to manufacturers. The Virgin Islands have no such rule, making it a far more profitable place to do business. When lawmakers got wind of Diageo's new accord, many led an effort to pass legislation limiting the amount of rum tax money that can go to corporations since the funds go back into the community to pay for things like schools and environmental preservation. Rangel, who at the time chaired the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, blocked the measure thereby preserving the unscrupulous Diageo deal. Essentially, Rangel diverted money from U.S. schools into tax breaks for a liquor conglomerate, according to Judicial Watch. Meanwhile, the Virgin Islands governor who helped broker the deal is also facing a litany of ethics charges for misappropriating federal funds. "This is not to say that Rangel's other corrupt acts aren't relevant. After all, the 20-term congressman is under investigation for tax evasion, using his office to raise money from corporations with business before him, illegally accepting multiple rent control apartments in his New York district and hiding more than $1 million in assets," claims Judicial Watch officials. Rangel's alleged corruption, which President Barack Obama recently called "very troubling," got him booted as Ways and Means committee chair and inspired the commander-in-chief to hint at resignation for the sake of leaving public office with "dignity." Others believe the Democrats wish him out of the picture before facing a tough election cycle. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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