Pete Kasperowicz of The Hill reported yesterday:
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) on Wednesday said the federal government is not broke, and that Congress should not begin cutting programs in the way that Republicans have proposed.
“Make no mistake about it, we’re not broke,” Rangel said in a floor discussion with Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) “It wasn’t that we overcompensated public employees. They didn’t cause this deficit.”
Of course, if you really believe that the country is not broke in the face of a $14 Trillion national debt, and a deficit of $1.3 Trillion this year alone, you probably don’t believe that you have to pay taxes, either. Maybe that explains why Rangel was so indignant when we forced him to admit that he failed to disclose or report rental income from his Dominican Republic beach house.
The financial crisis of 2008 shook the confidence of middle-class taxpayers in their long-term financial security. As a result, spending and debt were the dominant issues in last year’s election. That is why Republicans gained 63 seats in the House.
To be fair, Democrats pulled the rug on Rangel’s Ways and Means chairmanship, and even President Obama tried to get him to retire “with dignity.” Rangel wouldn’t take the hint (or the shove), and he recently announced that he is running again in 2012. To advocates of smaller government, Rangel is the gift that keeps on giving.