Most popular guy in the Party of Fair Share to endorse tax cheat for 23rd term

The Democratic Party is nothing if not young, vibrant, and in favor of everyone paying as much as possible in taxes as an honorable patriotic duty. Which is why the party’s most popular Medicare recipient will endorse a 70-something tax cheat for his 23rd term this week:

Bill Clinton is going to be endorsing embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel’s re-election to a 23rd term, The Post has learned.

The former president’s endorsement is a coup for Rangel, 83, who is facing a strong challenge from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, the same candidate who nearly toppled him in their initial face-off two years ago.

Harlem preacher Michael Walrond is also in the race.

Clinton stayed neutral when Rangel was running in 2012 because a former aide to his foundation, Clyde Williams, was one Rangel’s challengers. But Clinton has no conflict this time.

And, Heaven forfend that Harlem get someone new and slightly less cringe-inducingly corrupt than Rangel.

If you’ll allow me to excerpt myself, here’s a primer on Rangel’s, ahem, tax missteps while he was writing tax law for the rest of us on the Ways & Means Committee:

Rep. Charlie Rangel amended his financial disclosure forms under pressure in 2009 to show “that he had omitted an array of assets, business transactions and sources of income. They include a Merrill Lynch Global account valued between $250,000 and $500,000; tens of thousands of dollars in municipal bonds; and $30,000 to $100,000 in rent from a multifamily brownstone building he owned on West 132nd Street.” That wasn’t all. “The latest filings come on top of an amendment to Mr. Rangel’s 2007 disclosure form reported this week showing that he had failed to list at least $500,000 in assets.” The new disclosures doubled Rangel’s net worth.

Rep. Charlie Rangel rented several apartments in Harlem at suspiciously below-market rates from a big campaign donor, combining several to create his home while using one of them as a campaign office. That was a violation of rent-control laws, which require rent-controlled apartments to be used as residences.

Rep. Charlie Rangel parked his Mercedes for free in a Congressional parking space for about five years, never declaring the approximate $300 monthly fee on his taxes, as IRS rules require. Luckily, the House Ethics committee determined that he didn’t violate any rules because they only apply rules about parking to staff, not members.

Rep. Charlie Rangel used Congressional letterhead to solicit donations for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York from companies that might have significant interests in the policy making of his committee, a move ethicists said “crossed the line.” He’d already funneled federal earmarks for the center.

Later, one of the big donors to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service benefitted richly when Rangel changed his position on closing a tax loophole.

Rep. Charlie Rangel failed to report $75,000 in rental income or pay taxes on a Dominican villa he owned, causing the New York Times to call for him to step down from his Ways and Means Chairmanship.

In 2008, Rep. Charlie Rangel was forced to pay back taxes on rental income on his villa in the Dominican Republic— a property he was advised to buy by one of his donors and for which he later received preferential treatment when the interest rate on his mortgage was waived.

Rep. Charlie Rangel took the “Property Homestead Deduction Act” tax break on his Washington, D.C. residence for five years, despite the fact that he maintained his primary residence in New York for electoral reasons. Lawmakers who maintain a residence in D.C. but must also maintain a primary residence in their districts are not eligible for the homestead break, tax lawyers told the NY Post.

Rangel is one of the most demonstrably corrupt manipulators of the tax code in Washington, and his longtime position as the guy who wrote tax code for the rest of us makes the corruption all the more despicable.

Most recently, Rangel has been getting breaks on rent from the state that normal people could never get and then refuses to pay anyway, to the tune of $87,000. The definition of “fair share” is mighty tiny when applied to entrenched Democrats, it seems.

Hm. There are so many reasons for him to lose his seat before demographics, that I hope that’s not what does him in.