Archive for DC

Read the Obama and Biden tax returns for 2013

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The White House released the completed 1040 forms today for Barack Obama and his wife Michelle and for Joe Biden and his wife Jill.

As someone else said online earlier, time to get a new accountant.

Here are details:

For 2013, the Obamas reported adjusted gross income of $481,098 – no pauper’s salary, but a 21% drop from the $608,611 they reported in 2012.

With the smaller take home pay, their charitable contributions similarly shrank – from $150,034 in 2012 to $59,251 in 2013.

The big difference: book sales are down. The Obamas reported $273,739 income from publishers/agents in 2012, but only $116,180 in 2013.

Vice President Biden and wife Jill Biden also released their returns Friday, with adjusted gross income of $407,009, a small increase over the $385,072 they reported a year ago.

The Bidens contributed $20,523 to charity in 2013, up from just $7,190 in 2012. Conservative commentators like Bill O’Reilly of Fox News have been critical of Biden in past years for not giving enough money to charity.

The Obamas paid $98,169 in total tax for 2013 but the Bidens paid more: $114,492 in total federal and state taxes because they pay state taxes in both Virginia and Delaware.

The Obama family tax return:

Obama Taxes – 2013

The Biden family tax return:

Biden Taxes – 2013

The latest 9/11 Trutherism from the Ron Paul Institute

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Paul Craig Roberts writes a screed on the Ron Paul Institute website which includes this passage:

The self-inflicted hammer blows to Washington’s credibility have taken a toll. The most serious blow of all is the dawning realization everywhere that Washington’s crackpot conspiracy theory of 9/11 is false. Large numbers of independent experts as well as more than one hundred first responders have contradicted every aspect of Washington’s absurd conspiracy theory. No aware person believes that a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes, operating without help from any intelligence agency, outwitted the entire National Security State, not only all 16 US intelligence agencies but also all intelligence agencies of NATO and Israel as well.

Nothing worked on 9/11. Airport security failed four times in one hour, more failures in one hour than have occurred during the other 116,232 hours of the 21st century combined. For the first time in history the US Air Force could not get interceptor fighters off the ground and into the sky. For the first time in history Air Traffic Control lost airliners for up to one hour and did not report it. For the first time in history low temperature, short-lived, fires on a few floors caused massive steel structures to weaken and collapse. For the first time in history 3 skyscrapers fell at essentially free fall acceleration without the benefit of controlled demolition removing resistance from below.

Two-thirds of Americans fell for this crackpot story. The left-wing fell for it, because they saw the story as the oppressed striking back at America’s evil empire. The right-wing fell for the story, because they saw it as the demonized Muslims striking out at American goodness. President George W. Bush expressed the right-wing view very well: “They hate us for our freedom and democracy.”

In the past, Roberts has said al-Qaeda’s role in 9/11 was unsubstantiated.  Roberts also wrote a defense of Helen Thomas on InfoWars.com. Roberts, an economist, previously served in the Reagan administration.

Read about what you missed last night

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After it was reported that Lois Lerner fed IRS information on a conservative group to Elijah Cummings, I broke the news that Cummings owed IRS $30,000 in back taxes when he was going through financial difficulties in the 1990s (including child support payments for children he fathered with women other than his wife.)

Remember that fight Sunday at Annapolis in the office of Delegate Mary Dulany-James? Her legislative aide falsely told police a “black male” assaulted him before it emerged via police reports that he had allegedly gotten into a drunken brawl with his own brother.

Watch as Barbara Mikulski rants on the Senate floor and describes herself as “volcanic.”

Read about last night’s Candidate Open House in Anne Arundel County.

I also wrote about tonight’s GOP debate at JHU.

Larry Hogan provided an in-depth critique of the O’Malley-Brown era.

VIDEO: Barbara Mikulski rants on the Senate floor

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CNSNews notes that Senator Barbara Mikulski was upset that her Paycheck Fairness Act was not going to pass the Senate Wednesday. As the CNSNews writer notes, the Equal Pay Act passed in 1963. A Daily Beast column yesterday also debunked the unequal pay myth.

Her comments:

“I’ll tell you what I’m tired of hearing,” she yelled, “that somehow or other we’re too emotional when we talk.”

“To simply get a bill on the Senate floor, we have to vote on a motion to proceed on whether we’re going to take it up. And because this is now going to take a 60 vote majority, because of the invocation of this fog of filibuster, we can’t even get to majority vote to make sure women get equal pay for equal work!”

“No wonder people are fed up with us,” Mikulski said. “They wonder about us and why, when all is said and done, why more gets said than gets done.”

“We heard this morning the talk about the economy. You know one way to help the economy? It’s for people to make more money.”

“You know what I’m tired of hearing? That somehow or other we’re too emotional when we talk. Well I am emotional. I am so emotional about this. I tell you that if we don’t pass this bill, I’m gonna press on. It bring tears to my eyes, to know how women are working so hard and are getting paid less. It makes me emotional to hear that. Then when I hear all of these phony reasons, some are mean and some are meaningless. I do get emotional.

“I get angry. I get outraged. I get volcanic.”

Elijah Cummings owed IRS $30,000 in back taxes

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In light of the most recent revelations about Elijah Cummings and the IRS, I thought it would be interesting to discuss Cummings and his past history with the IRS.

In 1999, David Folkenflik of The Baltimore Sun wrote an article on Cummings and his financial problems.

From that 1999 article (emphasis added):

Among his most serious troubles:

In the mid-1990s, the Internal Revenue Service filed court papers declaring that Cummings was legally obliged to pay more than $30,000 in unpaid federal taxes. He finished paying those taxes earlier this year.

Cummings appears to have violated campaign finance law by having a donor co-sign a loan that supplied $15,000 for his first House campaign, attorneys knowledgeable about that law say.

In five instances, creditors went to court to force Cummings to pay a total of $24,000 in overdue debts.

Cummings said he has been short of money, in part, because he helps to support three children: his college-age daughter with his now-estranged wife and two children he fathered by other women out of wedlock — a 16-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. Cummings said he paid about $30,000 last year in child support and tuition payments.

More details on the IRS issues:

In 1991, according to tax records, Cummings failed to pay $20,949 in federal taxes, mostly business-related. In 1992, he failed to pay $3,847. In 1993, the figure was $6,054. The total: $30,850. The congressman said he simply did not have enough money to pay all his taxes while balancing other priorities.

“When you have limited resources, what you try to do is stretch those resources,” he said. “We always made sure our employees were paid.”

On federal disclosure forms, Cummings reported making $67,440 in 1995 — $38,600 as a lawyer and $28,840 as a state legislator. During his time as a state legislator, from 1983 to 1996, he had not been required to detail his finances.

The IRS filed court documents against Cummings seeking the unpaid taxes — including an order to pay $9,901 in June 1996, two months after he went to Congress.

Cummings did pay nearly $3,900 of his outstanding taxes, penalties and interest in April 1996, three days after winning election to Congress. He satisfied an additional $17,030 that May. But the congressman did not finish paying the final $9,901 tax bill until January of this year [1999].

Cummings wasn’t a fan of the IRS in 1997, according to the ’99 article in The Sun:

In a column in the Baltimore Afro-American in November 1997, published just after the House voted to overhaul the IRS, Cummings wrote that he shared many constituents’ distress over the agency.

“All of us pay taxes,” he wrote. “Many of us share a paralyzing fear that we have made a mistake when we file our tax return by the April deadline. We have all heard the horror stories of the dreaded audit or the mistake made by the IRS and the years it took to fix it.”

In an interview, Cummings said he never asked the IRS to reduce his tax penalties or interest.

“We paid every single dime,” Cummings said. A spokesman for the IRS declined to comment, saying it is the agency’s policy to protect taxpayers’ privacy.

It seems Cummings has changed his tune on the IRS since the 90s.