So why is it that one of the nicest guys in motor sports racing, two-time Indy 500 champion and "Dancing with the Stars Winner" Helio Castroneves gets arrested, handcuffed, put in an orange jumpsuit and dragged through the court system under penalty of jail, a ruined career and destroyed reputation? Helio is accused of, if I understand correctly, an effort by his staff to, not escape, but defer taxes by using a system whereby large lump sum payments get doled out over time as royalties.
New York Congressman Charlie Rangel gets caught with tax problems, former Congressman Tom Daschle caught having just flat not paid $120,000 in taxes. Treasury nominee Tim Geithner was way behind on his taxes, and Obama's Chief Performance Officer nominee, Nancy Killefer, had a lien on a house over $300 or so in unpaid taxes. These aren't the first or only elected officials that have, intentionally or otherwise, run afoul of the tax code.
Today, Rep. Hilda Solis, nominated to be labor secretary is being looked at more closely because her husband had to pay off $6,400 in tax liens, some of them 16 years old?
I understand maybe better than most. There is nothing more frustrating than spending more money one year getting tax work prepared and filed for a business than you actually were able to take home from it. The system needs to be simplified. Even the Washington Post put the call out for tax simplification a month or so ago. When a Washington newspaper is saying, "you need to simplify the tax code", well, "YOU NEED TO SIMPLIFY THE TAX CODE."
Think about every individual or businessperson who, at minimum is spending $30 or $40 on Turbotax or, for a large company, spending millions of dollars on tax and legal work. Let's save the discussion for ditching the system completely for The FairTax (HR 25) or, even better, replacing it with nothing. How about we either let Helio Castroneves off the hook if he agrees to fix whatever problem the IRS says is there? The other option is to have federal agents go and arrest Tom, Charlie and Tim and put them in handcuffs and orange jumpsuits, parade them in front of cameras, demonize them in the media, destroy their reputations and make them spend a few hours in the pokey?
I vote for letting Helio fix whatever it is just like these other high profile folks are apparently being allowed to do. Anything else is unequal application of the law for benefit of the political class and for purposes of making examples out of others so that the rest of us can see what they'll do to us if we act like the elected officials who make the rules. Apparently, they make them for us, not themselves.
crossposted to circlecitypundit