Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pete Stark (D-CA) should be removed from office.

The salary for a congressman is $162,500 per year plus perks. Despite this kind of pay, Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) claimed his primary residence as being in Maryland to save just $3,853 in taxes. He is registered to vote in California and has a California driver's license. He is not alone. Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) has done the same thing. These are the same guys calling the Wall Street guys crooks....

...Stark, 77, confirmed in a telephone interview last week that he and his wife, Deborah, are registered to vote in California’s 13th congressional district using the address of her parents in San Lorenzo, about 25 miles southeast of San Francisco. Stark also said both he and his wife have California driver’s licenses....

tark is not alone among politicians who have claimed the tax credit. Last week, the Associated Press reported that U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, was declared ineligible by Maryland officials for the tax break he has been receiving for a home he owns in Montgomery County, Maryland, a Washington suburb. A state official said her office is reviewing the eligibility of other members of Congress who own property in Montgomery County and claim the credit....

Roberta Ward, office manager of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation’s Montgomery County branch, said her staff has been cracking down on members of Congress from other states who were claiming the homestead tax credit.

“Somebody let it be known that a lot of congressmen were getting the tax break, Ward said. ‘‘So then we got a list’’ a few years ago and ‘‘we sent letters to all the congressmen’’ who own property in the county. She estimated the process involved more than a dozen lawmakers.

Constitutional Requirements

To serve in the House, the U.S. Constitution says that candidates must be U.S. citizens for at least seven years, an ‘‘inhabitant’’ of the state in which they seek election and 25 years old when their first term would begin. California law says the residence for its House members is determined by where they are registered to vote, which is ‘‘conclusively presumed’’ to be their domicile....

California Congressman Calls Maryland Home to Gain Tax Credit

He's not a California resident. He should be removed from office.

◼ Internal Affairs: Just where does East Bay Rep. Pete Stark live, anyway?
Stark insists he's done nothing wrong. (And for the record, California law says the residence for its House members is determined by where they're registered to vote, Bloomberg reports.)

Cheating for $3,853.


  1. Absolutely nothing will happen. It will not be news. Because Mr Stark has a (D) after his name. License to kill.

  2. License to kill, cheat, steal, lie.... unreal.

  3. Isn't that was Arkley was doing as well? Sucks for California... We need all the tax dollars we can get

  4. Excuse me? Arkley is not an elected official. Pete Stark was elected to REPRESENT the District that he lives in - that means he is SUPPOSED TO LIVE THERE.

    And even if you are going to excuse that away, and I know you will - think about this - that is a man who is gaming the system to SAVE MONEY ON HIS TAXES WHILE HE VOTES TO RAISE YOURS.

    Oh, it won't hurt YOU.

    HYPOCRITE! That's what he is - the worst kind.

  5. This is how I see it. How can you vote in a place that is not your primary residence?

    Sounds like Stark ought to be thrown out of office for perjury on his taxes or perjury on his voter registration form. He perjured himself one way or the other.

  6. Cheeseball,doesn't really live in Arcata either. He just comes here to water his plants.

  7. I thought this was a good article worth reading. From the New Yorker:

    On “Hardball” the other night, David Frum was complaining about the Republican Party—a popular activity at MSNBC, a cable news network whose prime-time hosts are non-Republicans, including “Hardball” ’s Chris Matthews. Frum, however, is a non-non-Republican, and an overdetermined one: 1980 Reagan volunteer, Federalist Society activist, Wall Street Journal editorial-page editor, George W. Bush speechwriter (“axis of evil”), National Review contributing editor, American Enterprise Institute resident fellow. What conservatives are saying, he told Matthews,

    is increasingly not only counterproductive economically but also politically. We look like we don’t care. We look like we’re indifferent. We don’t offer solutions. We’re talking about a spending freeze in the middle of a 1929-30-style meltdown!

    On ABC’s “This Week,” David Brooks, the Times columnist, was even more aghast. Brooks—whose conservative credentials (William F. Buckley, Jr., protégé, Wall Street Journal op-ed editor, Weekly Standard senior editor) aren’t too shabby, either—said wonderingly, “There are a lot of Republicans up on Capitol Hill right now who are calling for a spending freeze in the middle of a recession slash depression. That is insane.” Quite a lot of Republicans, actually, and they weren’t just talking about it: On March 6th, John Boehner, the House Republican leader, made a motion on the floor for just such a freeze. His charges voted for it, a hundred and fifty-two to nothing.
    The theory that preventing the United States government from spending more money will halt the cascading crisis of demand that threatens the world with recession slash depression is indeed crazy. And many Republicans, even as they rail against “government spending,” at least understand that the government must cause more money to be spent, and that the fiscal deficit must rise in the process. They just want the government to do the job indirectly, by cutting taxes—especially taxes paid by the well-off, such as inheritance taxes, capital-gains taxes, corporate taxes, and high-bracket income taxes—in the hope that the money left untaxed will be spent. It is useless to point out to them that this approach was tried for eight years and found wanting, that in this economy the comfortable are less likely than the strapped to spend any extra cash that comes their way, that government spending often serves socially useful purposes, that “wasteful spending” is not a government monopoly (see corporate jets, golf-course “conferences,” premium vodkas), and that the only way to insure that money is spent is, precisely, to spend it.
    And yet, lurking underneath the anti-spending, pro-tax-cutting cant is one idea that might truly have merit. Frum mentioned it on that “Hardball” broadcast, touching off this rather cryptic exchange:

    FRUM: I’m for a big payroll-tax holiday that would go into effect immediately.
    MATTHEWS: I know about the payroll, uh—in other words, it gets money back in the hands of people who are working people, right?
    FRUM: Up to a hundred and twenty dollars per week per worker, starting last month.
    MATTHEWS: But it sounds like a liberal argument. The funny thing is, the liberals haven’t pushed it. And I don’t know why, because working people pay a very regressive tax when they go to work, right?

    Right. The payroll tax—a.k.a. the Social Security tax, the Social Security and Medicare tax, or the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax— skims around fifteen per cent from the payroll of every business and the paycheck of every worker, from minimum-wage burger-flippers on up, with no deductions. No exemptions, either—except that everything above a hundred grand or so a year is untouched, which means that as salaries climb into the stratosphere the tax, as a percentage, shrinks to a speck far below. This is one reason that Warren Buffett’s secretary (as her boss has unproudly noted) pays Uncle Sam a higher share of her income than he does. In fact, three-quarters of American households pay more in payroll tax than in income tax.
    Where income taxes are concerned, even Republicans seldom argue that taxing added income over a quarter million dollars at, say, thirty-six per cent rather than thirty-three per cent is wrong because the affluent need more stuff. They argue that making the rich richer enables them to create jobs for the non-rich. More jobs: that’s a big argument for capital-gains and inheritance-tax cuts, too. But the payroll tax is a direct tax on work and workers—on jobs per se. If the power to tax is the power to destroy, then the payroll tax is, well, insane.
    Frum is not the only Republican on the case. “If you want a quick answer to the question what would I do,” Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said recently, “I’d have a payroll-tax holiday for a year or two. That would put taxes in the hands of everybody who has a job, whether they pay income taxes or not.” Other Republican politicians and conservative publicists have made similar noises. They haven’t made it a rallying point, though; it would, after all, shape the over-all tax system in a progressive direction. Anyhow, their sincerity may be doubted: when President Obama proposed a much more modest cut along similar lines—a refundable payroll-tax credit of four hundred dollars—they denounced it as a welfare giveaway.
    Liberals have been reticent, too. The payroll tax now provides a third of federal revenues. And, because it nominally funds Social Security and Medicare, some liberals regard its continuance as essential to the survival of those programs. That’s almost certainly wrong. Public pensions and medical care for the aged have become fixed, integral parts of American life. Their political support no longer depends on analogizing them to private insurance. Besides, the aging of the population, the collapse of defined-benefit private pensions, the volatility of 401(k)s, and pricey advances in medical technology mean that, no matter what efficiencies may be achieved, Social Security and Medicare will—and should—grow. Holding them hostage to ever-rising, job-killing payroll taxes is perverse.
    If the economic crisis necessitates a second stimulus—and it probably will—then a payroll-tax holiday deserves a look. But it’s only half a good idea. A whole good idea would be to make a payroll-tax holiday the first step in an orderly transition to scrapping the payroll tax altogether and replacing the lost revenue with a package of levies on things that, unlike jobs, we want less rather than more of—things like pollution, carbon emissions, oil imports, inefficient use of energy and natural resources, and excessive consumption. The net tax burden on the economy would be unchanged, but the shift in relative price signals would nudge investment from resource-intensive enterprises toward labor-intensive ones. This wouldn’t be just a tax adjustment. It would be an environmental program, an anti-global-warming program, a youth-employment (and anti-crime) program, and an energy program.
    Impossible? A politically heterogeneous little group with the unfortunately punctuated name of Get America Working! has been quietly pushing this combination for twenty years. In one form or another, without much fanfare, it has earned the backing of such diverse characters as Al Gore and T. Boone Pickens, the liberal economist James Galbraith and the conservative economist Irwin Stelzer, Republican heavies like C. Boyden Gray and Democratic heavies like Robert Reich. It’s ambitious, it jumbles ideological and partisan preconceptions, and it represents the kind of change that great crises open political space for. Does that sound like anyone you know?

  8. great article!

  9. Rose doesn't read what she doesn't want to listen to- She'll stick to the WSJ & Wash. Post opinion pages.

  10. I guess the moron at 10:23 also disagrees with the head of the EU, with China, Japan, France, Germany, about how we are screwing the pooch with trying to spend our way out of a recession and monetizing 2 trillion of our own debt.

    Maybe we ought to thing about changing our name to "Zimbabwe?"

  11. Rose doesn't read what she doesn't want to listen to- She'll stick to the WSJ & Wash. Post opinion pages.

    Nice try. Even if all you do is look at the links on various posts, you will see that that is just flat out not true. You'll see links to the Wall St. Journal, yes - (funny, now you think that is bad), and to the Washington Post, yes, and to the new York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, asst. London papers, Chicago papers, opinion pieces from all over, including Huffington Post and Daily KOS.

    I make an effort - and it is an effort - to read even those I do disagree withe because, a. it is good to know what others are thinking, and b. sometimes they have good points, or points on which we agree.

    I believe in a diversity of opinion, the value of it, the inspirational nature of it, and that is one reason why, despite your own negative opinion of me and my views, I make an effort to keep this an uncensored place for airing all sides.

    I'm not sure what 10:03's point is, exactly - perhaps you can gel it down a bit.


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