Tuesday, November 25, 2008


The "Incorrectly Received" Defense

Guess the party associated with the following Washington Post headlines:

Some Senators Getting D.C. Tax Break by Mistake (May 2005)

___________ Not Entitled to D.C. Homestead Deduction (September 2005)

N.Y. Congressman _________Incorrectly Got D.C. Tax Break (November 2008)

The "Some Senators" refers to a bi-partisan group so in order to get at the Republicans they’d have had to acknowledge the participation of, among others, liberal stalwart Ted Kennedy. Aside from some back taxes owed, the Post offered no possible other ramifications to the mistaken tax break.

...but if you were so interested in possible additional impacts, you just had to wait a few months when it became apparent that Karl Rove was similarly situated. The story acknowledges his lack of “entitlement” was for the exact same “mistake” that ensnared the Senators but it helpfully then explains how Mr. Rove’s voting rights in Texas could be affected and other legal niceties (although to get a full appreciation of the article, read the erratum that precedes it). No doubt due to space limitations, the Post did not addresss if all their conjecture also applied to Ted Kennedy.

Then there is today’s stop-me-if-you’ve-heard-this-before piece on Democratic stalwart Charles Rangel, who apparently hasn’t seen a tax form he can’t screw up. And I guess it’s not that he wasn’t entitled to the break, he just incorrectly got it.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything from the Post on soon-to-be HHS Secretary Tom Daschle’s and his lobbyist wife’s incorrect/mistakenly received/just-don’t-say-he-wasn’t-entitled DC homestead deduction.

Side Note: When the bit about all the Senators taking a wrong deduction (though you like to believe that the word “Homestead” would have clued them in) came out, the Post noted that the blame was attributed to an 3 year old software program…which would take it back then to 2002. Congressman Rangel’s “incorrectness” however only covers the last half of the 1990’s; the Post displays no curiosity on this matter. (I mean, it’s not like he said “macacca”.)

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