Rep. Charlie Rangel swears at Jason Mattera over scandal questions
Politico’s Chris Frates wanted to know
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel said Friday the plan would include three different surtax rates that would affect people making $350,000, $500,000 and $1 million a year, respectively. Rangel said the rates would be small, perhaps ranging between one and three percent, and would bring in about $540 billion. “Why is Rangel walking the streets and writing the tax code in the Ways and Means Committee…he should be behind bars for tax evasion”
Charlie Rangel comes off a bit defensive in his letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal:
Your July 27 editorial (“Morality and Charlie Rangel’s Taxes”) insulted me in an attempt to undermine my work on health-care reform legislation.
But your slurs can’t change the fact that the Ways and Means Committee, which I chair, has already succeeded in negotiating and passing its portion of the health-care bill without a hint of the rancor you’ve resorted to in your mean-spirited editorial attack.
Your editorial said more about your journalistic practices than it did about the issues under investigation in the ethics committee. After listing the so-called “exhibits” against me, your editorial went on to say, shamelessly: “All of this has previously appeared in print in one place or another, and we salute the reporters who did the leg work.” Since when has it been the practice of a major daily newspaper like The Wall Street Journal to rely on the reporting of journalists “in one place or another” as the basis of a searing attack on the character of a public official?
How easy it was in writing your editorial to ignore the fact that it was me who first called for a full bipartisan ethics investigation and report to Congress. That review has been ongoing for several months and I have answered every question from my peers on the committee and their staffs.
Public officials should abide by a higher standard of the law and the rules set down by Congress. But I also believe that the press, especially those reputed to be newspapers of record, such as yours, should abide by a minimal standard that requires checking the facts.
When this is all over, The Wall Street Journal will have to answer for the harm it has done—not to me, but to its own reputation and to the practice of journalism.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D., N.Y.)
Editor’s note: A spokesman for Mr. Rangel declined on two separate occasions to answer any questions related to the tax issues we recounted in the editorial.
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