Charlie Rangel: The Man Who Would Write Our Tax Laws

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D.-N.Y.), who at 76 years of age is the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, has made clear that for him the November elections are winner take all.

If the Democrats lose, he will retire from the Congress. If they win, he will take the chairmanship of his committee and begin rewriting the nation’s tax laws so that they conform to his and his party’s left-wing, redistributionist point of view.

“I’m a poker player, and I’ve had good hands all night long. This is all in,” Rangel told Jet magazine in August. “I would not put everything on the table if I thought for one minute we would lose.”

Rangel is an affable, witty, Korean War veteran, who won a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. But he also has never seen a tax cut he didn’t loathe or a tax increase he didn’t love. He voted against President Reagan’s tax cuts, he voted against President George W. Bush’s tax cuts, and he voted in favor President Clinton’s tax increase.

As Ways and Means chairman, he would block any effort to make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent. That would enact tax increases by default because all of Bush’s tax cuts are scheduled to expire by 2010.

In September, Rangel conceded to Bloomberg news service that he “cannot think of one” Bush tax cut that merits renewal.

He also is adamantly opposed to Social Security reform plans that include personal retirement accounts for younger workers. He said Bush’s plan was an “impeachable offense” for precisely this reason. Because his committee oversees Social Security, were he to become chairman the only Social Security reforms that would be on the table would be large increases in the payroll tax and large cuts in benefits for older workers who have been paying payroll taxes all their lives.

Rangel also consistently takes the far-left position on non-economic issues. His 2004 rating from the American Conservative Union was “0.” He voted against banning partial-birth abortion, against banning human cloning and against drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

‘Since We Are Going to Raise Taxes Anyway…’: Charlie Rangel in His Own Words

“Rangel’s accession to the chairmanship of the committee would likely end six years of tax cuts by the Republican-controlled Congress. He said he ‘cannot think of one’ of President George W. Bush’s first-term tax cuts that merit renewal.”

—Bloomberg Sept. 20, 2006

“President Bush and Republican campaign committees have attacked Democrats with a claim that we would raise taxes if elected to a majority in Congress. That’s not true.”

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 11, 2006

“There is a class system building up in this country. This tax cut has a negative impact on lower-income people when you take into account inflation and Social Security.”

—Associated Press, June 11, 1981

“Since we are going to raise taxes anyway,” he argued, “let’s do it in the fairest possible way, simplification, a flat tax.”

National Journal, Feb. 2, 1985

“Isn’t [President Reagan] deceiving himself and the nation as a whole when he insists on revenue neutrality? He has reduced our taxes without spurring the economy. He has shifted the national priority away from people’s needs into his ever-growing concept of military needs.’’

—Universal Press International, Aug. 23, 1986

“The time has come for the President and the Congress to face the responsibility of this deficit, not only in terms of reduction of federal spending, but also in raising the revenues necessary to reach this objective.”

—Universal Press International, Aug. 23, 1986

“There’s only one way to cut the deficit, you know it and I know it, and that is raise taxes and cut spending.”

—CNN’s “Crossfire,”
May 20, 1993

“Since members of minority groups disproportionately constitute the lower-income brackets, the congressman [Rep. Charlie Rangel] said, they stand to lose the most from Mr. Bush’s efforts [to reform Social Security]—which the congressman labeled a ‘fraud’ and an ‘impeachable offense.’”

—New York Sun, April 15, 2005

“You take Islamic and you call them fascists, you call them radical. You never called Hitler a Christian fascist. This is insulting to an entire religion.”

—MSNBC’s “Hardball,” August 11, 2006

“Can we believe that just because you’re Republican that you don’t want to help the working poor?”

Congressional Record, May 27, 1993

“I say it’s time for government not to depend on the private sector to help people who are unemployed and need job training, but to come in as a government and not to let people down, and to use this as a dressing once we get back our health.”

—”The MacNeil/Lehrer Report,” Jan. 14, 1982

“Madam first lady [Hillary Clinton], if I had more than two minutes I would spend more time congratulating you and the President for having brought this issue [of socialized medicine] to where it is.”

—House Ways and Means Committee, Sept. 28, 1993

“George Bush is our Bull Connor.”

—New York Sun, Sept. 23, 2005

Tax-Hike Charlie

Here are some highlights from the far-left, pro-tax voting record of would-be House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D.-N.Y.).

2001 Bush Income Tax Cuts AGAINST H.R. 1836 Vote #149 05/26/2001
Extending Bush
Income Tax Cuts
AGAINST H.R. 4297 Vote #135 05/10/2006
Eliminating the Death Tax AGAINST H.R. 5638 Vote #315 06/22/2006
Elimination of the
Marriage Penalty
AGAINST H.R. 4181 Vote #138 04/28/2004
Across-the-Board Tax Cut
AGAINST H.R. 2488 Vote #379 08/05/1999
Health Care Tax Credit
for Self-Employed
AGAINST H.R. 4579 Vote #469 09/26/1998
14-cent Tax on Gasoline FOR H.R. 2264 Vote #199 05/27/1993
Contract With America
Tax Relief
AGAINST H.R. 1215 Vote #295 04/05/1995
Balanced Budget Amendment AGAINST H.J.RES. 103 Vote #65 03/17/1994
4.3-cent Per Gallon
Gasoline Tax
FOR H.R. 2264 Vote #199 05/27/1993
The Patriot Act AGAINST H.R. 3199 Vote #627 12/14/2005
Prohibition of Energy
Exploration in ANWR
FOR H.R. 6 Vote #122 04/20/2005
National Missile Defense AGAINST H.R. 4 Vote #59 03/18/1999
700-Mile Fence on
U.S.-Mexico Border
AGAINST H.R. 6061 Vote #446 09/14/2006
English as the National
AGAINST H.R. 123 Vote #391 08/01/1996
Federal Funds for Abortions FOR H.R. 4871 Vote #422 07/20/2000
Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions AGAINST H.R. 3660 Vote #104 04/05/2000
Federal Funding of Embryo-
Killing Stem-Cell Research
FOR H.R. 810 Vote #388 07/19/2006
Brady Gun Control Bill FOR H.R. 1025 Vote #564 11/10/1993
Protection of Prayer on
Public Property
AGAINST H.J. 78 Vote #201 06/04/1998
Defense of Marriage Act AGAINST H.R. 3396 Vote #316 07/12/1996
Campaign Finance Reform
FOR H.R. 2356 Vote #34 02/14/2002