Paul L. Caron

Friday, April 15, 2011

Democratic Tax Cheats Outnumber Republican, 72% v. 28%

Daily Beast The Daily Beast, America's Tax Cheating Politicians:

Since Tax Day will be the talk of the weekend, The Daily Beast scoured hundreds of news reports going back to the 1990s to find which political party can claim the most tax offenders. We came up with a list of 25 politicians who have been embroiled in tax scandals over the past two decades.

We devised the following points system to rank them:

• 3 points for each felony tax offense.
• 1 point for each misdemeanor tax offense, or official ethics conviction.
• .5 point for each felony tax indictment.
• .25 point for each misdemeanor tax indictment.

And, because a Congressional tax scandal garners more negative attention than a mayoral tax scandal, we also took the level of public office into account:

• 1 point for a state legislator or mayor.
• 3 points for a U.S. representative, statewide official, or federal lobbyist.
• 5 points for a governor or presidential nominee.

Finally, because come sentencing time the courts tend to favor defendants who plead guilty, we knocked off a point for the scofflaws who pleaded guilty. Ties were broken by the amount of taxes owed, if determinable, or by fine levied.

The verdict? Turns out Republicans have the bigger names—Jack Abramoff, Randy “Duke” Cunningham—but Democrats have the most tax scandals by a margin of 18 to 7. ... Republicans and Tea Partiers tend to shout the loudest when it comes to tax reform, and they’re also the most law abiding—when it comes to paying their taxes, anyway.

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This confirms something I've noticed for a long time. In their public statements, Democrats seem like decent and caring people where as Republicans seem like greedy a-holes. But in their personal lives, when you can test whether the deeds match the words, Democrats are scum where as Republicans are the decent ones.

Posted by: anon | Apr 18, 2011 9:01:39 AM

Stands to reason.

Perhaps Tea Partiers, Republicans, et al. are so wildly anti-tax is because as a class they expect that the tax will be actually paid by those who owe it.

I suspect that Democrats, on the other hand, are more enthusiastic about new taxes because they tend to regard these new burdens - at least for themselves and their political clientele - as being only theoretical in nature, i.e. "compliance optional".

Posted by: John | Apr 17, 2011 2:44:58 AM