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Congressman Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland hates taxes. A few years back, he signed on to a Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement that called for a total overhaul of the tax system, including abolition of the capital gains tax and the inheritance tax.
Now Bartlett “is refusing to release income tax returns that would show whether he paid taxes on several property sales that he failed to report on personal financial disclosure forms.”
Spokeswoman Lisa Wright says the 6th District Republican paid any required corporate gain taxes on the sales. But Wright says Bartlett won’t release his tax returns because he isn’t legally required to. The Frederick News-Post reported earlier this week that property records indicate Bartlett underreported or failed to report on his federally mandated disclosure forms roughly $1 million in property sales since 2004.
The Liberty Caucus statement on taxes that Bartlett signed on to lauded “personal responsibility.” Here’s Bartlett assuming personal responsibility:
Mr. Bartlett, 82, has acknowledged the discrepancies and has said the errors are the result of his inattentiveness and confusion by others, including a staff member whom Mr. Bartlett said misread his handwritten notes. [His spokeswoman] said the staff member mistook the numeral 4 for a 1. The error caused Mr. Bartlett to under-report the selling price of a house.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”