The Consequences of Congressman Pascrell Raising Hell
A lot of people try to painstakingly cultivate the self-image of an everyman in public office, without any understanding of – let alone passionate commitment to – the well-being of other every-men and women, who depend on representative government in this country.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, never cultivated an image.
He just is obstinately that guy – Paterson born and bred – determined to hold an unwieldy system to account, whether in the case of federal law enforcement abusing deferred prosecution agreements for corporate-connected pals; a dormant, nothing-to-see-here IRS office, or the President of the United States, in this case Donald Trump, taking advantage of what Pascrell routinely deride as an unjust two-tiered tax system.
Last night, on the heels of a six-year rail by Pascrell, a Ways and Means Committee report revealed that Trump – who refused transparency in the face of repeated efforts by the committee to determine his earnings and taxes – declared negative income in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020 on his federal tax returns, and that he paid a total of $1,500 in income taxes for the years 2016 and 2017. On their 2020 income tax returns, Trump and his wife Melania paid no federal income taxes and claimed a refund of $5.47 million, according to the report by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
“A great country proved itself again,” Pascrell told InsiderNJ in a telephone interview this afternoon. “No one is above the law in this country. Even with all your money, you better be telling the truth, or you’re going down. I’ve been on this for six years, going back to February of 201,7 just before Republicans came out with their ‘great’ tax plan to screw the little guy. They got clobbered in 2018 and thrown the hell out of office. And now these materials show us that Trump was getting away with murder, as he failed to pay any income taxes, claiming over-inflated losses and failing in his duty as a citizen.
“People have a right to know,” Pascrell said, in reference to the former president’s tax returns, which he covered up, and which his appointed IRS Commissioner, Charles Rettig, refused to release. “What needs to be changed is a system of a lot of bureaucrats who take the attitude that if they [regular people] don’t understand it, they don’t understand it.”
Pascrell had called on the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means to invoke Section 6103 of the tax code to obtain Trump’s tax returns. In the 115th Congress, Republicans voted 18 times to block Democratic resolutions seeking the tax returns. The congressman had also called for Rettig’s resignation, prior to the IRS commissioner leaving his post in October. “We are closer to the dawn of a new day at the IRS,” the 9th District Congressman said in a statement following the commissioner’s departure. “The Biden administration is right to end the term of Donald Trump’s IRS commissioner. Under Mr. Rettig’s failed leadership the agency and its dedicated employees have suffered through scandal and incompetence. Americans are fed up with late refunds, unanswered calls, and a two-tier tax system.”
Pascrell said Trump appointed Rettig, and Rettig failed to comply with the time-honored tradition of the IRS auditing presidents. “Mr. Rettig was a good, good Nazi and a good, good Nazi follows orders to the nth degree,” the congressman stated.
The committee conducted hearings in a fair and non-political way, Pascrell added. “I did my job as hard as I could.” He described threats made to him on his wife’s phone. “But I want to earn my check. The point is there was a job to be done and when I looked around at the cowering people, I knew what the hell I was going to do.”
He stayed on track with the other Democratic Party members of House Ways and Means to obtain those documents. It would have been a lot easier has Trump just made his tax returns public from the get-go.
“Every president and every vice president needs to give us some materials when they’re running to make it very clear that they are not involved in something that will embarrass the United States,” Pascrell said. “You must codify your tax returns. I would make them public before the election. As for the IRS, they don’t need reform, they need an immaculate conception. In terms of the objective of having a fair system, he [Rettig] did zippo.
“There is no animus here for Trump or his family,” the congressman added. “We’ve got to learn not to hang somebody, but no one is above the law. You have to suffer the consequences, regardless if you are rich or poor, as anyone would have to if they broke the law. If you don’t pay your taxes, somebody down the street has got to pay more,” especially if he lacks three branches of government, responsible government oversight, and a congressman willing to raise hell on his behalf.
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You have now established president making ALL PUBLIC SERVENTS tax returns subject to the same disclosure and scrutinty.
With the Republican takeing control of the next congress, bend over and prepare for your turn in the barrel.
To avoid hypocrisy, every elected representative should be required to make their tax returns public. Every elected representative should be required to disclose their investments. Finally, Pascrell’s never-ending attacks on the former Commissioner need to end. His speculation as to bad motive is never based on fact. When he is proven to be wrong, he deflects incoherently as opposed to apologizing.
BRAVO……BRAVO……. BRAVO, REP. BILL PASCRELL, JR.
As a resident of New Jersey, I thank you sincerely for your tireless work to make Trump’s taxes available..
You are an outstanding legislator and a man of integrity. Bless you.
To avoid hypocrisy?? Trump repeatedly said he’d release his taxes, then never did, falsely claiming audits.
You’re a partisan piece of human garbage. As old as you are, you should know better than to pin the “Nazi” label on your political foes. We’ll be waiting to see your tax returns in full. And please submit your wife’s too, if you’refiling separately. Explain to us how you and your cohorts manage to get so rich.
Mess with the bull, get the horns comes to mind.