Posts Tagged ‘House Ways and Means Committee’

Bill Clinton Says Rich Can Afford To Have Their Taxes Raised – But He Won’t Even Pay Hillary’s Campaign Debts

December 14, 2010

I don’t have the transcript for it, and the closest I could quickly find was this bit from Reuters:

“In my opinion, this is a good bill, and I hope that my fellow Democrats will support it,” Clinton said.

He admitted that as a high earner himself he would benefit from the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that Democrats, including Obama, dislike. But with an extension of unemployment benefits and a cut in payroll taxes, Clinton said the package was the best bipartisan deal to help the country.

But I directly heard Slick Willy say that he could afford paying higher taxes.  And that even though he would personally suffer, it was the right thing to do for the country.  Because that’s just what a noble guy he is.

And Obama very definitely said it, as the Washington Times article entitled, “Obama: Rich can afford tax hike” should make abundantly clear.

But what Bill Clinton CAN’T seem to afford is wife Hillary’s campaign debts from now more than two full years ago.

The Clinton’s will eventually pay them, I don’t doubt.  With Other People’s Money, of course:

Bill Clinton is giving someone a chance to spend a day with him in New York City to help pay off his wife’s 2008 campaign debt.

The former president has sent out a new fundraising pitch on behalf of his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who still owes her presidential campaign pollster.

Hillary Clinton owed Mark Penn and his firm more than $479,000 as of September, according to a campaign report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Bill Clinton can pitch for raising income taxes on Other People.  Because he knows damn well he’ll weasel out of them with the help of accountants who are nearly as slick as he is.

He’s not interested in “paying his fair share.”  If he was, he’d write the check for his family campaign debts, instead of trying to sucker you into writing the check to pay off his wife’s debts for him.

Do you think Slick Willy’s going to be digging out his checkbook to pay off YOUR debts anytime soon?

Clinton and other wealthy liberals can say this kind of crap because they are unrelenting hypocrites.  Their souls swim in hypocrisy the way fish swim in water.  And so they know that they can raise taxes to whatever level they can manage, and that they’ll be able to afford every tax dodge and tax shelter and tax loophole that money can buy.

But most people can’t.  They’re forced to basically pay out the maximum rate, because they don’t have the money to afford the tax attorneys who can shelter their assets.  So they get screwed while the Slick Willy’s of the world keep getting other people to pay their debts for them.

And, of course, the Clintons and the Obamas have other little perks that honest people don’t have.  When Bill Clinton was elected as the attorney general for the state of Arkansas, his wife Hillary immediately got hired by the Rose Law Firm.  And when Bill was elected governor, suprise, suprise, Hillary suddenly made partner.  And there was that $1,000 Hillary turned into a hundred grand inside of a year with the painfully obvious benefit of insider trading tips.

And Michelle Obama benefited every scintilla as much from her husband’s political machinery.  Within months of Barack being elected state senator, Michelle Obama received a $195,000 pay increase from the “not for profit” hospital where she worked.  And at that same time, she was suddenly put on boards of companies for lucrative money – yes, including another huge stock payout.

Maybe you get money literally thrown at you on account of your spouse’s political connections.  I don’t.  Maybe the fact that I have to work hard for my money, rather than riding the coattails of a big money political machine and the businesses craving the opportunity to purchase influence makes me less willing to pay more taxes to the government.  Because I can’t tell my political patronizers, “The price just went up.”

And this liberal progressive hypocrisy on taxes and influence peddling with Other People’s Money  is as old as, well, liberal progressivism.

Barack Obama n0minated Tom Daschle to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services – and incredibly powerful position in the advent of the age of ObamaCare.  The only problem was that Daschle the Democrat hadn’t paid his taxes.

This happened again and again with a slew of Democrats who thought that their screed of “paying your fair share” only applied to Other People.  And how DARE you think that Democrats should be held accountable for standards that should only apply to Other People.

Ultimately, Obama’s nomination for Treasury Secretary went through, even though the man who would be in charge of tax enforcement hadn’t bothered to pay his own income taxes.  Because, by that time, it was apparent that finding an honest Democrat was just impossible.

And, of course, we now all know about the history of the Democrat in charge of writing tax laws for everyone else, Rep. Charlie Rangel, the now-disgraced former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

But, of course, if you think he should be criminally prosecuted for his abject failure to follow his own tax laws, well, you’re just a racist, aren’t you?

If the Congressional Black Caucus really believed that “the rich should pay their fair share of taxes,” they’d have hung Charlie Rangel up by his balls like he deserved, rather than labeling anyone who pointed out that he was a tax-cheating hypocrite fraud as a racist.

And in a way, the racist Congressional Black Caucus is completely right.  Because all Charlie Rangel did was act like a Democrat.  And if every Democrat was arrested for hypocrisy, I mean, there just wouldn’t be any Democrats walking the streets, would there?

Remember, Charlie Rangel is a good Democrat.  A GREAT one, in fact.  Because he was totally true to the Democrat philosophy: he wanted Other People to pay higher taxes, while he himself slept on the beach in front of his villa – which he hadn’t bothered to pay taxes on in SEVENTEEN YEARS.

Amazingly, Charlie Rangel – who was re-elected yet again in spite of the fact that he is a big fat criminal and a fraud, because that’s just the way Democrats roll – was one of the vocal Democrats spouting their opposition to “the rich” getting away with paying lower than communist-level income taxes.  Because, again, Democrats make up for their ignorance with sheer unmitigated chutzpah.

Rangel should do a lot less talking and a lot more shutting the hell up.

The same thing happened the LAST election, in 2004.  John Kerry was lecturing us in that snotty tone of voice of his on paying our fair share of taxes, and how the rich owed more.

Well, George Bush – the guy who believed in LOWER taxes – basically paid income taxes on the maximum federal income tax rate of 35% without taking deductions he qualified for.  What did the Kerrys pay? How double damn DARE you ask!!!

Kerry’s Wife Pays Less Taxes Than Median Family

“According to HUD, the median family income for the U.S. for 2003 was $56,500.  After applying the standard deduction of $9,500 for married filing jointly we end up with a taxable income of $47,000.  This puts the average family in the 15 percent tax bracket.  Kerry’s wife, using tax shelters, managed to pay only an effective federal tax rate of 11.5 percent, compared with the top federal income tax rate of 35 percent.  She paid $587,000 on an income of $5.1M.

“If Kerry wants the rich to pay more he should start with his wife.”

Despite the release of partial financial information, John and Teresa Kerry have not explained why, if it’s so important for the evil rich to pay more taxes, they didn’t add a voluntary addition to their check to the IRS.

So the arrogant and always snooty Kerrys – who demanded that Other People pay far more on their income taxes paid less than one-third (rhymes with ‘turd’) the tax rate they would have paid if they were honest people who WEREN’T full of hypocrisy over their eyeballs.

Because John Kerry and his rabid wife are Democrats.  And to be a Democrat is tantamount to being a vile pile of slime these days.

Has John Kerry learned the error of his ways and reformed from his hypocrisy?  I hate to tell you, but his yacht screams hell no:

Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

All this to say that Democrats say “the rich should pay more” only because they are vile dishonest hypocrites who know that they won’t have to follow the rules that they afflict honest people with.

The facts are abundantly clear: allowing citizens – ALL citizens, not just the ones who pass Democrats’ Marxist class warfare test – to keep more of their own money which they earned and they deserve to keep is good for the economy, good for job-creation and even good for the government tax revenues.

Not that you can trust Democrats who are too damn dishonest to bother to pay their own taxes while railing at everyone else to pay more to admit that.

Every Democrat who says that “the rich should pay more” should be checking the box on their tax forms and donating whatever percent they want Other People to pay to the government.  That’s right, you hypocrite Democrats: why don’t you put your money where your mouths are for just once in your life and do what you are demanding that Other People do?

That goes for the more than half of you Democrats who don’t pay ANY federal income taxes at all.  You can file a tax form.  You can check that box.  You can give 39.6% of your money – or whatever you demand that Other People pay – to the government.  You’re just too damn full of hypocrite to do so.

So you just eat dirt, you Bill-and-Hillary Clinton John-and-Teresa Kerry Tom Daschle Timothy Geithner Charlie Rangel Democrats.  You can be as self-righteous – or as Barack Obama himself called you, “sanctimonious” – as you want.  But you know and I know that you’re really nothing but a bunch of lousy greedy hypocrites who want Other People to pay YOUR “fair share.”

Democrats Protect Taxpayer-Paid Tax Cheating Federal Employees

March 8, 2010

Does it bother you that Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury is a documented tax cheat?  Does it bother you that Charles Rangel, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee who wrote our nation’s tax laws, is a big time documented tax cheat?

If you answered “no,” you are a Democrat.  And a hypocrite.

It is amazing how many wealthy Democrats there are – both in elected or political office and in the private sector – who think high taxes are great, and then do everything they can to avoid the very high taxes they want everyone else to pay.

What follows is a demonstration of the fact that Democrats want to shelter government employees – who are paid with YOUR money – from being responsible for the legitimate consequences which should follow from working for the very government you are screwing.

Why would the Democrats take such a repugnant stand?  Two reasons: 1) Most government employees are unionized; 2) these unions support and work for Democrats.

Provision to fire tax-delinquent federal employees pulled
By Robert Brodsky  rbrodsky@govexec.com  March 4, 2010

A legislative compromise that would have allowed agencies to fire tax-delinquent federal employees fell apart on Thursday.

The compromise softened an amendment to the 2009 Contracting and Tax Accountability Act that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced earlier this week. The act already would prohibit companies that don’t pay their taxes from winning federal contracts; Chaffetz’s amendment extended that principle to “seriously delinquent” federal employees and congressional staffers.

Modified language that would have provided federal employees with due process protection and a hardship exemption won support from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y. But, Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on the federal workforce, and other Democrats, said the compromise amendment still was unduly harsh because it defined delinquency as the issuance of a lien by the Internal Revenue Service, which could be an early stage in resolving a tax dispute.

Chaffetz, however, argued that the amendment offered protection to employees who were working to settle the tax disputes.

Democrats also raised concerns about whether the amendment would overburden the Office of Personnel Management, which would be responsible for administering the provision.

As debate over the provision disintegrated and Democrats called for an opportunity to hold a hearing, Towns pulled both the amendment and the bill from the floor and postponed a vote.

A committee source said there was too much “confusion” with the amendment and lingering issues needed to be resolved.

“We wanted to take a break to make sure there were no unintended consequences with the bill,” the source said.

But, Republicans accused the Democrats of protecting federal employees.

“I am thoroughly disappointed that Democrats rejected the chairman’s compromise and stubbornly refused to work with him on an effort to hold federal employees to the same standard as the private sector,” said Rep Darrell Issa, R-Calif., ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “There needs to be consequences for both contractors and federal employees who fail to pay their taxes.”

“Chairman Towns’ compromise proposal on my amendment was a sensible approach, and it’s puzzling that members on the other side didn’t agree,” Chaffetz said. “The IRS already has a similar policy in place and they have demonstrated that it works.”

Chaffetz said the tax delinquency rate for the Treasury Department — which includes the IRS – -is less than 1 percent, compared to 3.4 percent for the rest of the federal government. He said the government fails to collect roughly $1 billion in taxes annually from about 100,000 federal employees.

The committee source said it was not clear if the issues with the amendment would require a hearing or if they could be worked out in a private meeting with the IRS.

Imagine that: the very same Democrats who rushed the stimulus through so quickly that not one single elected member of Congress had a chance to read the damn bills, and the very same Democrats who have repeatedly tried to rush ObamaCare through, suddenly have found legislation that requires “taking a break” and “making sure there are no unintended consequences.”  An $862 billion stimulus package didn’t require that kind of consideration; a complete takeover of our health care system doesn’t require that kind of consideration; but firing tax cheating government employees is something that must be studied to the nth degree.

A 2,700-page Senate health care bill monstrosity can be rushed through by any means possible; but please, oh please let us not rush into getting rid of taxpayer-paid tax cheats.

The explanation that Democrats care about all the various nuances of rights that government workers who haven’t bothered to pay their taxes supposedly have is a joke: if they wanted to do anything about these taxpayer-paid tax cheats, they would have wheeled and dealed to get a bill.  The simple fact of the matter is that they didn’t WANT a bill.

Taxpayer-paid unionized government employees who cheat on their taxes have more money to fork over to Democrats.  And the Democrats who would never even consider tort reform because their lawsuit-happy lawyers wouldn’t like it are the very same Democrats who won’t step on their union supporters’ toes.  Over anything.

That’s the bottom line.

Don’t Think ObamaCare Won’t Be A Giant Black Hole Of Debt

October 27, 2009

You will be hearing about the Democrats “paying” for their health care takeover.  Don’t believe it.  Again and again and again, Democrats have sold one health care boondoggle after another, claiming that it will “only” cost such-and-so.  They have a perfect track record — of failure to live up to their claims.

Health Costs and History
Government programs always exceed their spending estimates.

Washington has just run a $1.4 trillion budget deficit for fiscal 2009, even as we are told a new health-care entitlement will reduce red ink by $81 billion over 10 years. To believe that fantastic claim, you have to ignore everything we know about Washington and the history of government health-care programs. For the record, we decided to take a look at how previous federal forecasts matched what later happened. It isn’t pretty.

Let’s start with the claim that a more pervasive federal role will restrain costs and thus make health care more affordable. We know that over the past four decades precisely the opposite has occurred. Prior to the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, health-care inflation ran slightly faster than overall inflation. In the years since, medical inflation has climbed 2.3 times faster than cost increases elsewhere in the economy. Much of this reflects advances in technology and expensive treatments, but the contrast does contradict the claim of government as a benign cost saver.

Next let’s examine the record of Congressional forecasters in predicting costs.  Start with Medicaid, the joint state-federal program for the poor. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that its first-year costs would be $238 million. Instead it hit more than $1 billion, and costs have kept climbing.

Thanks in part to expansions promoted by California’s Henry Waxman, a principal author of the current House bill, Medicaid now costs 37 times more than it did when it was launched—after adjusting for inflation. Its current cost is $251 billion, up 24.7% or $50 billion in fiscal 2009 alone, and that’s before the health-care bill covers millions of new beneficiaries.

Medicare has a similar record. In 1965, Congressional budgeters said that it would cost $12 billion in 1990. Its actual cost that year was $90 billion. Whoops.  The hospitalization program alone was supposed to cost $9 billion but wound up costing $67 billion.  These aren’t small forecasting errors. The rate of increase in Medicare spending has outpaced overall inflation in nearly every year (up 9.8% in 2009), so a program that began at $4 billion now costs $428 billion.

The Medicare program for renal disease was originally estimated in 1973 to cover 11,000 participants. Today it covers 395,000, at a cost of $22 billion. The 1988 Medicare home-care benefit was supposed to cost $4 billion by 1993, but the actual cost was $10 billion, because many more people participated than expected. This is nearly always the case with government programs because their entitlement nature—accepting everyone who meets the age or income limits—means there’s no fixed annual budget.

One of the few health-care entitlements that has come in well below the original estimate is the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill. Those costs are now about one-third below the original projections, according to the Medicare actuaries. Part of the reason is lower than expected participation by seniors and savings from generic drugs.

But as White House budget director Peter Orszag told Congress when he ran the Congressional Budget Office, the “primary cause” of these cost savings is that “the pricing is coming in better than anticipated, and that is likely a reflection of the competition that’s occurring in the private market.” The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services agrees, stating that “the drug plans competing for Medicare beneficiaries have been able to establish greater than expected savings from aggressive price negotiation.” It adds that when given choices “beneficiaries have overwhelmingly selected less costly drug plans.”

Yet liberal Democrats fought that private-competition model (preferring government drug price controls), just as they are trying to prevent private health plans from competing across state borders now.

The lesson here is that spending on nearly all federal benefit programs grows relentlessly once they are established. This history won’t stop Democrats bent on ramming their entitlement into law. But every Member who votes for it is guaranteeing larger deficits and higher taxes far into the future. Count on it.

You should notice the bit about the prescription drug benefit passed under Bush, because Democrats have routinely demonized it.  They claim that Republicans didn’t even TRY to pay for it, but merely increased the deficit.  That is for the most part true, but at least it a) relied upon the private sector to provide the benefit, and b) didn’t socialize the entire economy in the process.  Democrats argue that, unlike Republicans with the prescription drug benefit, they are trying to “pay” for their plan.  Just as right now I am flapping my arms and trying to fly out of my chair.

As much as Democrats want to demonize the Bush prescription drug benefit, it remains the anomaly as being the ONLY government health care program that ran under budget, as opposed to ten times budget.

We can’t allow the Medicare system to collapse, as it is on the verge of doing.  Too many elderly people who don’t have recourse to anything else are counting on it.  But the gigantic hole of red ink is proof that we never should have started this program until we truly counted the cost.  Had the government not foisted Medicare upon us, the private market would have solved the problem better.

Anybody who thinks we can save one giant government program by creating an even more giant government program is a fool.  It is the mindset of one who believes the best way to get out of a hole is to dig deeper and faster.

The health care plan that the Democrats are envisioning will be a FAR greater black hole of debt than anything this country has ever seen.  Because it is FAR more ambitious, involves FAR more people, and involves a FAR greater takeover of the US economy.

And, incredibly, the Democrats are literally using the argument of the skyrocketing deficit to enact something that will massively increase our deficits.

Their mindset is the same mindset that deals with our exploding debts by constantly raising the debt ceiling so we can keep on borrowing and borrowing and borrowing.  That fixes the problem, doesn’t it?

We are facing the largest federal deficits since World War II.  That should really scare you, because in World War II, it was AMERICANS who held that debt by purchasing war bonds.  Back then, Americans actually saved their money.  Quite different from these days, when we routinely go into debt to buy a lot of crap that we don’t need.  Today it is CHINA who holds our debt.  So as we begin to contemplate the $800 billion a year in interest payments that we will soon be paying, we realize that we are no longer our own masters.

If that isn’t bad enough, consider this: at the end of World War II, the United States had the greatest manufacturing and industrial base the world had ever seen.  Today, we have only a tiny fraction of that former capability.  In addition to being a debtor nation, we are also a “service” nation.  You don’t spend your way out of debt; you don’t even service your way out of debt.  You produce your way out of debt.  We have long since lost the capability to do that.

Finally, the debts accrued during World War II were debts that were a) necessary and b) temporary.  That, also, is no longer true today.  Our World War II debts were the result of our war of necessity against the greatest evil humankind had ever seen; the debts we are experiencing today are the result of our war against our children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children as we demand more and more benefits at somebody’s else’s expense.

As a result of American power following World War II, the U.S. dollar became the fundamental world currency, and English became the official lingua franca of the global economy.  Tragically, as a result of the rapid American collapse, the U.S. dollar is now on the verge of being expunged from the global stage, and English is increasingly not being spoken even in America.

Rampant Democrat Corruption Extends To Most Powerful Leaders

July 29, 2009

Right now, three of the most powerful Democrats are documented corrupt scumbags.

Charles Rangel, Chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee is a tax cheat.  Chris Dodd, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, took corrupt mortgage loans from a corrupt mortgage lender at the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown crisis.  Kent Conrad, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, also took such loans.

These men are incredibly influential in the writing of laws and legislation that will absorb most of the economy under their power.  And they are corrupt.

We were entertained at the beginning of the Obama administration as it became painfully obvious that it was hard to find an honest Democrat who actually paid the taxes that they hypocritically wanted everyone else to pay.  Many fell by the wayside, but “Turbo Tax” Tim Geithner’s personal dishonesty in paying his taxes didn’t stand in the way of his being Obama’s choice to become the Treasury Secretary in charge of enforcing tax laws.

Let’s start with the man who writes your tax laws but doesn’t want to follow his own laws and pay his own taxes: Charles Rangel.

The man has all kinds of issues, such as selfishly and greedily taking rent-controlled property meant for poor people.  It’s hard to say which is worse, but don’t forget to consider what he did in buying pricey beachfront rental property and then refusing to pay taxes on his substantial income:

JULY 27, 2009, 4:28 P.M. ET

Morality and Charlie Rangel’s Taxes
It’s much easier to raise taxes if you don’t pay them.

Ever notice that those who endorse high taxes and those who actually pay them aren’t the same people? Consider the curious case of Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, who is leading the charge for a new 5.4-percentage point income tax surcharge and recently called it “the moral thing to do.” About his own tax liability he seems less, well, fervent.

Exhibit A concerns a rental property Mr. Rangel purchased in 1987 at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic. The rental income from that property ought to be substantial since it is a luxury beach-front villa and is more often than not rented out. But when the National Legal and Policy Center looked at Mr. Rangel’s House financial disclosure forms in August, it noted that his reported income looked suspiciously low. In 2004 and 2005, he reported no more than $5,000, and in 2006 and 2007 no income at all from the property.

The Congressman initially denied there was any unreported income. But reporters quickly showed that the villa is among the most desirable at Punta Cana and that it rents for $500 a night in the low season, and as much as $1,100 a night in peak season. Last year it was fully booked between December 15 and April 15.

Mr. Rangel soon admitted having failed to report rental income of $75,000 over the years. First he blamed his wife for the oversight because he said she was supposed to be managing the property. Then he blamed the language barrier. “Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish,” Mr. Rangel explained.

Mr. Rangel promised last fall to amend his tax returns, pay what is due and correct the information on his annual financial disclosure form. But the deadline for the 2008 filing was May 15 and as of last week he still had not filed. His press spokesman declined to answer questions about anything related to his ethics problems.

Besides not paying those pesky taxes, Mr. Rangel had other reasons for wanting to hide income. As the tenant of four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, the Congressman needed to keep his annual reported income below $175,000, lest he be ineligible as a hardship case for rent control. (He also used one of the apartments as an office in violation of rent-control rules, but that’s another story.)

Mr. Rangel said last fall that “I never had any idea that I got any income’’ from the villa. Try using that one the next time the IRS comes after you. Equally interesting is his claim that he didn’t know that the developer of the Dominican Republic villa had converted his $52,000 mortgage to an interest-free loan in 1990. That would seem to violate House rules on gifts, which say Members may only accept loans on “terms that are generally available to the public.” Try getting an interest-free loan from your banker.

The National Legal and Policy Center also says it has confirmed that Mr. Rangel owned a home in Washington from 1971-2000 and during that time claimed a “homestead” exemption that allowed him to save on his District of Columbia property taxes. However, the homestead exemption only applies to a principal residence, and the Washington home could not have qualified as such since Mr. Rangel’s rent-stabilized apartments in New York have the same requirement.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating Mr. Rangel on no fewer than six separate issues, including his failure to report the no-interest loan on his Punta Cana villa and his use of rent-stabilized apartments. It is also investigating his fund raising for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York. New York labor attorney Theodore Kheel, one of the principal owners of the Punta Cana resort, is an important donor to the Rangel Center.

All of this has previously appeared in print in one place or another, and we salute the reporters who did the leg work. We thought we’d summarize it now for readers who are confronted with the prospect of much higher tax bills, and who might like to know how a leading Democrat defines “moral” behavior when the taxes hit close to his homes.

Charlie Rangel is a man who has been patently dishonest for his entire public life.  Not that it matters to Democrats.  If you’re a Democrat, you can be caught red-handed with $90,000 of FBI bribe money in your freezer like William Jefferson and actually get re-elected the following year.

That leaves Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad (at least, for me today).

AP IMPACT: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jul 27, 9:52 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation’s largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.

Both senators have said that at the time the mortgages were being written they didn’t know they were getting unique deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., the company that went on to lose billions of dollars on home loans to credit-strapped borrowers. Dodd still maintains he got no preferential treatment.

Dodd got two Countrywide mortgages in 2003, refinancing his home in Connecticut and another residence in Washington. Conrad’s two Countrywide mortgages in 2004 were for a beach house in Delaware and an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck in his home state of North Dakota.

Robert Feinberg, who worked in Countrywide’s VIP section, told congressional investigators last month that the two senators were made aware that “who you know is basically how you’re coming in here.”

“You don’t say ‘no’ to the VIP,” Feinberg told Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to a transcript obtained by The Associated Press.

The next day, Feinberg testified before the Senate Ethics Committee, an indication the panel is actively investigating two of the chamber’s more powerful members:

Dodd heads the Banking Committee and is a major player in two big areas: solving the housing foreclosure and financial crises and putting together an overhaul of the U.S. health care system. A five-term senator, he is in a tough fight for re-election in 2010, partly because of the controversy over his mortgages.

Conrad chairs the Budget Committee. He, too, shares an important role in the health care debate, as well as on legislation to curb global warming.

Both senators were VIP borrowers in the program known as “friends of Angelo.” Angelo Mozilo was chief executive of Countrywide, which played a big part in the foreclosure crisis triggered by defaults on subprime loans. The Calabasas, Calif.-based company was bought last July by Bank of America Corp. for about $2.5 billion.

Mozilo has been charged with civil fraud and illegal insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He denies any wrongdoing.

Asked by a House Oversight investigator if Conrad, the North Dakota senator, “was aware that he was getting preferential treatment?” Feinberg answered: “Yes, he was aware.”

Referring to Dodd, the investigator asked:

“And do you know if during the course of your communications” with the senator or his wife “that you ever had an opportunity to share with them if they were getting special VIP treatment?”

“Yes, yes,” Feinberg replied. [...]

Countrywide VIPs, Feinberg told the committees, received discounts on rates, fees and points. Dodd received a break when Countrywide counted both his Connecticut and Washington homes as primary owner-occupied residences — a fiction, according to Feinberg. Conrad received a type of commercial loan that he was told Countrywide didn’t offer.

“The simple fact that Angelo Mozilo and other high-ranking executives at Countrywide were personally making sure Mr. Feinberg handled their loans right, is proof in itself that the senators knew they were getting sweetheart deals,” said Feinberg’s principal attorney, Anthony Salerno.

Two internal Countrywide documents in Dodd’s case and one in Conrad’s appear to contradict their statements about what they knew about their VIP loans.

At his Feb. 2 news conference, Dodd said he knew he was in a VIP program but insisted he was told by Countrywide, “It was nothing more than enhanced customer service … being able to get a person on the phone instead of an automated operator.”

He insisted he didn’t receive special treatment. However, the assertion was at odds with two Countrywide documents entitled “Loan Policy Analysis” that Dodd allowed reporters to review the same day.

The documents had separate columns: one showing points “actl chrgd” Dodd — zero; and a second column showing “policy” was to charge .250 points on one loan and .375 points on the other. Another heading on the documents said “reasons for override.” A notation under that heading identified a Countrywide section that approved the policy change for Dodd.

Mortgage points, sometimes called loan origination fees, are upfront fees based on a percentage of the loan. Each point is equal to 1 percent of the loan. The higher the points the lower the interest rate.

Dodd said he obtained the Countrywide documents in 2008, to learn details of his mortgages.

In Conrad’s case, an e-mail from Feinberg to Mozilo indicates Feinberg informed Conrad that Countrywide had a residential loan limit of a four-unit building. Conrad sought to finance an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck that he had bought from his brothers.

“I did advise him I would check with you first since our maximum is 4 units,” Feinberg said in an April 23, 2004, internal e-mail to Mozilo.

Mozilo responded the same day that Feinberg should speak to another Countrywide executive and “see if he can make an exception due to the fact that the borrower is a senator.”

Feinberg said in his deposition with House Oversight investigators last month that exceptions for the type of loan Conrad received were not allowed for borrowers outside the VIP system.

“If there was a regular customer calling, and of course you say, ‘No, we’re a residential lender. We cannot provide you with that service,'” Feinberg said.

Feinberg also told House investigators that Countrywide counted both of Dodd’s homes as primary residences.

“He was allowed to do both of those as owner-occupied, which is not allowed. You can only have one owner-occupied property. You can’t live in two properties at the same time,” he said.

Normally, Feinberg said, a second home could require more equity and could have a higher mortgage rate.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the senior Republican on the House Oversight Committee, had his investigators question Feinberg as part of a broader investigation into Countrywide’s VIP program.

Other names that have surfaced as “friends” of Mozilo include James Johnson, a former head of Fannie Mae who later stepped down as an adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and Franklin Raines, who also headed Fannie Mae. Still other “friends” included retired athletes, a judge, a congressional aide and a newspaper executive.

Conrad initially said in June 2008, “If they did me a favor, they did it without my knowledge and without my requesting it.”

The next day, Conrad changed course after reviewing documents showing he got special treatment, and said he was donating $10,500 to charity and refinancing the loan on the apartment building with another lender. He also said then it appeared Countrywide had waived 1 point at closing on the beach house.

Gaddie said Feinberg has previously made statements to the news media that Countrywide waived 1 point without the senator’s knowledge.

Feinberg testified that VIPs usually were not told exactly how many points were being waived, but it was made clear to them that they were getting discounts.

And, of course, Barack Obama has his own sweetheart mortgage deal with his own scumbag, Tony Rezko.  Not to mention all kinds of other skeletons in his “Chicago Way” closet that were never investigated by a clearly biased press.  A lot of the most obvious corruption occurs through his wife Michelle Obama, who kept getting paid more and more on hospital boards as Obama advanced politically.  On hospitals that did some really nasty things, such as patient dumping which she might have participated in.

Democrats cry day after day that what the world needs is more government.

But consider something: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

No entity wields more absolute power, or is more corrupt, than government.

Democrats tell us every day that they are out to save us from evil big businesses.  But there is no one to save us from Democrats, or the intrusive giant octopus federal government behemoth they are seeking to create and empower to rule over virtually every aspect of our lives.


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