So let's start there:
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chose to dock his new $7 million yacht in Newport, R.I., instead of Nantucket, Mass., where he and wife Teresa Heinz have a summer home.In this Breitbart-age of conservative "reporting", I would think that it's important for the good folks at the P-G to go over Jack's column each week with a finer toothed comb than what they're used to using.
Could this have been to avoid $500,000 in sales and excise taxes that Massachussetts imposes but Rhode Island does not?
A "clearly perturbed" Sen. Kerry was not eager to answer, wrote the Boston Herald reporter who covered him in Weymouth Monday. On Wednesday, Mr. Kerry paid the Massachussetts taxes, which forestalled an investigation into possible tax evasion.
Yea, I know. That's funny.
Let's go to the original story (from July 23) at the Boston Herald:
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.Also found there is this:
Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.
But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.
Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven - like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau - for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?
Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.
“The boat was designed by and purchased from a company in Rhode Island, and it’s based in Newport at the Newport Shipyard for long-term maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes, not tax reasons,” [Kerry's Chief of Staff David] Wade told the Track.Um, Jack? If the Massachusetts Department of Revenue spokesperson says Kerry's under no obligation to pay the tax, then where did the "investigation into possible tax evasion" part come from?
And state Department of Revenue spokesguy Bob Bliss confirmed the senator “is under no obligation to pay the commonwealth sales tax.” [emphasis added]
Or did you just make that part up?
Then there's the quoted material. Where and when was Kerry described as being "clearly perturbed"?
In Jack's column, Kerry was perturbed and not eager to answer the question as to whether he registered the boat in Rhode Island to avoid the Massachusetts tax.
However, from this Tuesday at the Boston Herald:
Kerry continued to insist that he and his wife, ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz, would pay whatever taxes they owe on his new New Zealand-built Friendship sloop Isabel, but wouldn’t specifically address whether he’d cough up some $500,000 in state use and local excise taxes.Looks like an answer to me, Jack. Looks like he was perturbed at being called a tax cheat, Jack. And it looks like he's saying they're gonna pay their taxes, Jack.
“Let’s get this very straight, I’ve said consistently we will pay our taxes, we’ve always paid our taxes, it’s not an issue. Period,” a clearly perturbed Kerry declared. [emphasis added.]
Jack? If you're going to accuse someone of "possible tax evasion" don't you think you should get the facts right?
And then on Friday, the Huffingtonpost had this:
Sen. John Kerry said he always intended to pay taxes in Massachusetts on his $7 million yacht but conceded he mishandled the public furor over his decision to dock the vessel in tax-free Rhode Island.So the quote in The Globe could have been found on Friday morning.
"I don't think I dealt with it fast enough, effectively enough. There's nobody to blame but myself for that," the Massachusetts Democrat told The Boston Globe for Friday's editions.
The fact that Jack chose to put that directly in front of this part about Representative Charlie Rangel:
Sen. Kerry is hardly the only Democrat in Washington whose eagerness to impose taxes on others is not matched by a willingness to pay them himself. Rep. Charles Rangel of New York became a millionaire during 40 years of public "service." The House Ethics Committee has charged him with multiple offenses, including failing to pay income tax on rental property he owned in the Dominican Republic.Makes the whole "guilt by association" smear complete.
For the record, it doesn't look good for Charlie Rangel. He should be investigated, no question.
Interesting thing: when Tom Delay was being investigated the GOP House changed the ethics committee. Just sayin'
But since Kerry's already paid the $500,000, the "fellow tax evader" connection is false and Jack should have known that.
But no point in letting the facts get in the way of a good smear eh, Jack?
But let's get to the heart of the matter - the Bush Tax Cuts. So says Jack:
Since nearly every reputable economist -- Keynesian or classical -- thinks raising taxes during a recession is a bad idea, this could have catastrophic consequences.But what to the reputable economists say about the Bush Tax Cuts?
For instance Alan Greenspan? Take a look:
Congress should let all of former president George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire to cut the long-term budget deficit, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has said.But you know, that was published in that radical left wing communist sympathizing rag, the Financial Times.
Mr Greenspan’s support helped persuade Congress to pass the tax cuts in 2001 and his comments thrust him into a heated political battle over whether to extend them beyond the end of 2010. “They should follow the law and let them lapse,” Mr Greenspan said in an interview.
“The problem is, unless we start to come to grips with this long-term [budget] outlook, we are going to have major problems. I think we misunderstand the momentum of this deficit going forward.”
The Bush cuts lowered income tax rates; created a new 10 per cent tax bracket; raised tax credits for children; and lowered taxes on dividends and capital gains. A “sunset” provision means that all the cuts will expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends them.
Doing so would increase the federal budget deficit by cumulative $2,567bn between 2011 and 2020, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
So not only is Jack guilty of a(nother) political smear, his argument is debunked by none other than Alan Greenspan himself.
Another Sunday, another column that makes Jack Kelly look silly.