I understand why some people are sick of the political arena; why some people are distrustful of all politicians; and why some people ignore the voting booth because they feel it makes little if any difference. I understand. And here's just another example.
Emanuel Cleaver, the former Democratic mayor of Kansas City, has a nasty habit. He doesn't pay his taxes. Back a decade or so ago, when Cleaver first ran for mayor of Kansas City, newspapers reported that his history of paying taxes was less than spectacular. Records back then indicated that Cleaver was always anywhere from six months to a year behind in paying his federal and city tax returns. When confronted with the embarrassing revelation, Cleaver said there was no excuse. "I should not be late and I will not be late," he told the public.
Fast forward another decade and Cleaver finds himself in tax troubles again. A news report this week shows that Cleaver owes $36,000 in back taxes on a car wash he owns. To be more accurate, it doesn't look like Cleaver has paid any taxes on the business since he bought it two years ago.
So what does Cleaver - ever the politician - have to say. (Here's where it gets interesting). Cleaver turned the tax brouhaha into a political campaign. It seems that Cleaver is now running for Congress and says - as a small business owner - his trouble with paying taxes is exactly why he is running for Congress. Did I hear that right?
How can someone turn his lack of compliance with the law into a reason for running for Congress to represent a part of Missouri? I am both baffled and sickened at the same time. If being a tax scofflaw is sufficient qualifications for higher office, then something is seriously wrong in the Show Me state.
Cleaver bragged that he has never had a tax lien placed on his home or property despite the spotty record of late tax returns. And somehow he believes this is why he should be sent to Washington, D. C. And you wonder why some are frustrated and disgusted with the political system.
When news of his latest tax troubles hit the fan this week, somehow out of the blue, Cleaver was able to gather the $36k and pay his late taxes. I don't know the details on how he was able to come up with the cash after two years of tardiness. And I probably don't want to know anyway.
If Missourians elect a congressman who has this track record, how can you imagine he would handle the tax dollars flowing into Washington? It think common sense says a failure in the cash wash business might just be a failure in Congress. But what do I know. I pay my taxes.