Do As I Say, Not As I Do

When he resigned earlier this month, I thought, with “certitude,” that we’d heard the last of lawmaker Anthony Weiner’s texting, sexting, lying, denying and whining, but I was wrong.  Just when I thought is was safe to go back to Twitter, I read that he didn’t have a current registration sticker on his Nissan Pathfinder.  Apparently, the expired license plate on his car was actually issued to another one of his cars, so, according to the NY DMV, the Pathfinder was unregistered.

I just got new tags for my car and paid twice as much as I did last year.  A friend of mine missed her renewal date, was stopped by a highway patrol officer and given a ticket for not having current tags on her car.  I guess the law doesn’t apply to Mr. Weiner – unless he’s caught, of course.

Another Congressman, Charlie Rangel, who was the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee that writes the nation’s tax laws, seems to be exempt from prosecution for tax violations.  He failed to pay 17 years’ worth of taxes on rental income from his Dominican Republic property and blamed sloppy bookkeeping and his inability to speak Spanish.  He received a public censure from Congress but an ‘at a boy from his constituents who re-elected him to his 21st term in November.

He’s not the only bum in Washington who doesn’t pay his taxes.   Some federal employees owe $1 billion in back taxes, including 41 presidential employees who owed a total of $831,000.  Three employees in the Office of Government Ethics alone owed a total of $75,000!  In my world, if you owed the fed any tax money, you wouldn’t be a federal employee.

And, of course, who can forget Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary who oversees the IRS, who failed to pay $34,000 in taxes between 2001 and 2004 and employed a housekeeper whose immigration documentation lapsed while in his employ.

Under D.C. law, members of Congress are exempt from parking tickets when on “official business.” It turns out that some irresponsible Congressional members owe a total of $15,000 in outstanding fines as of mid-March.  Roll Call contacted some of these scofflaws and guess whose name popped up?  Yep, you got it.  Anthony Weiner coughed up $2180 in outstanding tickets after Roll Call contacted me.

One of the biggest examples of hypocrisy to me is when President Obama tells all of us that we should be more “green” – use less fuel, consider hybrids and electric cars –and then turns around and increases the government’s limousine fleet by 73% since taking office.  What’s more disturbing is that the statistics reported by iWatchNews can’t even be confirmed by the General Services Administration because of its “unreliable” accounting.  Leslie Page, spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste is outraged.  “If the government can’t track limos, I’m not sure we should trust the numbers they put out there on anything.”

I’ve always registered my cars, paid all my taxes, and never gave advice or an opinion about something but failed to follow it myself.  The people in Washington D.C. don’t seem to mind doing exactly that.  Only when they’re caught do they start making up lame excuses for their actions.  A staff aid failed to follow through, my bookkepper goofed, I don’t speak Spanish, my dog at my homework.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
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  • Ron

    I am not sure any of the people think that the laws do not apply to them or that they are above the law. I speed sometimes. I do not think the speed limit does not apply to me or that I am above the law. If I get caught, I will have to pay the penalty. I do not think any of the politicians thinks the laws do not apply to them. The hypocrisy that I have found is when politicians write laws and then exclude themselves from the laws. I recall Congress passing employment discrimination laws and excluding themselves from the provisions. Congress passed the Social Security laws and excluded themselves from the provisions. Presidents sign laws and have signing statments stating that the laws do not apply to them

    • chief98110

      I work a job which involves psychological analysis of why my clients make the choices that ultimately end up destroying their lives. Narcissistic Personality Disorder often comes up as a diagnosis. I imagine that most of the people who have the courage to run for political office have a bit of this characteristic. Some people have more than others. So if Ron, who has also commented here, I’ll assume he’s a decent law abiding citizen, feels the need to speed it isn’t about being so important and narcissistic and thinking, “I won’t get caught.” It’s about his need to get somewhere but also feeling guilty for breaking the rules. Some folks, like the politician mentioned, don’t even get that there are rules. Yeah, really.

  • JDO

    Celebrites, famous athletes, etc. They’re all on the “list” of people who a double standard applies to, but it doesn’t end there, really, and it’s not just about the law. It’s all about who you know. This is nothing new. We all know people (or at least know people who know people, lol) who know a police officer and have gotten a ticket “taken care off,” or are good friends with a car dealer who gives them the special “dealer” discount that isn’t offered to us regular suckers. How about the judge who is a brother with an owner of a liquor store chain who makes DUIs disappear for that brother’s favorite salesperson (and, yes, obviously that’s a true story)? It’s who you are, yes, but it’s also who you know. It’s disgusting, but, again, it’s nothing new.

  • Roger Ward

    Of course, Bruce is correct: there are two sets of laws in this country, one set for government employees and one set for the rest of us …. and woe to anyone in the second group if he breaks a law or doesn’t pay his taxes.

  • Bruce A.

    Leona, while reading this I got the impresssion that there are two sets of laws in this country.