The answer? The party of Charlie Rangel is guiltier of cheating on its taxes--and by a large margin too.
With tax day nearly upon us, here's one way to take a break from those IRS forms: sifting through the gallery of politicians who have been embroiled in tax controversies over the past 20 years.
Via The Daily Beast comes this report of "America's Tax Cheating Politicians." But who cheats more? Members of the fiscally conservative Grand Old Party? Or the socially conscious Dems? Republicans have such tax cheats as Jack Abramoff and Randy “Duke” Cunningham among their ranks. But then again, the Democrats have the likes of Charlie Rangel--and Tim Geithner had some tax troubles too, if you'll recall.
Trying to determine if Republicans or Democrats cheat more on their taxes, The Beast used the methodology described below to find that left-leaning politicians are guiltier of tax fraud than those on the more conservative side of the political spectrum:
Turns out Republicans have the bigger names—Jack Abramoff, Randy “Duke” Cunningham—but Democrats have the most tax scandals by a margin of 18 to 7.
We devised the following points system to rank them:
• 3 points for each felony tax offense.
• 1 point for each misdemeanor tax offense, or official ethics conviction.
• .5 point for each felony tax indictment.
• .25 point for each misdemeanor tax indictment.
• 1 point for a state legislator or mayor.
• 3 points for a U.S. representative, statewide official, or federal lobbyist.
• 5 points for a governor or presidential nominee.
To determine how ties were broken, check out The Daily Beast's story.