Senator Claire McCaskill, D-MO, has just moved to the top of the Most Vulnerable Democrats in 2012. I think she was pretty vulnerable in the first place, due to her early, earnest, and strong support of President Obama and his agenda even back in the 2008 Primary days, and open support for the Health Control act and other agenda items. But this recent “scandal” (good luck getting the KC Star or the Post-Dispatch to use those words) should seal the deal.
Seems our good friend Claire would make trips on a private jet, billing the taxpayer for use of that jet, to make campaign, speaking, and other engagement trips. The Missouri GOP has filed ethics compaints, based on the fact that after a couple of layers of corporate entities, it turns out Claire and her husband actually owned the plane in question. At least one, perhaps more, of those flights turned out to be political in nature and not connected with her duties as Senator.
Now the other shoe has dropped; seems that there was a slight oversight in the record keeping and tax bills of that particular private jet. Come to find out, she (and/or her husband, and/or the shadow entity that actually held the title) didn’t pay the personal property taxes on that plane. OOPS! Nearly $300 Thousand later, the ‘mistake’ is found, and Claire, being the good, down to earth, regular folks she is, wrote a check and said she told her husband to “sell the damn plane.”
So, to date, she’s paid back upwards of half a million dollars for her transgressions in this matter, and probably hopes in the end, we all forget about it. No chance, Senator. I for one won’t let folks forget, all ten of you that read this.
Here’s the thing that really irks me; as a small business owner, fallen on hard times, I don’t get a break. I bust my rear half the time trying to make a buck to keep the business afloat, the other half of the time I’m hoping the next customer that walks in actually wants some service. As such, I’ve fallen behind in most of my bills, and taxes as well. It’s not as though I have tried to cheat the government, or pocket what isn’t mine, it’s been a matter of keeping the lights on and tools running, rent paid (as much as I can), and parts paid for.
I get no break; I get back on my taxes, they start calling immediately, adding assessments and fines, making it deeper to get out of. Of course, if I was loaded like our “regular citizen” Senator, and could just write a check when the heat came down, it would go away, but the means to do that are simply not there. So I keep struggling, and trying to catch a break.
She had the means from the very beginning. It’s not as though, by any stretch of the imagination, that she was pushing her finances to the limit and simply couldn’t afford for a couple of months to make the proper payments. She just didn’t do it. Or didn’t make sure her people took care of it. Whatever.
The thing that makes me the most angry is that she was the State Auditor; as such, she would know more than nearly anyone else in the state of Missouri that property taxes must be paid. And yet she just doesn’t bother, writes a check, and “oops, my bad!” when she’s finally caught. No sale, Claire, and it’s time you cashed out and went back to your private life. Sorry if that makes the jobs “created or saved” number look bad when you are unemployed after next year, but that’s the way it has to be.
**Update** BigGovernment.com documents that McCaskill’s tax problems go much deeper than a luxury jet.