This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 23, 2015:
Literature abounds with pithy and relevant comments about the underside of politics. Disraeli said: “There is no gambling like politics.” Austin O’Malley said: “A politician is like quicksilver: if you try to put your finger on him, you find nothing under it.” Will Rogers said: “There is no more independence in politics than there is in jail.” Shakespeare said: “A politician [is] one who would circumvent God.”
But perhaps the best of those presently extant is from Max O’Rell:
To be a chemist, you must study chemistry; to be a lawyer or a physician, you must study law or medicine; but to be a politician you need only to study your own interests.
Al Sharpton has been studying, and applying, his own interests for years. And he has learned that the higher up one goes, the greater the opportunity to satisfy them. In Sharpton’s case, he has taken it to another level: he has found a way to get rewarded not only in his stealing, but for his stealing.
He turned 61 on October 3 and decided to throw himself a birthday party inviting all those participants in the game to celebrate his success. Despite a proven record of stealing from the Internal Revenue Service for more than two decades – and getting away with it – Sharpton raised $1 million for his National Action Network (NAN) from well-known companies such as AT&T, Walmart, McDonald’s, Verizon, and GE Asset Management.
He has a long history of not paying his taxes when they are due dating back to 1993 when he pleaded guilty for failure to file a state income tax return. Soon thereafter state authorities learned that one of his companies, Raw Talent, was also not paying taxes. That company remained behind in meeting its tax obligations for years.
In 2007 New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began investigating NAN because it had failed to file the proper paperwork required for non-profits in that state. Of particular concern to Cuomo at the time was the size of the donations made to NAN by Anheuser-Busch, Colgate-Palmolive, and others as “insurance” (read: blackmail or extortion) to prevent Sharpton’s group from boycotting them for various perceived misdeeds.
In May, 2008 the Associated Press reported that Sharpton and his businesses owed $931,000 in federal incomes taxes and $366,000 in state income taxes, while another of his “non-profit” entities, this one called Rev. Al Communications, owed another $176,000 to the state.
In September 2010 the IRS filed a tax lien against Sharpton for more than $538,000 in taxes owed dating from 2009.
In November 2014 the New York Times reported that the amount owed by Sharpton and his affiliates had grown to some $4.5 million while Sharpton had just granted himself a 41 percent pay raise – from $241,545 in 2013 to $412,533 in 2014 – from his NAN while it still owed the IRS back taxes.
In October this year NAN finally coughed up $780,000 in unpaid payroll taxes dating back to at least 2003. When that occurred, Sharpton took to the airwaves to proclaim his joy over finally getting square with the tax man:
I’m glad that NAN has resolved all of our past tax debts three years earlier than our agreement with the IRS [stipulated], and paid [me] part of the compensation owed to me for several years [when] I did not receive a salary.
When Sharpton claimed that the salary increase really wasn’t a salary increase after all but nearly a repayment of personal loans he made to his non-profit – and therefore not taxable – it raised the eyebrows of former IRS official Marcus Owens:
To structure the payoff of a loan through a salary [increase] doesn’t seem really plausible because no one would want to pay income tax on their own money coming back to them.
The alternate media expressed joyous delight when it learned that Sharpton was now likely to get his just deserts. Obama had just signed into law the highway bill that contained (on page 420 of the 490-page bill) a little something that just might keep Sharpton from inflicting his revolutionary rhetoric on his avid supporters in South America. At the last minute, it is reported, Sharpton cancelled plans to visit Argentina and elsewhere, for “unspecified reasons.” This, taken from page 420, may explain those reasons:
If the Secretary [of the United States Department of Transportation] receives certification by the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service that an individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation or limitation of a passport….
It clarifies just what “seriously delinquent” means:
For purposes of this section, the term “seriously delinquent tax debt” means an unpaid, legally enforceable Federal tax liability of an individual … which has been assessed … [and] which is greater than $50,000 …..
Al owes millions. $3.7 million to be exact, according to Fox News:
According to a New York Times review of government records last fall, the MSNBC host and civil rights activist personally faces federal tax liens for more than $3 million in back taxes owed, and state tax liens of $777,657. So in total, Sharpton reportedly owes more than $3.7 million in back taxes.
His other two for-profit businesses, Raw Talent and Revals Communications, (both now defunct) owe anywhere from $717,000 to more than $800,000, based on state and federal tax liens, reports from the Times and National Review indicate. Revals Communications also either didn’t file its tax returns, or underpaid its tax bills from 1999 to 2002.
The chances of page 420 of the highway bill applying to Sharpton are between slim and none. First, he claims that what he allegedly owes are “old taxes” and should be forgotten. Any that remain are due only for “political reasons.” Secondly, he is a FOB (friend of Barry Obama and Bill deBlasio, Mayor of New York City). Thirdly, Obama has vetted him personally in front the cameras, calling Sharpton “the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden.” Finally, he has the IRS on his side. For more than 20 years he has been dealing successfully with them in delaying, stalling, deceiving, dodging and weaving – through schemes complex enough to, in the words of Tevye, “cross a Rabbi’s eyes.”
Sharpton will dodge page 420 just as he has successfully dodged other attempts to rein him in. His skill in serving his own best interests has been developed to such a high level that he is not only rewarded by stealing from the system, but collecting birthday gifts from friends for being so successful at doing so.
Perhaps Ronald Reagan was closest to the truth:
It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.
Wall Street Journal: Americans: Pay Your Taxes–Or Lose Your Passport
WhiteHouse.gov: HR22 Highway Funding bill signed into law
Fox Business: People Jailed for Owing Less Taxes Than Al Sharpton