Ultraconservative Palin Fits Political Mainstream At Least One Way

18 02 2009

With her embarrassing personal tax problems . . .so let’s hear no more slavering on this from rich conservative attack dogs in the media, unless they include conservative darlings Palin and the Plumber.

And you just gotta love her official tone-deaf stonewalling about public business from this very public official, as the public is reeling to realize even private business — everything from banking to building cars — somehow is their business:

The governor’s office wouldn’t say this week how much she owes in back taxes for meal money, or whether she intends to continue to receive the per diem allowance. As of December, she was still charging the state for meals and incidentals.

“The amount of taxes owed is a private matter,” Sharon Leighow, Palin’s spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

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9 responses

27 02 2009
jonolan

I don’t know if I would characterize this as a “tax problem.” Alaska changed their laws regarding per diem and made such changes retroactive through a certain time-frame. Therefor Palin has to pay some unexpected taxes – oh well.

27 02 2009
JJ

Is that the party line on what happened with Joe the Plumber’s tax lien too, or have they got some other story for that?

27 02 2009
JJ

Jonolan, I worked for government (school district and state DOE) for a couple of decades. It was always the funny business with little things like travel reimbursements that got folks in trouble. Whatever the “law” says at any given time, one knows when there’s real work going on, and when there’s undue advantage being taken. . .it’s not right. And I expect she knew it, all along.

28 02 2009
jonolan

NO, JJ, it’s not the “party line;” it’s the truth. Did Palin play fast and loose with travel expenses? Probably – as you implied such funny business is common among people in the govt. It’s just not a tax problem, unlike Joe’s lien.

The state changed the rules and made what wasn’t previously taxable no taxable. Palin will now be taxed on those travel expenses as if they were earnings – no big deal unless she doesn’t pay them, which is doubtful at best.

28 02 2009
Nance Confer

Google is our friend. Or maybe not.

There is nothing in these two articles about any change in Federal or State tax laws.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122334021713509963.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jwb6ekOiK0T9yFvw_WURcrdPI65QD96JPUO80

Do you have a link to different information, Jonolan?

Nance

P.S. Wouldn’t it be unconstitutional to change a law and enforce it retroactively?

28 02 2009
Nance Confer

Here’s a snippet of an article at Wikipedia:

United States

In the United States, the federal government is prohibited from passing ex post facto laws by Article I, section 9 of the U.S. Constitution and the states are prohibited from the same by clause 1 of section 10. This is one of the very few restrictions that the United States Constitution made to both the power of the federal and state governments prior to amendment. Over the years, when deciding ex post facto cases, the United States Supreme Court has referred repeatedly to its ruling in the Calder v. Bull case of 1798, in which Justice Chase established four categories of unconstitutional ex post facto laws. The case dealt with Article I, section 10, since it dealt with a Connecticut state law.

However, not all laws with ex post facto effects have been found to be unconstitutional. One current U.S. law that has an ex post facto effect is the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. This law, which imposes new registration requirements on convicted sex offenders, gives the United States Attorney General the authority to apply the law retroactively.[1] The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Smith v. Doe (2003) that forcing sex offenders to register their whereabouts at regular intervals and the posting of personal information about them on the Internet does not violate the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws, because compulsory registration of offenders who completed their sentences before new laws requiring compliance went into effect does not constitute a punishment.[2]

Another example is the so-called Lautenberg law where firearms prohibitions were imposed on those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses and subjects of restraining orders (which do not require a criminal conviction). These individuals can now be sentenced to up to 10 years in a federal prison for possession of a firearm, regardless of whether or not the weapon was legally possessed at the time the law was passed. Among those that it is claimed the law has affected is a father who was convicted of a misdemeanor of child abuse despite claims that he had only spanked his child, since anyone convicted of child abuse now faces a lifetime firearms prohibition. The law has been legally upheld because it is considered regulatory, not punitive – it is a status offense.

Finally, Calder v. Bull expressly stated that a law that “mollifies” a criminal act was merely retrospective and not an ex post facto law.

A large “exception” to the ex post facto prohibition can be found in administrative law, as federal agencies may apply their rules retroactively if Congress has authorized them to do so. Retroactive application is disfavored by the courts for a number of reasons,[3] but Congress may grant agencies this authority through express statutory provision. Furthermore, when an agency engages in adjudication, it may apply its own policy goals and interpretation of statutes retroactively, even if it has not formally promulgated a rule on a subject.
See also: Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Bouie v. City of Columbia, Rogers v. Tennessee, and Stogner v. California

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_post_facto_law#United_States

28 02 2009
jonolan

Sorry, Nance. This is a case of occasionally sloppy use of language. Nobody actually changed any laws; they are looking into changing certain long-standing interpretations of the applicable tax codes. This is not a bad thing overall, but it’s also not a particular problem for Palin.

28 02 2009
Nance Confer

Good. She has enough problems.

Nance

28 02 2009
JJ

Jonolan, I didn’t say or imply it was “common among people in the govt” — why would you hear that in my saying it was the surest way to TROUBLE for them? As in being exposed and humiliated in the media, having to pay it back and/or resign or be fired trouble.

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