The Corner

Whose Tax Problems Are Bigger?

The press seems obsessed with plumbing the background of “Joe the Plumber.”  Some media outlets have even done extensive reports on his alleged tax problems. Yet, as Jim Lindgren notes, the press did not bat an eye at when Barack Obama’s tax returns showed what appears to be a clear violation of Illinois ethics law.  Specifically, Obama reported significant income from “speaking fees” on his 2000 and 2002 tax returns, even though, as a state legislator, he was barred from receiving honoraria and speaking fees at the time.  I would think this would be more significant than whether Joe What’s-his-name has a tax lien, but then I’m not a professional journalist.

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.


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