2017-11-01 / Opinions

Deep in the swamp

This week’s details about the criminal indictment of Paul Manafort and his associate Richard Gates are cautionary tales, indeed.

The two are accused of hiding millions they earned lobbying for the Ukraine and other foreign political powers, and lying about it to federal investigators. They are charged with planning together to hide the money, cover up the fact that they were working on behalf of a foreign government and creating a scheme so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes on their lobbying income.

Truth is, hiding money from being taxed is a rich man’s game – one that doesn’t surprise your average working person much. The president, when he campaigned, said it’s a sign of smarts to win that game. Working folks know that they could probably benefit from the tax loopholes better, if only they could afford a really good accountant and lawyer. Federal investigators have now reminded the nation that lying to hide millions from the tax man is out of bounds.

Manfort’s indictment on Saturday is also a reminder that our foreign policy – America’s activities around the world – can’t be a place where influence goes to the highest bidder.

Those hoping for a change in Washington’s games just got a glimpse into how deep the swamp really is.

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