Last week, the New York Times covered two recent “purchases” that demonstrate new lows in the realm of political real estate. One year ago, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Pavlo Lazarenko, paid $6.75 million in cash for Eddie Murphy’s 41-room mansion in Marin County, California. Last week, President Clinton entered into a contract for a $1.7 million home in Chappaqua, New York.
No one believes that Lazarenko earned $6.75 million as Prime Minister of a former Soviet republic, and Federal authorities have detained him while Swiss and Ukrainian officials investigate charges of embezzlement and money-laundering. Equally, it is transparent that the Chappaqua house is beyond the Clintons’ financial means; his Presidential salary is insufficient even were they not carrying $5.5 million in legal debt. The house is being guaranteed by Terry McAuliffe’s $1.35 million assurance in a deal the the New York Times (9/4) described as a “clever and unusual piece of financial engineering designed to avoid various tax and other pitfalls.”
Neither of these men know or care the first thing about the fiscal responsibility required to buy an honest piece of property. They use the currency of the day: political pull, sacrificing their citizens’ rights to feather their own nests. Nowhere is this more blatant than the President’s intent to veto the Republican Party’s proposed tax cuts.
Chappaqua is a brazen insult to every honest citizen who is paying off a mortgage or saving desperately to buy a home. Chappaqua is beyond the wildest dreams of many Americans, primarily because the so-called “progressive” tax system — which is really a punishment for your success — makes it increasingly difficult to save money as you improve your lot. Offered a minor tax cut by the Republicans, hard-working Americans will continue to toil under our burdensome taxes at the vicious whim of someone who has never worked an honest day in his life, nor paid for his own home, and is likely never to do so.
By all accounts, Lazarenko is a crook: he has broken laws and will likely suffer some petty rebuke. He, at least, has the decency to have concealed actions he knew were criminal. Clinton, however, blusters his way through front pages and government ethics’ technicalities as though he is an average citizen. His morally criminal link to Lazarenko is that same idea that ties him to dictators throughout the centuries: one law for the ruled — and none for the rulers.
Perhaps the most frightening fact is our citizens’ complacency at his actions and his policies, the many Americans who, according to so many opinion polls, apparently believe Clinton’s rhetoric that “we don’t need a tax cut.”
It is our responsibility to censure him and his tax-and-spend cronies, and to demand what is morally ours: a massive tax cut — accompanied by the necessary reduction and end of government welfare programs — and the return of wealth to those who have earned it. Unless we do, the American dream of home ownership will dwindle away to nothing more than a political perk.