Rep. Joe Walsh: Deadbeat Dad; Deadbeat Citizen
Martin Bashir just painted Joe Walsh as the shyster he is in real time on Tuesday's show. After setting up the conversation about tax rates, and getting Walsh to say outright that he doesn't want debt placed on his children, which leads to the key question. Bashir asks him whether or not he has a problem shorting his child support and placing that burden on his children now.
The only defense Walsh mounts is to say he's innocent until proven guilty, and gets Bashir to agree to apologize if the court outcome shows he doesn't owe all that. Of course, these are pretty easy charges to prove. There hasn't been a dispute that he owed support that wasn't paid. Walsh is simply claiming that he doesn't owe as much as they claim.
Here's how Bashir set it up, via a conversation about Mitt Romney's tax returns:
BASHIR: Would you, though, agree with Newt Gingrich, when he says there should be a zero tax rate on capital gains on investments?
WALSH: Absolutely. There should be no --
BASHIR: You support that?
WALSH: Yes. There should be no estate tax either --
BASHIR: Mr. Walsh, if that's the case, would you be happy then, for Mitt Romney, who's revealed that over the last two years he received over forty million dollars of the back of these investments. You'd be happy that he would pay zero tax?
WALSH: Martin, let me be very succinct. Yes. That money has already been taxed....
Of course, this is the Republican party line, this idea that because the money is income from investments where the corporations have already paid taxes, dividends should not be taxable to individuals receiving them. Except we all know that the corporations, particularly those paying dividends, are paying very little, if any corporate tax. So it really hasn't been taxed at all.
Bashir did a terrific job in what follows of tying Walsh's tax attitudes into the morality of his child support attitudes. Child support is a pretty quantifiable thing. You take the earnings of each spouse, figure out the time the children spend with each spouse, and apply the formula to arrive at the support amount. In California, that's not negotiable. It is what it is, and isn't negotiated away in settlements or any other way. Today, Walsh seemed to claim he doesn't owe what's been alleged. But last year, he didn't deny he owed support payments. He simply claimed he didn't have the money to pay them, despite his rather hefty Congressional salary.
BASHIR: You've repeatedly said over the last two years in your opposition to the President when he's even suggested raising a surtax of not .5 percent to enable the American Jobs Act to be paid for, that not-.5-percent levied against people earning more than a million dollars, you've opposed that.
And one of the things you've repeatedly said is that you will not place another dollar on the back of your children. Right?
BASHIR: Can I ask you then, because something our viewers are concerned about -- Haven't you already done that by inadequately paying child support that you owe to your wife and children?
WALSH: Hey Martin, that's an awkward segue on TV --
BASHIR: I apologize, but these are questions that viewers have asked me. They'd like to know why you still owe one hundred and seventeen thousand and four hundred and thirty seven dollars in child support.
WALSH: Hey Martin, I don't and I'm fighting this issue as I've gone around my district telling everyone. Legally and privately. I don't and I'm going to fight it but this is not an issue that I'm going to bring up. My kids or even my ex-wife on TV. I will fight it legally and privately.
Something doesn't add up, as CREW notes while awarding him the title of Most Corrupt. But despite Rep. Walsh's vehement denials, the question was valid whether it's one hundred dollars owed or one hundred thousand dollars owed. If Rep. Walsh is such a believer in not placing debt on his children, he should pay his child support and quit posturing about it on television.
As a side note, if he's talking to constituents the way he talked to this one, I'm sure he's not making friends or influencing people in that area.