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Dick Morris: Pot calls Kettle “Tax Cheat”

Reported by Ellen - January 23, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Alex

Continuing Wednesday evening’s (01/21/09) Factor Fool Fest, Bildo “Revere” O’Reilly steered Worst Pundit in America Dick Morris to the topic of Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner’s failure to pay his Social Security and Medicare taxes between 2001 and 2004. While it is valid to raise questions about Geithner’s tax delinquency (he paid his back taxes in full in 2008), to bring on Dick Morris to criticize Geithner is nothing short of bizarre.

For those who don’t know, Dick Morris was the subject of an IRS tax lien for $1.5 million in 2003, and was named on Connecticut’s list of top 100 tax delinquents in 2007, to the tune of $452,367 (see here and here).

To listen to O’Reilly and Morris discuss Geithner is to enter Bizzarro World. O’Reilly, feigning innocence of any knowledge of Morris’s tax affairs, asks him if Geithner is a crook. Morris verbally squirms, wanting to indict Geithner but knowing that if he does so he indicts himself. Bildo Revere deftly, if sadistically, gets him back on the Fox-track:

O’REILLY: Do you think he's a crook?

MORRIS: No, not in the sense that --

O'REILLY: Why -- why would -- here's my question to you.

MORRIS: I think he consciously --

O'REILLY: Wait. Listen to me. Why would a guy at that level nickel-and-dime like that? I mean, it's just -- it's little, little stuff. It's not like huge -- it's not like Marc Rich. Why would he risk everything, nickel and -- he says it was a mistake. He takes credit for the mistake, but he didn't do it on purpose.

MORRIS: Yeah. He inadvertently deducted his kids' --

O'REILLY: Are you not believing him?

MORRIS: -- Bill, he inadvertently deducted his kids' sleep-away camp on his income taxes, claiming it --

O'REILLY: All right.

MORRIS: -- was a business expense.

O'REILLY: So you don't trust this guy at all?

MORRIS: He made a mistake?

O'REILLY: You don't trust him?

MORRIS: No. How could you trust him?

(H/T to Media Matters for the transcript)

Comment: Dick Morris thinks he is a smart guy but on Fox Noise he’s the fall guy. As a paid political whore analyst he gets trotted out to fire up the radical “right” base, but lately he looks more sweaty and uncomfortable than usual. His mouth smiles but his eyes don’t (hell, if O’Reilly can do body language, so can we). Once sought-after, he has sunk to seeking exposure, and he finds it in a sickly symbiotic relationship with Fox Noise.

In this case in particular he has plenty to look uncomfortable about. On top of his tax problem, there have been a lot of others (see links for details). In April 2008, USA Today reported,

“Morris says he's reached an agreement with Connecticut and his name will be removed from the next delinquency list. He says he is committed to paying his taxes: “Following a difficult period in my life, I fell into arrears. But since then, I have paid almost $3 million in state and federal taxes.”

Morris does not appear on the Connecticut’s delinquent tax list for November 2008, so it appears his arrears to the state, at least, were paid in the second half of last year. Maybe that’s why he is selling his country pile in Connecticut.