Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Rangel’


Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 15th, 2012

I am involved with contractual negotiations on a daily basis, even though in New York real estate contracts are handled by lawyers. In most real estate contracts, certain obligations have to be met by both sides, and failing to do so has consequences. Maybe its time for this type of Contract with America, as opposed to the BS political pandering and promises that seemingly have no consequences except for the (slight) possibility of being voted out of office……think Charlie Rangel.

The Right says we should cut taxes and decrease spending:  why not draft a contract that does these things…..but this time do so with specific consequences?  What if the Right are actually correct on this front and lowering taxes and cutting spending is indeed the solution to our huge deficits, unemployment and slow growth? Why not agree to a 2 year contract/window of opportunity whereby corporate taxes and income taxes are lowered and spending is cut……then, if after 2 years, the economic growth, unemployment figures and deficit do not improve by mutually acceptable, pre-negotiated numbers, those who received the tax breaks have to pay back all their tax savings….with interest. Just like most contracts?

Similar contracts could also be drafted whereby any corporation that hires outside of the USA instead of inside the USA loses all its tax breaks automatically?

Maybe gay marriages should indeed be banned if the American family starts to disintegrate because of gay marriage……although surely that disintegration started many decades ago without the assistance of gay marriage?

Why is it that all of us have to live by contractual obligations but politicians do not? Its time for us to rectify a broken system, and maybe if everyone had to put their money where their mouths are, we could start to resolve the bigger issues?



Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Posted by Leonard Steinberg on October 2nd, 2011

Yesterday while most of Wall Street was away enjoying the first weekend of Fall 2011 in the Hampton’s, 700 Protesters were arrested for blocking the Brooklyn Bridge, protesting all sorts of things especially Wall Street GREED. Isn’t this a bit old-fashioned in the age of Twitter-heads and Facebookers? I thought all outrage was posted on line these days? Maybe it is, and its proving to be ineffective? This protest certainly caught the attention of the world. Maybe old-fashioned methods to garner attention are new again?

While I contemplate all these pressing questions, I also ask how many besides Wall Streeters have demonstared greed? Was the banker who encouraged the un-qualified buyer to buy a house with a huge adjustable rate mortgage greedy? Of course he was. Was that same banker greedy when he sold those mortgages knowing they were in the hands of people who would more than likely default? Yes! Was the  un-qualified buyer greedy for wanting to buy a house they couldn’t afford? Definitely! Was Charlie Rangel (who joined the protest) greedy for keeping FOUR rent-stabilized apartments, thereby paying half the market rent (while earning over $ 165k/year) being greedy?  Is it greedy to fire hundreds of employees yet still draw a large salary and bonus?  Is it greedy to draw unemployment while receiving income off the books? Is it greedy of some public employees to boost their retirement payments by working artificial overtime hours while others lose their jobs because of budget cuts? Is it greedy of a teacher who is mediocre to earn more than a great teacher just because they have been at the job longer? Is it greedy of a rock star who preaches democracy and fairness to charge $ 200 for a concert ticket?

Greed is everwhere, and while many on Wall Street are certainly guilty of excessive greed, picking Wall Street as the sole perpetrator seems a bit hypocritical to me. This protest does certainly warrant attention: A small group of angry people can cause a lot of harm to a City like New York. And Mayor Bloomberg has highlighted the potential plight of a new, young, educated but unemployed generation. But their voices should not be silenced and their grievances should be debated as we are a democracy after all: surely there is some way to debate everything without causing mysery for those who least deserve it?



Thursday, July 29th, 2010

While aggressive evictions are reducing the number of rent-stabilized apartments in New York, Representative Charles B. Rangel enjoys 4 of them, including 3 adjacent units on the 16th floor overlooking Upper Manhattan in a building owned by one of New York’s premier real estate developers.

The Harlem building where Representative Charles B. Rangel has four rent-stabilized units.

Democrat Mr. Rangel who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, uses his fourth apartment, six floors below, as a campaign office, despite state and city regulations that require rent-stabilized apartments to be used as a primary residence.

Mr. Rangel, who has a net worth of $566,000 to $1.2 million, according to Congressional disclosure records, paid a total rent of $3,894 monthly in 2007 for the four apartments at Lenox Terrace, a 1,700-unit luxury development of six towers, with doormen, that is described in real estate publications as Harlem’s most prestigious address.

The current market-rate rent for similar apartments in Mr. Rangel’s building would total $7,465 to $8,125 a month, according to the Web site of the owner, the Olnick Organization.

Leonard Steinberg, head of LUXURYLOFT team and publisher of the monthly newsletter LUXURYLETTER says: “How on earth does New York continue to allow the abusers of rent control laws to persist, especially an elected official, especially someone this powerful? Democrat or Republican, we should all stand up to this abuse. We all pay for this after all. New York rent control laws are like ANIMAL FARM: We are all equal but some are more equal than others?”