When the government taxes income, there is always a little back-and-forth about what constitutes ‘income.’ Does my use of a University laptop in the evenings at home constitute a taxable benefit (because that use keeps me from having to buy a personal laptop)? Economically speaking, sure it does. But the IRS typically doesn’t bother.
It turns out a number of Members of Congress choose to live in their offices rather than bothering to rent a place in DC. Fringe benefit? I guess. Taxable? I really don’t think so. To hear MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell talk about it, you’d think there was a serious threat to the stability of the Union.