Archive for February 4th, 2009

Taxing times

A word or two about this Daschle business, if you will.  I am a pretty big fan of Daschle’s — particularly those glasses — but not paying your taxes is really uncool (that goes for you, too, Wesley Snipes!).  And it’s something I don’t understand.  I realize that Tom has more to report than the one W2 I have, but I’m still confused by this “oversight” or whatever he’s calling it.  I don’t know what it means that he messed up on $15,000 in charitable giving.  Does this mean that he thought he gave $15,000 more than he did?  Geesh.  The car & driver thing I guess I can understand because there’s no real box for that (yes, I know, miscellaneous income or whatever, but I’m not sure it would occur to me that that was income).  But then the $80,000 from lobbying efforts that wasn’t reported…Ok, WHAT?  So, not knowing much about these things, does all this mean that he intentionally tried to get around the tax rules the rest of us abide by?  If so, holy cow — no kidding you’re not getting confirmed.  But it seemed to me that before he withdrew, it was looking like he would get confirmed and that everyone (ie Dems) was rallying behind him.  And then all of a sudden — bam!  — he’s out and Obama’s saying it was a mistake.  Is he saying it was a mistake to nominate him or a mistake to stand behind him?  He’s saying that he doesn’t want to send the message that there are two sets of rules — one for us and one for people who make lots of money.  That’s good, of course.  But that must mean that the mistake was supporting him, right?  Because — presumably — he did not know that Daschle was in arrears on his taxes when he threw his name out there.  And if his mistake was in supporting him, it seems that he continued to make that mistake until Daschle pulled out on his own (I know, maybe the White House gave him the hook, but they’re saying no).  I’m just not sure what to make of all of this.  Maybe nothing.

But it seems odd to me that the nominee for Treasury Secretary is green-lighted with his tax problems while the nominee for Health & Human Services Secretary is shown the door because of his.  Or, do you think, it was really the lobbying ties and he didn’t want to deal with it?  Please advise.


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