Monday, February 02, 2009

Oh, come on...Who are you kidding?

First it was Timothy Geithner, now it's Tom Daschle. Yes, I'm talking about failure to pay taxes.

In the most recent case, the administration refers to Mr. Daschle's failure to pay over $100,000 in taxes from the previous 3 years a "serious mistake." But is it really just a "mistake" if Daschle didn't ask his accountant to look into it until 2008 when he owed the taxes for the car and driver he was using starting in 2005? Or was it more like "Hmmm, Obama might win this thing and since I'm a close adviser of his, maybe I'd better get that little tax issue in order in case I'm nominated for something."

What I don't understand is why all of these people who are clearly in public life are always turning up with back taxes they owe, or an illegal housekeeper, nanny or some other snafu, whereas we ordinary folk manage to pay our taxes and not hire illegal aliens. You'd think people in public life would be more careful, not less. It is a mystery.

There are other issues with Daschle as well - as Jolly Roger points out, there are other aspects of Daschle's more recent career that may pose a conflict of interest for him to deal with the healthcare industry.

I understand President Obama's wish to support Daschle but I would like it if Daschle had the honor to bow out and let someone else with less baggage take the position. Surely he's not the only person around that could handle Health & Human Services.

There is another thing this week that is troubling me and I hope it's only temporary. Despite ordering the closure of Guantanamo, apparently President Obama is not going to end the practice of rendition. If, as he has said, we will no longer torture prisoners, what then is the reason to keep this practice? What will be done secretly to prisoners who have been spirited away to some other country that can't be done openly?

Let's all make sure to send President Obama a message on his website asking him to end this immoral practice immediately.

I'll end this with a few haiku since I haven't done any in awhile!

Paying back taxes
Is a popular pastime
For new nominees

Why they just noticed
They owe all these back taxes
Is rather unclear.

In much lighter news
Chuck bit Mayor Mike Bloomberg
No shadow was seen.

Punxsutawney Phil
Came out and saw his shadow

Winter will go on.

Phil's original
Chuck's only an imposter
Six more weeks to go.

Each time it's snowing
Feels like it happened before
It's still Groundhog Day.

It's snowing again
Beginning in the morning
Will it never end?


themom said...

Apparently Daschle is like every other American...hates to pay taxes. If an audit were done on every sitting senator and congress person - I would imagine a high percentage with IRS issues.

The Retired One said...

Unfortunately, I agree with themom.
If we looked closely at all the other politicians,I am afraid we would find many others with skeletons in their closet. At least with the press looking into things closer, it is harder and harder for them to hide them.

Life As I Know It Now said...

I agree. There should be more than enough Democrats who don't have any dirt to kick around. This just shows us that too many Democrats also have issues with fairness and they ought to pay a price for that. Instead, this underlines that the corruption is in both parties.

Tom Harper said...

I never liked Daschle anyway, even aside from his tax "problems" -- which should disqualify him.

In 2002-03, when Bush was whipping up hysteria about Saddam Hussein and drumming up support for the neocon agenda, Democrats should have had an alternate plan; a counterattack. The Democrats' spinelessness wasn't totally Daschle's fault, but he was the "leader" at the time. Bush and Cheney were scoring with all these hysterical soundbites, and all the Democrats could do was say "yeah, me too" or "uh, no, I don't think so."

When Daschle got voted out of the Senate in 2004, it was time for him to stay retired.

Dorothy said...

And lets not forget he's been in public service for a long time and is held to an even higher standard. The whole thing is very sad and I'm with you concerned about some of the wavering. I don't want to send a message to his site as you end up getting 20 email messages back after you give them one.

Lets watch and together keep them all accountable.

Dorothy from grammology

PS How I wish I had your gift of writing...I love your stuff..

Going Like Sixty said...

I don't have as big a problem with him not declaring the car and driver as income as I do taking speaking fees from the companies he will be regulating.

Should he have known to pay taxes on a car and driver. Yes. Does it impact his ability to be a good cabinet officer? No.

OTOH: He has been buddy-buddies with the executives of the companies he will supposedly be regulating. This is a direct contradiction of what the Fresh President promised us.

I do think the Dems will get to Daschle get him to withdraw.

The tax code is so complicated anybody could be found to be a tax evader.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I don't get the tax problems either.

I like your haiku. Yes, it surely feels like we're stuck in Groundhog Day the movie with this winter weather.

Annette said...

Yes, I posted about Daschle and his tax problem the other day too. I had a problem with it. Had more problem with his than I did with Geithner's, due to his earnings being overseas..that does have a tendency to get confusing sometimes, or it used to anyway... best I remember from my years doing taxes. But, Daschle's was pretty cut and dried it seemed to me like, and I just really had a problem with him keeping it hidden for so long.

But, it looks like they are going to let him slide...and he does have other issues..Educon I think it is or something like that is one. I forget, it has been a while since I read

But thanks for writing on this too.

lisahgolden said...

I'm reminded of a Jim Belushi line from the movie About Last Night.

Pull my other leg and it will play Jingle Bells.

Fran said...

The Daschle issue keeps getting more tainted. The fact he was a pseudo lobbyest for big pharma makes this a real WTF in the red zone scenario.

Come on!

Is there no clean politician amongst the lot of them???

Plus Gaithenr and Daschle did not pay fines-- jus t what they owed & interest.

Who amomgst us little people would not get slapped with fines on top of the amount owed AND interest-- for much smaller amounts I might add.

This stinks!

The rendition approval is appaling.

I'm going to write oright now.

To me rendition- those secret prisons are even worse tha Gitmo. At least the Int. Red CRoss and some laywers have had some access, with rendition... you get no monitoring whatsoever.
And I think Gitmo is the lowest of low, so to think rendition is lower, is as low as it goes.

Obama should switch to bottled water.

Randal Graves said...

What tom said.

Mary Ellen said...

Another one of Obama's picks didn't pay taxes...

Regarding the rendition, I agree with you. There is no reason to kidnap anyone and take them to another country for interrogation unless you plan on having them tortured. Just another one of Obama's double talk promises.

Also, the removal of Don't Ask Don't Tell....put on hold, indefinitely, until the military leaders decided what to do about it, if anything. In other words, another broken promise. Obama just sweeps this stuff under the rug after he makes a big announcement on how he is "changing" the old status quo. Just another slap in the face to the LGBT community.

Wait until you see what he has up his sleeve for Social Security and Medicaid. He'll make sure that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy stay in place "for awhile" and then he'll gut the senior citizens to make up the difference.

Anonymous said...

Does the phrase "Do as I say, not as I do" ring any bells? Clearly, we are predisposed to electing leaders who, in the name of the law, act as though they're above it. As for Obama, I say a promise is a promise is a promise. Let's hold his feet to the fire.

Christopher said...

Obama needs to stop with the retreads.

Hillary and Gates were bad enough but why Daschle?

He's passing over men and women ready to serve and who come to the rodeo without any baggage.

The universities are full of such people.

Not a good week for President Obama.

Mauigirl said...

TheMom and Retired One, you're probably right - it may be hard to find anyone who's been in Congress that hasn't got a few skeletons!

Liberality, let's hope he is able to find some who have clean records. I think he'll make a strong effort to do so for the new nominees.

Tom, I know what you mean, I was never that impressed with Daschle either. Maybe this is a good thing that he's dropped out and we'll get someone better in the end.

Dorothy, I agree, it is important to keep an eye on everything; Pres. Obama is the type of person who will listen to those who disagree with him so if we don't like what he's doing we need to say so. (Thanks for the compliment, I think you write well too!)

GoingLikeSixty, it is true that the tax code is very complicated but I do think someone in his position can afford a really good accountant who would tell him if he was making a "mistake" and not paying $140,000 in taxes (and I don't even think that's all of it). It just seems rather hard to believe he just didn't know.

Ruth, this winter seems endless. Glad you liked the haiku!

Annette, I know, I felt as if Daschle's was much more cut and dried and pretty obvious, plus the issues of his conflict of interest. So I was relieved when he quit.

Fran, I agree and I'm really glad Daschle is out. At least the President admitted it was a mistake. As for rendition, apparently there is some doubt as to whether the type of rendition his orders allow is the really bad type that Bush did or a lesser type (check out the Omnipotent Poobah - he has a good post on the subject). But either way I think rendition should not be allowed.

Randal, yes, I think we all agree about Daschle. Not my fave either.

Mary Ellen, I know, it sounds as if he is postponing a decision on DADT and that concerns me too. I hope he follows through on his promise. And I'll keep an eye on him re: SS and Medicaid! I'm not that far from needing it so I sure want it there for my old age!

Spartacus, you are right, we need to hold his feet to the fire. I am hoping this situation has taught him a lesson - per my next post, he got on TV and said he made a mistake and understands why it was a mistake not to be stricter on the tax thing, etc. Let's hope he takes it to heart.

Christopher, I agree. There have to be some other folks out there who would be good for these spots. I think in his wish to make sure he is able to have enough experienced people around him he has overdone it.

Mauigirl said...

Oops, sorry Lisa, good reference to Belushi! I hear ya!

The Young Swell said...

I was hoping Obama hung on to rendition so that when enough proof comes in on their guilt, rather than fighting through the courts, he can just rendition Bush and Cheney's asses over to The Hague.

But then, I'm a confirmed romantic.

Mauigirl said...

Wee Mousie, I really like that idea! Knowing how clever President Obama is, you may be right!