Well, now we are up to three - I heard on NPR this morning that Nancy Killefer, the candidate for "performance czar" (czarina, surely?) is withdrawing her candidacy "because of a tax issue." Specifically, she didn't pay unemployment compensation taxes on her household help, and the District of Columbia put a $925 lien on her property.
I'm sorry - that's the worst tax flub yet. Geithner "didn't realize" he had to pay the full Social Security tax when working at the IMF; OK, that's just stupid, even if he was using TurboTax (TurboTax?) to do his returns. Daschle "didn't realize" that the car and driver his dear old friend the plutocrat "loaned" him actually represented a gift of income; he was "used to" having a car and driver as Senate majority leader. That's just arrogant. But this woman didn't pay the unemployment tax on her housekeeper or nanny - that's really inexcusable. That means that if and when she fires them, they can't pull unemployment.
The good news is that Daschle has shown more class than the senators who were all set to confirm him - he's withdrawn his name from nomination. He still shouldn't have done it; but at least he realizes that it's a problem, which is more than Geithner did.
Remember Leona Helmsley, who said that only the little people pay taxes??
Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle devoted her column today (Feb. 3) to this mess. She's even more bitter than I am about it. She makes the valid point, though, that if we're going to require absolute perfection for anybody who wants a job inside the Beltway, the pool of applicants will be very very small. But on this one I agree with her - these mistakes are not only stupid but venal. Dashle and Killefer did the right thing by withdrawing (finally); and frankly, I think Geithner should resign as well. But we may be stuck with him.