Monday, February 02, 2009


This has happened twice, now, so we've gone from happenstance to coincidence; one more instance and we'll be looking at enemy action.

Out of the dozen or so candidates for cabinet office in the Obama administration, two have problems with their back taxes. Those of you with really long memories may recall that unpaid taxes finally sent Scarface Al Capone to the slammer for good. To make it even better, the first candidate with a "tax malfunction" is up for Secretary of the Treasury (and supervisor of the IRS)! And the other is Tom Daschle, of whom I just thought better.

In fact, I thought better of the whole Obama team. I expected, of course, to discover that they're only human, but I didn't realize it'd come quite so fast. Something is wrong when you pick the dozen or so best people you can think of, to help pull the country out of the worst mess since the Depression; and two of them have fluffed their taxes. And this comes out after the nomination has been submitted. Did the vetting team miss this? Did the candidates not think it was worth mentioning?

OK, they've paid all the back taxes. And the fines. But it bothers me. It bothers me more that the Democrats essentially just waved them through. Boys, I suppose, will be boys. I remember some candidates with tax issues
in a previous administration, and domestic-servant-without-papers issues, who had to withdraw from nomination; and frankly, I thought it was reasonable that they should. It's just not clear to me why Timothy Geithner is such a hot pick for the Treasury spot that we should ignore the fact that he blew off his Social Security taxes. Twice. Even if he has paid everything now.

I pay all my taxes, every year. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect this of the people I hire to represent me. For shame, Mr. Obama.

1 comment:

  1. I'm starting to wonder if every person above a certain politico-econo-social strata in our country might owe back taxes, and have hired an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper, nanny, or other domestic servant.