A Taxing Day For Obama, Nominees Dropping — What’s Going On?

Feb 3, 2009 2:31pm

Let’s review the latest on Obama nominees and their tax issues: Tom Daschle just withdrew his nomination to head Health and Human Services.  He didn’t pay $140,000 in taxes. This morning it was the chief White House performance officer, Nancy Killefer, who dropped out.  She had a lien placed on her house for not paying taxes on household help. Tim Geithner weathered a storm after claiming to bungle his taxes.  He belatedly paid $40,000 before being confirmed as Treasury Secretary.  If you’re to serve in the White House is there any tax mistake that can be forgiven?  It is a matter of debate among tax experts.  The nation’s tax laws are voluminous and confusing.  That can breed mistakes as well as room for creative accounting. If you fail to pay taxes does it matter by how much?  Geithner’s $40,000 versus Daschle’s $140,000.  Is that relevant? Why did Geithner’s confirmation go forward while Daschle and Killefer’s went down?  Beyond the size of the mistake, Tim Geithner seemingly benefited from the belief that he was not only the best man for the critical job of helping rescue the economy, but the only man.  Tom Daschle was being groomed to lead the charge of reforming the nation’s health care.  He was seen as someone who not only knew health care but could also navigate the waters of Capitol Hill.  But while his long political career earned him experience and friends, it also earned him enemies.  

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