Senator Dashcle's Feb. 1, 2009 Letter to Senate Finance Committee:
Thank you for the work you and the Committee are doing to move forward on my nomination by President Obama to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. I know that despite the heavy workload from both the Economic Recovery Act and SCHIP, as well as all the nominees the Committee is handling, your staff has worked diligently on my nomination. I also appreciate the strong commitment to fairness you both have expressed.
As you can well imagine, I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns. I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them. I will be happy to answer any Committee members’ questions about these issues
ABC News, Bloomberg, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post
Angry Bear: Things to Do About Taxes When You're President:
Let's call it like it is: neither Geithner nor Daschle would have ever "realized" that they owed taxes if they hadn't been nominated to "serve" in Obama's cabinet. And of course, Obama doesn't care that they are, ahem, forgetful, cough cough, or they'd already have been booted. But the fact that this kind of thing seems to come up so often should at least be a tip-off to anyone who might care that tax evasion is a big industry.
Cato@Liberty (via InstaPundit): Only the Little People Pay Taxes, by David Boaz:
Tom Daschle has joined Timothy Geithner in the not-so-exclusive club of Obama Cabinet appointees who evaded tens of thousands of dollars in federal taxes until they were vetted for their Cabinet nominations. It’s too bad Leona Helmsley can’t be nominated as Commerce Secretary.
National Review (via InstaPundit): The Corner:
“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.” Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, May 7, 1998, p. S4507.
New York Times: In Daschle's Tax Woes, a Peek Into Washington, by David D. Kirkpatrick:
Beyond the ramifications for Mr. Daschle’s ascent to the cabinet, the disclosures about Mr. Hindery and the many clients Mr. Daschle advised on public policy offers a new window into how Washington works. It shows how in just four years an influential former senator was able to make $5 million and live a lavish lifestyle by dint of his name, connections and knowledge of the town’s inner workings.
Politico (via InstaPundit): Daschle Takes "A Bad First-Day Hit", by Jonathan Martin & John Bresnahan:
If a Bush appointee got rich off of Wall Street in this climate, had a chauffeur from one of his fat cat cronies, had unpaid taxes that amounted to more than what most people make in a year, and then the administration tried to fix it behind closed doors. Democrats would call for his head and would demand ‘accountability.
Wall Street Journal editorial: Driving Mr. Daschle: Tax Avoidance and Democratic Party Standards:
So Tom Daschle, the erstwhile prairie populist and scourge of multiple Presidential nominees, failed to disclose and pay taxes on hundreds of thousands of dollars of income. He also waited months to pay up and told the Obama transition team about his tax oversights only days before his Senate confirmation hearing to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.
This one is going to be fascinating to watch, less for what it says about Mr. Daschle than what it will reveal about Democratic standards. Every Republican in America knows that if Mr. Daschle were a Reagan or Bush nominee he'd now be headed back to private life faster than you can say John Tower. That's the way Democrats have treated GOP nominees who were accused of far lesser transgressions than Mr. Daschle's tax, er, avoidance. The question is whether Democrats are going to treat Mr. Daschle according to the standard that Mr. Daschle set when he was running the Senate. ...
As a legal tax matter, this isn't even a close call. Mr. Daschle says he used the car service about 80% for personal use, and 20% for business. But his spokeswoman says it only dawned on the Senator last June that this might be taxable income. Mr. Daschle's excuse? According to a Journal report Friday, "he told committee staff he had grown used to having a car and driver as majority leader and did not think to report the perk on his taxes, according to staff members." How's that for a Leona Helmsley moment: Doesn't everyone have a car and chauffeur, dear?
Wall Street Journal, Marion Barry for Drug Czar; Democrats Love Taxes. Paying Them, Not So Much, by James Taranto:
If a certain sort of conservative tends to be moralistic about sex, liberals tend to be moralistic about money. That makes Tom Daschle the equivalent of a televangelist caught in a sex scandal.