Paul L. Caron

Friday, May 29, 2009

Garrett Withdraws Nomination for Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy

Garrett Tax Prof Elizabeth Garrett (USC) has withdrawn as President Obama's nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.  From Bloomberg (Garrett Withdraws as Top Tax Official in Blow to Obama Agenda):

Garrett ... said in her withdrawal statement that personal considerations “have required that I reassess my initial decision to be considered for this office.” ...  Jeff Trinca, a tax lobbyist at Van Scoyoc & Associates in Washington who became friends with Garrett when both worked on Capitol Hill, said she wasn’t willing to undergo the rigorous vetting process Obama has imposed on his nominees following the administration’s early stumbles. “The nomination process has gotten so harsh that good people like Beth are unwilling to put them and their families through the wringer,” Trinca said.

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Tracked on May 29, 2009 6:09:30 AM


The word you wanted was "repudiate." The President may withdraw a nomination, a nominee repudiates one.

Posted by: Piper | Jun 1, 2009 4:56:53 PM

The comments on this post are based on unsupported speculation. Garrett's statement did not refer to tax issues. There is no evidence I'm aware of that tax issues were related to her withdrawal because of "aspects of my personal family situation." Nominees withdraw for many reasons. I do not have information beyond Garrett's public statement regarding the reason for her withdrawal (she is my colleague at USC). We all know that the scrutiny of nominees is intense, and can bring to light matters that could cause embarrassment to oneself or one's family, even if everyone has scrupulously compied with the law, in tax and other areas. Not everyone wants the details of their personal life to be as exposed as the subjects of reality TV shows. Beth Garrett is a great scholar and colleague, and an honorable person. We all would have benefitted from her service. At this point she is entitled to maintain the privacy of her personal life.

Posted by: Mary Dudziak | May 31, 2009 8:24:26 AM

We should be careful about speculating. I have known nominees who have withdrawn for reasons other than taxes. That said, a previous poster was correct that, unless something is out of whack (not necessarily taxes), the background check is not that difficult.

Posted by: GJ | May 29, 2009 3:13:01 PM

Dear God, do any Democrats pay their taxes?

Posted by: Tim | May 29, 2009 9:51:30 AM

What malarkey this is. Anyone with a clean personal record should have absolutely no problems passing an IRS review, much less a background security check from the FBI.

This withdrawal is clearly only for reasons of hidden, unsupportable tax evasions, and by an individual supposedly an expert in tax policy (and in the tax code). Her stated reasons for withdrawal clearly put her in the same class as other elitists that would like for us, the non-academic proletariat, to do as they say rather that as how they behave.

Posted by: MAM | May 29, 2009 6:53:02 AM

Maybe this will cause the folks who invented "Borking" a nominee to re-think how corrupt they've made the political process.

Oh, wait, nevermind.

Posted by: LCP | May 29, 2009 6:07:48 AM

Gee, wouldn't it be nice if nominees were evaluated based only on their own qualifications and could rely upon the privacy of those who happen to be related to them being maintained.

Posted by: Bill Brown | May 28, 2009 10:25:21 PM

She must have cheated on her taxes...except, that seems to be a qualification of Obama's appointments.

Posted by: Woody | May 28, 2009 8:38:15 PM

Was the problem that she actually paid her taxes?

Posted by: Borris | May 28, 2009 8:23:06 PM