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Tax Problems Surface for Trade Rep. Nominee Kirk

By Michael D. Shear
Former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, who is President Obama's nominee to be the U.S. Trade Representative, failed to pay almost $10,000 in taxes during the past three years because of a series of mistakes, the Senate Finance Committee announced today.

Kirk's errors involved honoraria from speeches, on which he should have paid taxes; the cost of sports games, for which he deducted too much; and improper treatment of
accounting fees on his income taxes. Kirk has agreed to file amended returns.


U.S. Trade Representative-designate Ron Kirk . (Lawrence Jackson/Associated Press)

The news about Kirk's mistakes comes as tax-related issues have become a topic of great sensitivity for the administration, following incidents with several high-profiled appointees whose nominations were threatened or derailed because of tax mistakes.

Former senator Tom Daschle was forced to abandon his bid to be secretary of health and human services after revelations that he had failed to pay taxes on the use of a chauffeur. Obama's choice to be the country's chief performance officer, Nancy Killefer, withdrew because of a failure to pay a small amount of employment taxes.

And Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was confirmed after acknowledging that he had paid more than $40,000 in back employment taxes and interest only after being chosen to lead the department.

Obama picked Kirk on Dec. 19, the final Cabinet choice before Inauguration Day. The former mayor's nomination has languished since then for unknown reasons even as other Cabinet nominees were confirmed.

Kirk, who would become the fourth African American in the Obama Cabinet, served six years as Dallas mayor before launching a losing bid for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.).

Kirk did not respond to several requests for comment left on his phone and by e-mail. The Finance Committee released its findings about Kirk's taxes after a meeting of its members today.

"It is the responsibility of the Finance Committee to conduct a thorough vetting of all nominees whose confirmations fall under our jurisdiction," the committee said in a statement. "The Committee produced this report and conducted a briefing for the staff of Committee members today to ensure the appropriate level of transparency and to ensure senators are fully informed and are able to assess the relevant information before the panel considers Mr. Kirk's nomination next Monday."

But the Democratic chairman of the committee, Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.), released his own statement affirming his support for Kirk.

"Mayor Kirk is the right person for this job and I will work to move his nomination quickly," Baucus said. "I am confident he can successfully restore the confidence of Congress and the American people in a balanced international trade agenda."

Baucus's Republican counterpart, Sen. Charles Grassley, will "reserve judgment" until a hearing is completed, said to his spokeswoman, Jill Gerber. The committee plans to hold a hearing on Kirk's nomination next Monday.

Kirk's tax problems, according to the committee, were largely based on his failure to pay taxes on honoraria that he earned from speaking. He had not paid taxes on the income because he had asked that the fees be diverted to his alma mater, Austin College, to fulfill a pledge to a scholarship fund.

The committee said he also deducted too much from his taxes from the purchase of season tickets to NBA Mavericks games. And it said he incorrectly apportioned accounting fees between his partnership forms and his personal income tax forms.

Kirk also overstated the value of a television he donated, valuing it at $3,000 instead of $1,500, the committee found. And he did not have an acknowledgment letter for a $900 donation.

Posted at 4:25 PM ET on Mar 2, 2009  | Category:  Cabinet
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This country can not afford to make a mistake as bad as this administration again. Do any democrats pay taxes? Do they only raise them for the rest of us?

Posted by: wildkatzaz | March 4, 2009 11:05 AM

Another Obama appointee, another crook.

Posted by: wildkatzaz | March 4, 2009 11:02 AM

Obama continues to show how important rules and ethics are to him. Rules are for the peasants not for he and his minions.

Posted by: roberth | March 3, 2009 3:19 PM

YUK yuk Yuk. Dems don't pay taxes!

Neither do the guys who paid Congress to re-write the tax laws for them.

Kinda makes you choke on your Skoal don't it?

Posted by: JohnQuimby | March 3, 2009 1:30 PM

Another taxing issue for our democracy...

TO: WASHINGTON PRESS CORPS AND INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS

RE: BUSH DOJ LEGAL MEMOS APPROVING DOMESTIC TORTURE VIA MICROWAVE RADIATION WEAPONRY


Scribes, correspondents and producers:


Still-secret Bush Justice Department memos are believed to have approved the covert use of classified, silent microwave radiation weapons on U.S. citizens -- "targeted" under the pretext of the "war on terror" as "undesirables" and "dissidents."

Victims, including the journalist who authored the articles linked below, say these painful, debilitating and illness-inducing microwave assaults constitute torture and "slow-kill" (a military descriptive) homicide -- what could be described as an American genocide.

Victims of these assaults say their family finances are decimated by an array of secret "programs of personal financial destruction" that involve the forced cooperation of private enterprise; surveillance and interception of mail and telecommunications; and the forging of billing, utility, banking and mortgage statements -- what they charge is a process of expropriation and theft by deception.

Sources say these covert programs were justified by the Bush Justice Department under legal theories that are said to include a suspected "nexus to terrorism" and, according to a source, the legal theory that weapons and/or medical experimentation on U.S. citizens is permissible if subjects are under federal investigation for suspected offenses.

These microwave weapons assaults have continued under the Obama administration, and are facilitated by an "extrajudicial punishment network" enabled by federal agencies; local police nationwide; and "community gang stalker" citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and volunteer organizations.

***

Victims have asked the FBI/Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation. They say officials have told them they see nothing to investigate, refuse to run down leads, and hint that victim accounts are delusional.

Victims maintain that marginalizing the persecuted as "unstable" or "mentally ill" is a tactic being used to cover up crimes against humanity, a highly organized and well-funded social genocide.


***


TEAM OBAMA: WHAT DO YOUR BUSH HOLD-OVERS KNOW ABOUT THIS:

• Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

• Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

• Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction."


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 3, 2009 1:58 AM

He "agrees to pay back taxes"!!? When was that last time any of us had any latitude on the subject of paying our taxes! This from an administration that promises tax cuts to 95% of the American public, while increasing taxes on business. When the tax burden on business increases, how will they manage to pay for it; I submit that the price of goods and services will increase, and that the precious middle class 95% will still be paying for it anyway.

Posted by: EddietheInfidel | March 2, 2009 9:26 PM

LOL! :-D

If we could just get the Full List of Obasama's potential Choices, along with his Long List for Judges;

Check and then Collect their taxes;

We'd be able to balance the Budget!

One thing is becoming obvious though:

Dimocrats not paying the taxes they want to spend, probably caused the deficits! :-(

Posted by: SAINT---The | March 2, 2009 9:18 PM

He, he, he. Wait til they get a look at Sebellius, they're gonna go three for three for HHS.

Posted by: magellan1 | March 2, 2009 9:15 PM

Don't any of Obama's democratic picks pay their taxes as they should. This makes the Clinton's look like law abiding tax payers. WOW

Posted by: thommy1@usa.net | March 2, 2009 9:11 PM

Look . . . there is a very simple explanation and all you people have to do just read the tax code to understand why things like this happen.

Each sentence ends with the phrase . . . "BUT ME".

See I told you there was a simple explanation.

Posted by: WeThePeopleofVA | March 2, 2009 9:02 PM

Seems like failing to pay taxes is the new qualification for a White House job.

My hope is that Obama nominates every US citizen who makes over $200k for a cabinet spot. If the IRS won't audit them, then the political grindstone will.

Posted by: blert | March 2, 2009 9:02 PM

They say these people make "mistakes." If they are mistakes, I would think about half would pay too much and half would pay too little. So far, they all have paid too little. Quite a statistical fluke, isn't it?

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 2, 2009 8:57 PM

"Why is it that Obama wants to raise taxes, but his own people won't pay theirs?

It's a very valid and fair question.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 2, 2009 7:51 PM"

--------------------

It's a very fair question for any reasonable person to ask. The answer is quite simple...it's an elitist mentality. They are quick to raise the capital gains tax and the "rich", but when it starts hurting their own bank accounts....whoa, hold on just a minute. That's a different story. So they have to look for every possible loophole to avoid paying their "fair" share of taxes. And if they can't find the loophole, then they just won't report it.

It basically boils down to this: Change we can believe in!

Posted by: conservativemaverick | March 2, 2009 8:51 PM

Ron Kirk, nominated as U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama administration, owes an estimated $10,000 in back taxes...

Does Obama have any friends who have paid their taxes?

Posted by: Phil6 | March 2, 2009 8:51 PM

Hasn't Obama learned his lesson! For pete's sake...what kind of vetting process is this?

It's funny to see the Obamabots' attempts to dismiss this as nothing worth reporting on, not realizing that it only exposes them as nothing more than mere sheep. And yet had this been Bush nominating a tax cheat they would be going haywire. At least with a Republican it'd be a little more understandable considering that most of them fight for lower taxes. But this is another Democrat who probably hasn't seen a tax increase he didn't like...what is that, 4 total for Obama. Let's see what mood Obama is in tomorrow. Will he keep him like he did his TS and say it was a simple mistake? Or will he have him withdraw like Daschle and tell us there is one standard that applies to all? It's anyone's guess at this point.

That's change we can believe in!

Posted by: conservativemaverick | March 2, 2009 8:39 PM

I'm now convinced it's only ordinary smucks like me who pay our taxes. This is bullsh!t. Where's the IRS in all of this? A few yrs ago, I sold some stock in my 401K. I claimed the entire amount for taxes, but didn't know I had to figure something else on the actual sale of the stock. The IRS sent me a notification and I immediately learned what my mistake was and rectified it. It wasn't years later, plus I doubt they would have allowed me that much time. I also had to pay interest and penalty on the extra amount. It was an honest mistake due to a complete lack of knowledge since I'd never sold stock before. How do these folks get away with it? The IRS needs to audit everyone with income over $250,000 and NOW.

Posted by: capone1 | March 2, 2009 8:34 PM

He probably took a charitable deduction for diverting his honorarium to his alma mater.

If he really is so stupid that he can't figure out his taxes THEN WHY DO WE WANT THIS IGNORAMUS NEGOTIATING ON BEHALF OF THE US.

If we're going to send a crook lets send a competent crook!

Remember when the Dems puffed out their chests and claimed how righteous and pure their party was?

Now they're trying to excuse these people based on some claim "well at least their not as bad as...".

The depressing thing is Obama can't find an honest Democrat.

The depressing thing is he keeps nominating these crooks.

Makes the reasonable person wonder: "Is Obama that serially stupid or can he not find a few qualified, honest, democrats?".

Right now I am saying yes to both.

Even the dimmest among us should now realize the political parties are kleptocracies stealing from the citizens to enrich themselves.

After all, that's why the Stimulus bill is full of Porkulus!

Kirk is just a common crook with a government badge. He belongs in jail.

Posted by: krankyman | March 2, 2009 8:34 PM

Hired!

Posted by: NEWSOUTH1 | March 2, 2009 8:11 PM

askgees, thanks for reposting my entire post. Let me guess, you worked for Dick Cheney. dim, dim, dim. It's interesting to listen to the petulant rants of republicans who want to correlate the tax oversights and errors of his appointees with his character. UH, let me ask you the obvious: do those who tortured with gov't approval under Bush; those who ran Abu Ghraib; those who made hideous sums of money off the deaths of Iraqis over lies told by Cheney mean that we should logically infer that W is a war criminal? Your complaints are hollow, mates. You applauded a war criminal of a president and a complete financial incompetent who ran our economy into the ground and you want us to take you seriously when you accuse President Obama of being a crook over an appointee's tax oversights of 10 thousand dollars?? Can you even conceive what part per millionth that is compared to what W's Wall Street friends ran off with? to what black budgets in Iraq gave to sheiks and tribal war chiefs to stop blowing our soldiers up so the "surge" could look like it actually worked? Your complaints are risible, loves.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | March 2, 2009 8:07 PM

Every year, I get a message from the IRS that something is wrong. A wrong SSN, a wrong calculation for a stock sale, a missing entry for a 1099 I never got. If the IRS is right, I send them a check and if I am right, they send me a check. Since nobody has ever nominated me for anything important, the only people who know about this are the IRS and me. I'm happy to keep it that way.

Posted by: dhkessel | March 2, 2009 7:58 PM

Just more proof the dem leadership doesn't feel the need to pay taxes. That's why they're willing to increase everyone else's taxes by trillions of dollars. One trillion in taxes equals one trillion less in private economy spending, and that many fewer frivate economy jobs.

Posted by: hdc77494 | March 2, 2009 7:55 PM

He will get away with it cos he's black.

Posted by: ImpeachObama | March 2, 2009 7:52 PM

Why is it that Obama wants to raise taxes, but his own people won't pay theirs?

It's a very valid and fair question.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 2, 2009 7:51 PM

For the record, Ron Kirk lost the TX Senate race to John Cornyn, not Phil Gramm

Posted by: lgann11 | March 2, 2009 7:38 PM

If you're a lawyer with the firm he's with (as I recall, it's Vinson & Elkins, one of the top corporate law firms in the country), that means that you're one of the smartest guys on the block, especially regarding the law. For a man of his background, I don't excuse these mistakes.

Besides, I couldn't figure out what his qualifications were for the job anyhow. Being mayor of Dallas and a failed US Senate candidate doesn't cut it for me.

Frankly I'm pretty surprised by the amount of money he was taking in for speaking fees. Given that he was a failed US Senate candidate and was otherwise just Mayor of Dallas, what did he has to say that was worth paying so much for? Was he another public official profiting off of his public service (although I would note that the mayor's job in Dallas pays barely pocket change so he didn't enrich himself salarywise).

Posted by: sharontx | March 2, 2009 7:32 PM

One thing about Democrats: they love to preach platitudes about equality, shared suffering, putting kids in lousy public schools, and paying taxes. Unless it involves them.

Posted by: birvin9999 | March 2, 2009 7:31 PM

As a lifelong Democrat I've grown awfully tired of stupid corrupt Democrats. At least it's merely personal stupidity and petty corruption, unlike that practiced by Republicans. Please, President Obama, set a moral example and clean house.

Posted by: raschumacher | March 2, 2009 7:30 PM

Sounds like he flat-out dodged taxes on honoraria income he received. That should disqualify him.

As to his other mistakes, did any of them involve OVER-payment? Probably not.

And he's to be entrusted with complicated international trade law?

So much for being the most ethical or competent administration.

Posted by: DagnyT | March 2, 2009 7:29 PM

It seems many elected officals have some tax oversight problems. The revenue agents might want to audit all elected officals.
They might also want to launch a website to list those who are more than 10 years in arrears.

Posted by: jobster001 | March 2, 2009 7:27 PM

Obama is pressing the Swiss banks to reveal the names of US tax cheats.

'Cause Obama still has a large number of jobs to fill.

Posted by: auto1 | March 2, 2009 7:21 PM

This is not news.
Get use to theses types of headlines.

This is indicative, of the Obama administration.

I did not expect, nor have I ever expected anything, like honesty, or transparency from Obama & his clan.

I expected and received fallacies, and Obama has delivered in spades.

Obama supporters, live in a wanton world of make believe.


Posted by: dashriprock | March 2, 2009 7:20 PM

Now I know why Democrats keep raising the taxes on law abiding people, cos they don't pay them :)

Posted by: optimist_10 | March 2, 2009 7:12 PM

What's one more tax cheat.

Posted by: mpg515 | March 2, 2009 7:05 PM

'JRM2' - it isn't about Republican or Democrat. This administration has shown an affinity for appointing law breakers. Whether the IRS is after you at the moment or not, tax evasion is against the law.

If we can't do something and be rewarded with a high government post, our leaders who are supposed to represent our best interests can't either. It's not just a matter of principle. This is a character flaw which shows bad judgement and arrogance.

We simply don't need more elitists who think they can do as they please and then get paid six figures to rule the 'little' people.

www.notosocialism.us

Posted by: JHG_sec405 | March 2, 2009 6:59 PM

How come so many people in government don't pay all their taxes? It shows me that being in government must get you a free ride with the IRS. If these people got serious jail time there would be less of this crap. We could balance the budget probably by just doing audits on all people who make over 200,000 or work in government.

Posted by: writedave | March 2, 2009 6:59 PM

If we don't redistribute some wealth the middle class will die and then the rich will not have their cash-cows and go broke themselves, it's already happening.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 2, 2009 6:54 PM

In spite of the Senate's wilingness to approve it's fellow crooks, Max Baumann in particular in this case, we need a few standards as criteria for Executive and Judicial Branch service.

Here's one - if you've evaded taxes and haven't fully cleared the matter up with the IRS before you're appointed by the President, you don't get to serve (no matter who you're pals with).

www.notosocialism.us

Posted by: JHG_sec405 | March 2, 2009 6:53 PM

I think that as long as these appointees haven't broken the law, or I should say, don't have the IRS threatening them with legal action then if he (Obama) feels they are the best people (left) for the job then he will nominate them.

I know that all Republicans pay all their taxes so it must just be a Dem issue.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 2, 2009 6:52 PM

WHAT IS IT WITH THESE GUYS???
Look, I'm no fan of the President's plan or some of his selections, but I feel sorry for him. Either his vetting process is a joke, which means some of his advisors are dumb as rocks, or Obama is overruling them. If the latter is true, I don't feel sorry for him at all. But I'd like to think the first scenario is the case. Nonetheless, fool me once - shame on you. Fool me twice, or 6 times for that matter, and I deserve it.

Posted by: JHG_sec405 | March 2, 2009 6:48 PM

Kirk's mistakes? No, it sounds like he passed the vetting process that the incompetents set up. The more cheating he did on his taxes, the better the phony in the White House likes him.
None of you liberals seem to want to defend your messiah, but just do the age old democrat thing, and whine about the other guys. Really childish and pathetic.

Posted by: LarryG62 | March 2, 2009 6:48 PM

"We're letting Obama and his posse redistribute the nation's wealth, and in the process making the Bush deficit look like pocket change."
----------
What you are "missing" is that the same people who drove the economy into the ditch are now crying about the cost of the tow truck.

Bush redistributed the wealth to the wealthy, hasn't helped our nation too much now has it?

You are also ignoring the fact that if we are successful in implementing Obama's budget, then our children will have better highways, schools and health care, THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE WILL BE BETTER and right now, it can't get much worse for them.

Republicans have almost as many earmarks in the current budget as Dems, the only difference is that there are about 1.5 as many Dems. The reddest of the red states have the highest amount of money in the budget for earmarks.

And let's not turn earmarks into a dirty word, if an earmark supports a project that contributes to the general welfare of our citizens then I don't care if it is a pet project and neither should anyone else.

Red Herring! Red Herring! Red Herring!

Posted by: JRM2 | March 2, 2009 6:44 PM

"We're letting Obama and his posse redistribute the nation's wealth, and in the process making the Bush deficit look like pocket change."
----------
What you are "missing" is that the same people who drove the economy into the ditch are now crying about the cost of the tow truck.

Bush redistributed the wealth to the wealthy, hasn't helped our nation too much now has it?

You are also ignoring the fact that if we are successful in implementing Obama's budget, then our children will have better highways, schools and health care, THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE WILL BE BETTER and right now, it can't get much worse for them.

Republicans have almost as many earmarks in the current budget as Dems, the only difference is that there are about 1.5 as many Dems. The reddest of the red states have the highest amount of money in the budget for earmarks.

And let's not turn earmarks into a dirty word, if an earmark supports a project that contributes to the general welfare of our citizens then I don't care if it is a pet project and neither should anyone else.

Reh Herring! Red Herring! Red Herring!

Posted by: JRM2 | March 2, 2009 6:43 PM


Boy all you people who criticize the President are traitors to our country! You're a bunch of unpatriotic, un-American terrorists and should be put in prison for the traitor talk! Nobody should pay taxes just ask the traitor repuglican party, none of whom pay taxes nor want to. At least our Patriotic Democrats arent self hating gay men who hit on young male pages and have gay sex while on meth! You all should leave our country if you have a problem with our President!!! America, love it or leave it, punks!

__________________________________________

Eat dirt. Sounds like you have a gay issue of some type ignoramus ..but lets leave that in the closet.

That being said...who is going to put us in prison?? You?? I think not

Patriotic Democrat doesn't mean what it used to. Now its just an oxymoron...moron.

Posted by: Straightline | March 2, 2009 6:40 PM

well, if we follow the rules that other obama nominees with tax issues have followed, Mr. Kirk would be out of the running, altho with the exception of the Extraordinary Treasury Sec. Geithner, who was so "valuable" that we had to overlook his tax errors; as to whether Kirk goes down the chute, that is up to the white house... by the way, what ever happened to the nomination of Red Hilda for Labor Secretary; is her nomination still on life support or did obama throw her under the bus as well? can not find any news on Red hilda in the past few weeks....maybe she pulled a vince foster and will be found when the snow melts...

Posted by: RoguesPalace | March 2, 2009 6:36 PM

Boy all you people who criticize the President are traitors to our country! You're a bunch of unpatriotic, un-American terrorists and should be put in prison for the traitor talk! Nobody should pay taxes just ask the traitor repuglican party, none of whom pay taxes nor want to. At least our Patriotic Democrats arent self hating gay men who hit on young male pages and have gay sex while on meth! You all should leave our country if you have a problem with our President!!! America, love it or leave it, punks!

Posted by: kbkgza | March 2, 2009 6:34 PM

I'm going to ask my tax preparer if I get a deduction for being a registered democrat.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 2, 2009 6:33 PM

The only good thing about this is that the average people ..you know.. moderates of both parties that make up the vast majority of the American people are finally wising up.

Probably too late though...Obama and the Bilderberg society have there hooks in deep and are going for the throat.

The only tiny satisfaction...is that the liberal dumba$$es and the indoctrinated youth who voted for Obama are just a screwed as everyone else....especially the youth...

Posted by: Straightline | March 2, 2009 6:33 PM

What am I missing here..? We're letting Obama and his posse redistribute the nation's wealth, and in the process making the Bush deficit look like pocket change. We're swallowing his every assurance that tatoo removal is a vital component of the stimulus effort, as is bringing high-speed internet to rural areas and assisting in converting rabbit ears to digital. I guess they're hoping this access will prompt on-line commerce. All that money - and not one of the new crew in power will offer anything remotely resembling a guarantee (Biden: "THERE'S A 30% CHANCE IT WON'T WORK"). Then we have the spectacle of Obama trying to fill his cabinet slots. Who did he put in charge of vetting? I've lost count...is it 4 or 5 nominees who either bowed out because of or were rammed through in spite of tax problems? Again...stop and think about it. All this guy wants to do is raise taxes. There is more than just money at stake, but money is a good place to start. Would you let a person manage your personal finances if they couldn't competently handle an open-to-hire? Can't wait for 2010. We're liable to see the fastest turn-around in modern political history.

Posted by: ddnfla | March 2, 2009 6:31 PM

okay, we get it. none of these guys pay their taxes.

Why is the tax situation of a Trade Representative -- someone whom we'll never hear about after today -- in big bold headlines, while the appointment of a cabinet secretary -- Sibeilus -- is in tiny type? Biased much?

Posted by: xcrunner771 | March 2, 2009 6:30 PM

Yes, the tax code is complex; but this is no excuse for these people. They all have CPAs doing their taxes. And they all cheated. Now that they are caught they are whining about how they just made an "honest mistake."
Obama's mistake, and America's, will be allowing them in his Cabinet because they will continue to make "honest mistakes" that benefit themselves at the expense of American citizens.

Posted by: mipcom | March 2, 2009 6:29 PM

From the same political party that likes to raise your taxes, comes another tax cheat nominee. "sigh" ... isn't there anybody in that party that pays their taxes???

Posted by: playfair109 | March 2, 2009 6:23 PM

Just status quo for team Obama. What else is new??

The USA is totally screwed..

Posted by: Straightline | March 2, 2009 6:22 PM

Sadly all these folk getting to pay extra to the IRS speaks more of the impossible complexity of our tax code than their attempts to cheat. If high level lawyers, etc cannot get the amount they owe right, I suspect every American who actually pays taxes is also guilty of some mistake or other relative to the tax code. All it probably would take is scrutinizing their returns carefully enough to find it.
Or listing the perks you received. There's nothing difficult about doing your taxes. The sad part is, none of these POS do their own taxes they pay high profile tax cheats to find loop holes. Well I guess they didn't get what they paid for. This could be the worst administration in the past 100 years especially considering the BS Osama's been telling the country. He's a hypocrite and a conman.

Posted by: askgees | March 2, 2009 6:20 PM

Lingering-lead, the "brilliant" appellation may be too soon but honestly now, L, you've had eight years of W. Of course, admittedly, comparing anyone to W they stand a chance of being anointed, as you say, as brilliant. His educational pedigree and accomplishments speak for themselves. He's brilliant intellectually and otherwise. The word simply means very, very bright. Whether or not he will be remembered as a brilliant president remains to be seen. What's awfully funny though, Lingering, is that you chose to accuse me of being over the top and failed to note the dim askgees who called him a crook. Come now, be fair at least.
Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | March 2, 2009 6:07 PM

LOL, And what would you call him. He's now on his 5 appointee and they have all been busted for tax evasion. I call them a CROOK.

Posted by: askgees | March 2, 2009 6:14 PM

I agree with Ralph6941. I'm self-employed and pay a reputable, by-the-books CPA to do my taxes every year. Almost without fail, I get a letter from the IRS after filing to say that one thing or another wasn't properly calculated. I just pay what they tell me and don't even bother to complain to my CPA. Tax laws are so ridiculously complex that I am convinced that any two CPAs or IRS employees who look at the same books I give my CPA would come up with a different amount owed.

If we would do the rational thing and adopt a value added tax, we could eliminate 75% of the IRS's budget, save businesses and individuals a fortune, and vastly increase the probability that everyone -- drug dealers, off-the-books employees, and politicians -- pays what they owe.

Posted by: exco | March 2, 2009 6:11 PM

Change you can count on, the sad part is none of you reconized that he was referring to your pay check.

Posted by: askgees | March 2, 2009 6:10 PM

Lingering-lead, the "brilliant" appellation may be too soon but honestly now, L, you've had eight years of W. Of course, admittedly, comparing anyone to W they stand a chance of being anointed, as you say, as brilliant. His educational pedigree and accomplishments speak for themselves. He's brilliant intellectually and otherwise. The word simply means very, very bright. Whether or not he will be remembered as a brilliant president remains to be seen. What's awfully funny though, Lingering, is that you chose to accuse me of being over the top and failed to note the dim askgees who called him a crook. Come now, be fair at least.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | March 2, 2009 6:07 PM

Just another low life, share the wealth, socialist, liberal, scum bag who believes in a million "give to the poor" programs.

He just doesn't believe in them strongly enough to use his money.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | March 2, 2009 6:03 PM

The journalist needs to find out whether Kirk did not tell the Administration about his problems or whether they ignored the information. And, uh, for the person who said to impeach Obama: the Constitution spells out the criteria for impeachment, and nominating someone who ends up having had tax problems is not among them. I'm pretty sure the Constitution is available online, or at least in libraries (except maybe the Bill of Rights, which Bush disapproved of).

Posted by: Sutter | March 2, 2009 5:59 PM

When does making this mistake over and over become an issue about Obama's judgement, or is this Bush's fault too?

Posted by: XLiberalJack | March 2, 2009 5:59 PM

Oh come on, enough with this already. Can they please ask any potential nominees to share their tax returns before they are formally offered their appointments? This is getting to be ridiculous.

Posted by: alarico | March 2, 2009 5:55 PM

I think we all remember the promises from O'Bama himself about the tough standards of scrutiny he would impose for anyone wishing to become a designated appointee.

All a load of crock.

How many more ELITIST-Minded tax cheats, insider traders, lobbyists, despotic, adultery-committing, purgery-committing nominees is O'Bama and his Clintonites going to try to pass by as candidates infront of the American people?

This is a travesty the whole world sees through and the window to why the American Nation is crumbling in front of our eyes...

A disgusting, corrupt, two-talking, racist, Illinois-machine Democrat as our President for the world to see, with ''Slick Willy'' waving with Hillary behind nearly his entire Clintonite Administration.

These two elements, the chip on the shoulder black president and the corrupt, lying Clintonite administration represent the absolute worst and what is wrong with America.

Posted by: Accuracy | March 2, 2009 5:52 PM

No, Obama is probably not a crook. But the apologists have to stop excusing the fact that so many of his nominees have underpaid their taxes. It's not simple mistakes, it's hypocrisy.

Posted by: cerebral_but | March 2, 2009 5:46 PM

Sadly all these folk getting to pay extra to the IRS speaks more of the impossible complexity of our tax code than their attempts to cheat. If high level lawyers, etc cannot get the amount they owe right, I suspect every American who actually pays taxes is also guilty of some mistake or other relative to the tax code. All it probably would take is scrutinizing their returns carefully enough to find it.

Posted by: ralph6941 | March 2, 2009 5:45 PM

IMPEACH OSAMA. HE'S A CROOK.

Posted by: askgees | March 2, 2009 4:45 PM

I am reading this everywhere I look.

It appears that Obama picks are tax evaders, and the TEA Party people are Conscientious Objectors.

Still one is an "out law" and the other is the People's law over taking outlaws.

Why didn't Obama or the Congress bring a dime into the DOW?

They had the largest war chest in history.
Was it really the Taliban and Middle East placing a cell, as was rumored back then?
Over 100 days and not a dime in the DOW is pretty telling on Obama.

No Confidence and an apparent cash snatch by enemies of the people, is a sobering record to face a court and noose on.
Will they try him for treason?

Posted by: dottydo | March 2, 2009 5:40 PM


If I am not mistaken, Clinton during the recession, while he was in office, suspended the penalty and interest for those unable to pay their taxes on time.

so now that we are in a world wide depresson wil Obama do the same? hmm

people ( honest people not this guy who deliberately did not pay his taxes)

are out of work and will pay the tax due but cannot perhaps pay on time.

If clinton can waive penalties and interests then Obama can do it too.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | March 2, 2009 5:38 PM

These were just mistakes. Simple mistakes. "Whoops! I forgot that" kind of mistake. His accountant probably made the same mistake. Besides, he is the only person in the nation to be qualified for the position.

Posted by: Sigmonde | March 2, 2009 5:34 PM

crbjornson wrote:

Let me see if I have this correct - you offer to pay me $10,000 (fill in the blank with the correct amount) to speak to your organization, and I tell you to give the money to charity instead. And I have to pay taxes on that amount? Doesn't seem right.

------------------

It sounds like Mr. Kirk most likely did not report the income but did claim the charitable deduction on his return. You can't have it both ways.

Even the most incompetent CPA knows you cannot deduct 100% of the cost of NBA tickets. That's a 50% deduction on the first day of tax class.

As for the improper allocation (or failure to allocate) his tax prep fees between his business and his personal returns, happens all the time. But, if you're the former Mayor of a large American city, and you're running for higher political office, you suck it up and allocate some of the tax prep fee to Schedule A even if you'll get no benefit from it.

It seems that Mr. Obama's cabinet picks are not very savvy in running their own affairs, yet they want us to Hope that they can Change the culture of corrruption and incompetence here in Washington. Hmmm....

Posted by: lingering_lead | March 2, 2009 5:30 PM

Fellas,

Why be so negative?

Nominating these fellas and gettin' 'em to pay back taxes is helping to clean up the debt/deficit.

Geithner, Daschle, Rangel, Franken, Caroline Kennedy, Killefer, Al Sharpton, Marion Barry, Ron Kirk et. al.

Posted by: furtdw | March 2, 2009 5:29 PM

Oh, and someone please tell me how I get any deduction for sports games.
I may go to one.

Posted by: nlfalk | March 2, 2009 5:29 PM

Reports like this have become all too common among politicians- past and present. Personally, I believe it's time for the IRS to look into every public offical's tax records. These people are expected to hold themselves to the same standards of honesty that their constituents are held to. And please, these people can afford accountants to prepare their tax forms!
This,once again, is so, so disappointing.

Posted by: nlfalk | March 2, 2009 5:25 PM

Whoa now, dogsbstfrnd... I'm not ready to anoint Obama as brilliant. Brilliant orator? Sure. Brilliant legislator? Not so fast. Let's see how this first year or so plays out. Let's see how his 'plans' work. Let's see whether his blind trust in Pelosi and Reid is the right choice.

Way too many balls in the air at this point to make any kind of call with certainty. It's commendable that you and a majority of Americans are so firmly behind Obama 42 days into his presidency. But please lay off the superlatives for a while until you actually see something that warrants throwing around the brilliant adjective.

Much obliged.

Posted by: lingering_lead | March 2, 2009 5:25 PM

Let me see if I have this correct - you offer to pay me $10,000 (fill in the blank with the correct amount) to speak to your organization, and I tell you to give the money to charity instead. And I have to pay taxes on that amount? Doesn't seem right.

Posted by: crbjornson | March 2, 2009 5:23 PM

Guess the best way to get a high level position in the new administration is to cheat on your taxes! Going to be hard to pay back the defecit if no one pay their taxes.

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 2, 2009 5:20 PM

Justice is all the young voters that elected President Obama will be in their prime earning years when the bill comes due for this excessive spending and everyone will be in a 95% Tax Bracket. My only regret is I won't be around to say "I told you so!"

Posted by: A-COL | March 2, 2009 5:17 PM

Justice is all the young voters that elected President Obama will be in their prime earning years when the bill comes due for this excessive spending and everyone will be in a 95% Tax Bracket. My only regret is I won't be around to say "I told you so!"

Posted by: A-COL | March 2, 2009 5:17 PM

The hypocrisy of a massive spend & tax , spend & tax, and ... administration literally filled with people who don't pay their own taxes until caught advocating ever increasing taxes for others to pay for socialist programs for those who pay no taxes in the first place pretty much sums up the "change" this administration portends.

This may sound like sarcasm, but I am perfectly willing to separate this country in two to allow our socialists the opportunity to realize their utopian dreams now - without waiting until they can convince the productive members of society to join their kum ba yah cause.

I will choose the free capitalist half, but send the neosocialists on their way with good wishes.

Posted by: RUKidding0 | March 2, 2009 5:13 PM

{yawn} askgees, if President Obama is a crook then Bush is Hitler. If President Obama is a crook, Rush is Einstein. Now we could actually make a case for W being a war criminal but we know he wasn't Hitler. And we know President Barack Obama is not a crook. Guess what else, Georgie? We know President Obama is brilliant, something comedian, drug addict and rightist wingnut Rush is not. President Obama selected someone who should have been more thoroughly vetted but as an alert and conscious (which means awake) poster has noted, 10 thousand over three years ranks as trivial. That means insignificant, Askgees. So President Barack Obama, pulling in poll ratings above 60% will continue to lead us out of the muck and mire of eight years that the war criminal, barely sentient W left for us. President Obama: brilliant, calm, and your president. Get used to it.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | March 2, 2009 5:06 PM

If the average working person were to owe $10,000 in back taxes for three or more years. Believe me, the IRS would be at our doorsteps!
Just think what would happen to this economy if we ALL had the same mentality that we did not have to pay taxes.

Posted by: morningglory51 | March 2, 2009 5:05 PM

Sorry, I forgot to add --- the readers and the ones who comment here, how many of us have similar "tax problems"?

Posted by: Maverikk | March 2, 2009 5:03 PM

Wow! Can Obama not find ANY honest candidates for his cabinet?

Posted by: morningglory51 | March 2, 2009 5:02 PM

"Change you can count on".
The only thing that's changed is we now have Democrat crooks instead of Republican crooks in office.

Posted by: norcalworm | March 2, 2009 5:01 PM

These instances of Obama cabinet members with "tax problems" are not isolated instances. I would like to know how the Senators, Congressmen, Journalists, Lobbyists, Policy Makers, Regulators, Federal Bureaucrats, Members of Think Tanks and Non-Profit Organizations etc. stack up when they are subjected to the same scrutiny? It just appears that our country is as corrupt as any other third world State, and we just do not acknowledge the fact. We preach democracy and transparency to the rest of the world, but we do not practice what we preach. Imagine the military industrial complex charging 1 billion dollar for a helicopter, and our Pentagon/Military brass eagerly colluding with them to oblige! Traitors all!

Posted by: Maverikk | March 2, 2009 5:01 PM

SHould we laugh, or cry?

It is clear that our tax system is so complicated, penalizing, and corrupted by special interests - even our "Elites" feel it is easier/better to simply not pay.

Posted by: pgr88 | March 2, 2009 5:00 PM

Ten thousand bucks over three years? Wow, call out the IRS. This guys is a major crook. Get real people. Our tax code is crazy and this ranks amongst the most trivial of mistakes.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | March 2, 2009 4:58 PM

I don't get it with all these schnooks and their tax screw-ups. Are we to believe that these folks are sitting down with Turbo Tax or some such and doing their own taxes? Then I could believe this stuff. But if they're hiring someone to do their taxes, these slipups are inexcusable. Either they're deliberately lying to their tax preparers or the preparers are totally incompetent. So which is it??

Posted by: wrogers2 | March 2, 2009 4:57 PM

"The news about Kirk's mistakes comes as tax-related issues have become a topic of great sensitivity for the administration, following several high-profiled appointees whose nominations were threatened or derailed because of tax mistakes."

MISTAKES?! How about "failure to pay taxes"?

Posted by: mftill | March 2, 2009 4:52 PM

IMPEACH OSAMA. HE'S A CROOK.

Posted by: askgees | March 2, 2009 4:45 PM

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