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Readers Vote No on Daschle

If our Readers Who Comment have anything to say about it, Thomas A. Daschle's apology does not excuse his federal income tax return errors and he should not be confirmed as President Obama's secretary of Health and Human Services.

Daschle, the former Senate majority leader, released a letter of apology to the Senate Finance Committee early today. washingtonpost.com posted the story at 6 a.m. and 15 minutes later the flood of comments began. A huge majority of them are uncomplimentary to Daschle; several readers attacked the "liberal" press for not having done more on the Daschle story or for having been sympathetic earlier to tax problems discovered during the confirmation process of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who was confirmed despite them.

A number of folks said they filed their taxes and asked why these highly paid guys couldn't do the same thing. Not a happy crowd out there this morning, unless you count those of obvious Republican persuasion who are delighted to see tarnish on the change Obama promised.

We'll start with battleground51, who wrote, "Tom Daschle, big time, tax Democrat. I can't believe he's a tax cheat too. I guess taxes are for us small time suckers.
This my friends is the liberal way."

dandean said, "Imagine how this sort of story would be spun if it had been a Bush appointee. Just as toxic as misreporting the facts, is the under-reporting or glossing over of obvious wrongdoing by the media in an attempt to provide cover for their chosen party..."

And MarvinMartian wrote, "Here we go again! ANY Republican would have been run out of town on a rail by these same high minded hypocrites. And all you wanted to do is get rid of GW... ARE YOU HAPPY?"

albi06 said, "Just the change we were promised!"

WWWexler predicted, "The committee will approve him. Why? It's because their own tax returns cannot stand the light of day. That's the same reason why we have a tax cheat for Treasury Secretary, the position that is charged with the task of enforcing our tax laws...Nothing against Daschle, he'd probably do a fine job. But what kind of example does this set?"

wendy1231 asked, "How many Obama picks have needed to apologize and yet still be confirmed? This is down right insane to think that we have no other viable candidates - only tax evaders...Great example for our children."

lennyjazz wrote, "...We have to spread the word to crooks around the country when they are caught leaving the department store with an unpaid for neckless, that all they have to do is tell the officer, "I apologize" - and not only will he/she not face criminal charges, but they will be rewarded with a high post in the Obama administration..."

GoodAmerican said, "Mr. Daschle should not be confirmed by the Senate. Nor should Mr. Geithner have been confirmed. It makes a mockery of the process and it shows clearly that well-connected people are above the law... Mr. Obama's promise that "change is coming" to Washington rings hollow. It's more of the same, just with a different color."

Bob22003 wrote, "Many, if not most, of Obama's nominees for senior positions are well-off individuals with complicated finances. However, with the exception of Geithner and Daschle, they paid their taxes...The President should not have nominated Daschle and if Daschle does not withdraw, the Senate should vote against his confirmation, as they should have done in Geithner's case..."

ldipetta said, "There is no way that Daschle was not aware of the implications of the income and benefits and his tax liability. He should not be confirmed. Those unwilling to pay their taxes should not be in charge of spending the taxes gleaned from those that are willing."

shrink2 wrote, "Health Care reform needs disruptive leadership. In the old language, it needs a paradigm shift. Daschle is a greedy pig, all four hooves in the trough of the crony capitalism of our 'health' industry. Obama, you need our support a lot more than you need Tom Daschle and we will not forget this if you force this pig on us and call it change."

xSamplex said, "The IRS was all over me like ugly on a pig when it claimed my child care expenses were not fully deductible. But Obama nominees seem to get a free pass for not reporting. That'll make me feel better when the IRS takes their next monthly payment out of my bank account."

patty2 wrote, "As a strong Obama supporter, I wish he'd accept Mr. Daschle's withdrawal of consideration for the post. The last thing the country needs -- especially if tax increases are in the works -- is leadership by those who disregard their own taxes. Plenty of other qualified Americans play by the rules and are capable of serving."

We'll close with SarahBB, who said, "There are no perfect people, but it is interesting that the se mistakes keep happening. Let's audit everybody and at least weed the hypocrites out of this mix."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  February 2, 2009; 9:18 AM ET
Categories:  Health , Obama , Taxes  | Tags: Daschle, Obama, Taxes  
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Comments

Su-weet! Daschle dodges $140,000 in income taxes and penalties, doesn't pay his Medicare taxes, claims more charitable deductions than he made, looks really dirty for some of his "advisor fees" and payments from health ins. companies, but the "democrats" don't see any problems with any of that, nothing to disqualify him for the Health and Human Services job. Oops, I forgot, they're democrats, no ethics, morality, honesty, or honor to get in their way! Daschle probably doesn't have a clue why there is any uproar about it! Don't expect Sharpton or Geithner think he did anything wrong! The Messiah doesn't see any problem! There's your "Change", allright! The jackals are breaking into the henhouse! (Ya think maybe Geithner will go after him for tax evasion?)

Posted by: lightnin001 | February 2, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Seems like now is the time that we move to a less complex tax code, a system in which all income, regardless of what it is and how it came, to be charged a flat tax, augmented by a Value Added Tax (VAT) on all purchases (call it a national sales tax if you will), with a fixed percentage of the the flat tax and the VAT going to each state.

There is no reason that people making minimum salary (or anyone else, for that matter) should have to hire a company such as H&R Block to prepare basic tax returns. The most complex tax forms should not, for that matter, require a tax attorney, an accounting staff, or be more than two to four pages (if that many).

The sole income, off the top of my head, that should be excused from being taxed, should be federal or municipal bonds. (However, I'm open to suggestions.)

Dungarees@gmail.com

Posted by: Dungarees | February 2, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

One person commented that Daschle remained "unforgiven". That poster incorrectly assumed that Daschle had apologized to the public. In fact, Daschle apologized only to the committee leadership, and then asked forgiveness only for inconveniencing them.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 2, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Where is the transparency? Obama has known about Geithner and Daschle for months, and didn't tell the public. A data dump on Friday before Superbowl, with the media watch Olbermann and Matt Lauer drool over Obama and Bruce Springsteen. Do you notice they leave out the fact that Daschle's sugardaddy is a Corporate CEO who sent his company into bankruptcy (Global Crossings) leaving investors, retirees, and employees with worthless paper. Where does this crook get all his millions to give to Daschle for doing consulting?? Isn't consulting lobbying by another name? I think the media should hang its head in shame. Its lovefest for Obama has cost the media its crediblity forever.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | February 2, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

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