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Weekend Wag the Blog: Daschle's Demise?

Can former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle withstand revelations about unpaid taxes? AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The news that former Sen. Tom Daschle (S.D.), President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Health and Human Service Department had not paid more than $128,000 in back taxes over the past several years threatened to further slow the momentum built by the president during the transition process.

Daschle, who paid more than $100,000 in back taxes to the IRS in recent days according to a spokeswoman, is set to meet in a closed door session on Monday with the full Senate Finance Committee to explain the oversight.

It's not clear how the revelations will impact his confirmation, which had been seen as a sure-thing as recently as 24 hours ago. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs downplayed the problem in a statement last night, saying: "We are confident the committee is going to schedule a hearing for him very soon and he will be confirmed."

Republicans have yet to put the full-court press on about the Daschle matter with the Republican National Committee simply sending out a collection of media stories about the matter but not offering any formal comment. (Newly elected RNC Chair Michael Steele addressed House Republicans at their retreat at the Homestead in Virginia earlier today.)

Daschle is the third Obama Cabinet pick to run into trouble. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Obama's initial choice as Commerce Secretary, stepped aside due to an ongoing federal investigation into pay for play allegations in the Land of Enchantment. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged he had failed to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years, describing the failure as an accounting oversight; he was confirmed by a vote of 60-34 earlier in the week.

Despite the slip-ups, polls suggest that the way in which Obama handled his presidential transition drew widespread approval. In the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 80 percent said they approved of Obama's transition while just 15 percent disapproved.

For this weekend's Wag the Blog question, we want to hear from Fixistas about whether the Daschle news -- coupled with Geithner and Richardson -- have raised questions and/or doubts about Obama's decision making. Why or why not?

As always, the best comments will be excerpted in a post of their own early next week. Go to it!

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 31, 2009; 12:22 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Next: White House Cheat Sheet: Picking Judd Gregg


Who knew being a Democrat you get raise other peoples taxes to give your buddies money and only have to pay taxes if'en you get one of those Gov'ment jobs. I has decided to become an apologetic Dodd / Rangel type Democrat.

- You just have to wonder how many folks in prison are deeply sorry, like ole Daschle

- I think he's telling the truth, when he says the millions he received from health care lobbyists will not influence his regulatory decisions.

Posted by: highkey11 | February 3, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat and I'm disgusted by all of these tax cheats. What is alarming is the thought of how many more of them there are, both Democratic and Republican.
The foxes are guarding the henhouse.

Posted by: lmurphy006 | February 3, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Like Dashell, I am confused. A friend gives you a car to use for your daily travels. since when is that part of your salary? I have bought clothes for my children so they look good when they interview for jobs. Should that be part of their salary? This tax code is crazy.

Posted by: Opa2 | February 3, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

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 11:50 PM | Report abuse

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 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Someone clueless enough to get beat out of his Senate (leadership) office by a relative unknown? Clueless enough to think he could get away with this tax fudge (reminds me of myself when I was twenty)?

Dump Dashcle now.

It's clear by now that the Obama team is all about "new politics" until "old politics" serves their purposes.

To be arrogant enough to think that they can sell these ethically-challenged appointments as "critical individuals" to deal with the "fierce urgency of now" is reminiscent of Bush.

Soap box: one thing the left and right agree on, we need higher ethical standards in goverment. The Obama administration seems to be well on it's way to squandering it's early image as an administration that understands or values ethics.

Posted by: lithium452 | February 2, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Ever why Democrats are so eager to raise your taxes? Well considering that the guys writing tax law (Rangel), enforcing tax law (Geithner), and responsible for one of the largest department budgets (Daschle), don't pay their taxes, someone needs to make up the difference.

Posted by: myhojda | February 2, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Georges Marciano who has been begging the IRS to audit him for over three years states that he owes IRS in the millions .....yes I said millions. I have emailed the IRS, we have sent letters. He has received a refund check from them and at the same time they sent him a letter stating he never filed? Georges has sent all the documents to the IRS, FBI, Los Angeles Sherriffs department, Beverly Hills police department and yet nothing....they have not even assigned anyone to the case.... on this site it shows the absolutely rediculous documents from the IRS . The question is why do they make such a big deal over Daschle and Geithner and their taxes and yet the Georges Marciano who actually wants to pay his taxes they are ignoring?

Posted by: o8justiceforall | February 2, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 -
“Are these clodhoppers so stupid that they don't even read history?”

Yes, a lot of them. More important since they have a need to revise history because everything America has done is bad, it leads to also ignoring it. It’s a staple of liberal education. Because America is bad, America’s economic system has to be bad also. It not a matter of correcting mistakes or eliminating the crooks who have manipulated the system. The baby must be thrown out with the bath water. Their philosophy is consistent. Not all marriages are good, therefore, we need to eliminate marriage. Not all Christians are good, therefore we need to eliminate Christianity. You get my drift.

- A government that feeds you cannot free you

Posted by: leapin | February 2, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Political gain is duping folks that you are going to take public financing for an election campaign."
I agree, but that is not what Obama did. He made a pledge to McCain based on some fair conditions, McCain wasn't willing to even sit down and talk about the conditions so Obama withdrew his offer plain and simple.

However I do recall McCain getting a bank loan based on public money as collateral, then trying to withdraw from public funding.

What Obama DID do was to give us true campaign finance reform by proving that even an unlikely candidate can be elected by accepting donations from ordinary citizens like myself. Not lobbying or PAC groups.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 2, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

From the field of possible appointees both Republican and Democrat, how many have as clean a record as Daschle? I have a feeling the number is zero. Just get on with it. Meanwhile, we're going down for the third time. Not only do I think the Republicans "hope Obama fails", I think their tactic is to stall on everything until America does fail. It won't matter to them, that's what they were working on for the past eight years anyway.

Posted by: blosmurph | February 2, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

somewhatcynical - Was also an early Obama supporter. Worse, I campaigned for him and donated money. This fool is no Roosevelt. He is a typical Washington insider and his lack of character and brains makes Daschle precisely the sort of like minded corrupt scumbag he would pick. I can't wait for some of the true believers here to wake up to the fact that they helped elected Bush in blackface. What's going to be even more entertaining is for Chris' beloved Obermann to wake up and realize that Obama is as corrupt, as imperious, as in the pocket of Wall Street, as any Republican. God what a mess we have... and it's going to get a lot worse. Obama is repeating, lockstep, the mistakes of the Weimar Republic. Are these clodhoppers so stupid that they don't even read history?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 2, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"People should be more upset about Daschle's million dollar jobs (after losing his Senate seat), than mistakes on his taxes."--
That's way back in the posts and it is the real issue. He was collecting millions for what? Influience peddling. As an early and enthusiastic Obama supporter, this makes me nuits. If the Senators don't dig into this, then the Senate really is a club of rich crooks.

Posted by: somewhatcynical | February 2, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

agree that the past two cabinet candidates w/ tax "issues: blow the cover of complete change as usual. am particularly heartbroken about daschle, since the guy has the political muscle to move through changes - yet lacks the judgment to stop practices that led in large part to him losing his seat as majority leader! (he bought a residence in dc, but represented south dakota. how dumb is that?)

i did just read one tantalizing factoid, however: daschle never received the tax info from a large funding source. to my mind, this might be worth exploring more. (if you don't get a 1099 form, how can you calculate or pay a tax?). this somehow differentiates his lax habit from the finance secretary. NONETHELESS, i too think that POTUS must call him to the woodshed. didn't penny pritzker have to excuse herself from consideration for commerce secretary because of some past associations? seems almost quaint now.

bottom line: POTUS should address these matters in a public address to the voters. why he still wants these guys, etc. OR, he should use that blackberry and find out what the real world thinks.

Posted by: davidarosy1 | February 2, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

What the hevens does Daschle have to do with health? It's the biggest saddest political appointment crock that I've ever seen? If the working people in American "forgot" to pay their taxes, they'd be in prison?

Come on President Obama? How can America get behind you with tax evaders like Geithner and Daschle being rewarded? It's crap... all crap...

Posted by: mlimberg | February 2, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Remember Ed Brown of New Hampshire?

Remember the FBI raided his home?

Wonder what he's thinking about right now?

Posted by: bri2 | February 2, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans have been crooks for years. Bush sent troops to Iraq which there were no WMD which killed 6 million Americans and counting. How dare they complain.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | February 2, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I really believed Obama when he said he would have more ethics, transparency and honesty in his admisinstration. But Tim Geitner, and Tom Daschle, both admitted tax cheats, are proving him wrong. At least he got Bill Richardson to withdraw. Now how about speaking out about another tax evader, Al Frank of Minnesota??

Posted by: sims00 | February 2, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

What is being missed by many believing that this issue is just criticism of Obama, is that some of his cabinet picks have either made less then ethical choices, or when caught have not owned up to their errors in a way that sounds sincere.

Obama promised to change the way things are done and hold his appointees to very high standards. In doing so he set expectations that business as usual in Washington DC would not be the standard.

Tim Geithner running the tax system while pleading ignorant about to how to do his own taxes sounded insincere. I know many people, some with less education than he has, who have filed their taxes for years and knew that they were required to pay the taxes that were not withheld for them.

Now Tom Daschle, who has made a great deal of money since losing his Senate seat based on the connections he made in the Senate, says he didn't realize that he was required to pay taxes on donated services such as car and driver? Somehow it makes the vows to only nominate people of the highest integrity sound false. And, to pay the taxes before notifying the White House doesn't make him sound any more honest.

I'm appreciating Bill Richardson's willingness to withdraw his nomination more every time I hear about these nominees making "errors" on their taxes.

Posted by: annetta3 | February 2, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

As one who campaigned door-to-door for O'Bama as a volunteer, I think he should kick Daschle out the door. He has worked too long for the insurance and healthcare corporations to well represent our national needs in this area...period.

Posted by: Pokeyboy | February 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

wpbrown46 - Sending you children to any camp and deducting it as a tax write off is and always has been disallowed by the IRS. If you or I tried that one, we would end up with an audit so fast...

Two things this should teach all of us. (1) "The law" is a joke and does not apply to insiders, the wealthy and the connected. It only applies to ordinary people. (2) The courts and "justice", as institutions are as broken and corrupt as any Wall Street bank. If we want justice and equality we're going to eventually have to take it!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 2, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The Senate has always been a tight-knit and congenial group. Look at the near-unanimous confirmation of Clinton regardless of ideological differences. And look at how Geithner received more flak despite owing a good deal less than Daschle. Tommy is one of their own, so he is in no danger

Posted by: thecorinthian | February 2, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Short a dead girl or live boy the Senate will always confirm its own. Obama, however, should have asked Daschle to withdraw his name like Richardson did. I understand that Daschle knows how to woo the Senate and he will be invaluable in passing health care reform, however, this administration is starting to feel more Clintonesque by the day.

Posted by: caribis | February 2, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are STUPID for attacking him and the rest of our POPULAR PRESIDENT OBAMA'S choices for his cabinet. This will hurt Republicans in the long run they need to stop and give it up! Worst, they will be EVEN MORE STUPID if they not vote on the stimus which Americans need, they will be DEAD for a long.... time.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | February 2, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama has not even pretended to do anything about the massive ice storm that has disabled much of Kentucky and neighboring states. It took days for FEMA to swing into action. Why is that not a scandal? Days went by before Kentucky's governor called out the National Guard. Why did no one blame Obama for failing to call out the Guard sooner? Probably because he lacks the constitutional power to do so; but the Constitution hasn't changed since 2005.

Posted by: leapin | February 2, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Any criticism of Obama's picks are dwarfed by McCain's pick of Sarah Palin. Every pick of Obama has represented a qualified pick. McCain was willing to pick an incompetent person for political gain."

What was the political gain? McCain lost.
Political gain is duping folks that you are going to take public financing for an election campaign.

The quality or lack of quality of the pick does not override the corruption. But the ends justify the means in socialist America.

Posted by: leapin | February 2, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Government revenue can be increased by IRS audits of demoncraps.

The new April 15th for Demos's -

Getting an appointment from BHO!

Posted by: leapin | February 2, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

What happened to "work hard, play by the rules?" New ethics rules get waived as soon as they're instituted. Nominees for Secretaries of Treasury and HHS revealed to be tax cheats. These were not small errors, either, but glaring ones that they surely knew about. So how can anyone take seriously anymore that this Administration is truly bent on "changing the way Washington works"? This is the same old same old--we will overlook legal and ethical problems as long as we have the votes to get the guy passed.

Posted by: roger321 | February 2, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

“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.

However, only outside the beltway OR if you're a Republican.

How much hypocrisy can we take?

Posted by: snickah | February 2, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Any criticism of Obama's picks are dwarfed by McCain's pick of Sarah Palin. Every pick of Obama has represented a qualified pick. McCain was willing to pick an incompetent person for political gain.

Posted by: bradcpa | February 2, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm generally a fairly partisan Dem on these boards, but I have to step back and objectively point out that if a Bush nomination revealed a $124,000 unpaid tax bill, we'd be all over it. The only thing holding me back on this one is that Daschle really is the right person to be taking on the job he negotiated with the Obama administration.

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 2, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 said, he wrote off sending his children to summer camp as a child care tax credit. THAT IS TAX FRAUD."

No, it is not fraud. It is a gray area, one that many taxpayers inadvertently get wrong. That's why I give Geithner slack that I won't give Daschle.

Posted by: wpbrown46 | February 2, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Kili - Geithner didn't just not pay his taxes, he wrote off sending his children to summer camp as a child care tax credit. THAT IS TAX FRAUD. Moreover, Geithner, the whole crew at the Obama White House, are free traders, the same sort of slime that have presided over outsourcing, shipping factories, jobs, technology overseas. He advocates even more H1-B visas and will be issuing between 165,000 and 400,000 in late March of this year. With more than 4.5 million American computer programmers and engineers unemployed today, that is exactly the sort of economic insanity we cannot stand. Oh, and did you know hat his Wall Street friends, those banks that received billions in bailout money, HIRED 38,000 foreign workers on H1-B visas with your taxpayer money? I stand by my statement, Geithner is a swine, a low life, a sociopath, and a traitor.

The last time a country faced the sort of economic crisis we are falling into was the Weimar Republic in Germany. They, too, had a huge foreign debt, that government did the bidding of the banks, the investors, and the huge corporations. That government came up with an economic stimulus plan when those banks and corporations plunged during the Great Depression and they printed billions of dollars, just like us. The result, the companies scoured the world, looking for the cheapest labor and production costs, brought in hundreds of thousands of guest workers. The result was hyper-inflation and the collapse of that government ... and Hitler. Hitler applied draconian protectionism and got the economy functioning within two years. Then, he set about with his "other" programs. It can happen here, it WILL happen here. One way or another, free trade will end. The only question is, will we do it and retain our democratic institutions, with the help of our government, or will we do it in spite of our government, led by the 21st century version of that mad man. The Republican's have already shown they are blind free traitors to the end. Obama starts with a clean slate. It hasn't been a good start for those of us with hope. Time is running out. Dump Geithner, dump Daschle, dumo the free traitors. Obama was elected on his promise to end this free trade nonsense. Now, DO IT, or get out of the way.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 1, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

The side shows are clearly not detracting from President Obama's favorability rating, which currently stands at 73.6%.

Republicans have an uphill climb, despite Michael Steele.

Posted by: Pluto1 | February 1, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"I still think Geithner's once of the worst pieces of scum to have flowed from under a rock in many a year."

Is this the Land of the Hyperbole? Someone who screws up on taxes is a piece of scum?

A very close friend of mine made an honest mistake that resulted in $25,000 in unpaid taxes and a delicate dance with the IRS.

The troubling thing with Daschle was he seems to have hid much of it to move forward with his nomination. That doesn't sound like a team player thing to do.

Posted by: Kili | February 1, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Because of the likelihood that the everyday scandals on Capital Hill are just the tip of the iceberg, the American people seem fed up with the crookedness of government officers who betray our trust and rob our treasury. Trust in our public servants cannot be restored without an absolute rejection of all misdoing. Many taxpayers pay careful attention to file their own returns accurately. If Mr. Daschle can't prepare his return accurately, the IRS will do it for him, if he wants it to. An error of over twice the median income of the whole population doesn't sound like a slip-up. How often does such a slip-up work the other way: a taxpayer over-reports his income by $100,000 plus? In my view, Mr. Daschle does not deserve the public's trust and should drop out of consideration.
He doesn't fit the people's new "no mercy" standard for being squeeky clean to hold public office. We can't have oversight on every one of the public officeholders, so we should separate out the damaged ones and pick from the wholesome bunch. The president should set the example by passing Daschle over and getting someone else. Mr. Daschle was a lobbyist but ignored the law requiring him to register as one. Mr. President, tell him your administration is an extension of yourself and you just can't find a place for Tom in it because of this appearance of impropriety.

Posted by: daleh37 | February 1, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democratic activist in Virginia and I worked to get Obama elected. I was willing to give the new Secretary of the Treasury some slack but not Daschle, not for "forgetting" to include tens of thousands of dollars of clearly taxable income.
No matter how much he may know about HSS there have to be at least a couple of dozen (or maybe a couple of hundred) Democrats who know just about as much.

Short analysis: Compared to Geithner, Daschle has a more grievous tax problem and is less critical to the success of the department he would head.
Conclusion: Withdraw his nomination.

Posted by: wpbrown46 | February 1, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I think the tax issues for Geithner and now Daschle are concerning if they represent the same kind of "we're above the law" attitude that other administrations have embodied. I don't believe that's what we have in either person, but it's something to watch.

I MUST add, however, on another issue that I was dismayed by the comments of the economic panelists this morning on Meet the Press who defended the CEOs who spent billions on executive bonuses, despite the fact that their companies are tanking under their leadership and American taxpayers are giving them money. I expected this from Steve Forbes who's a billionaire and completely out of touch with reality and average Americans. Despite the fact that he advised McCain, I don't know Mark Zandi well and so can't comment much. But I assumed that Erin Burnett was supposed to be the voice of reason on the panel. The fact that they're "financial experts" proves that they are a part of the same system that is corrupt, greedy and out of touch with reality and destroying the livelihoods of average Americans, even if they're still living in their mansions.

I seriously hope that MSNBC will fire Burnett immediately. She clearly showed bias toward a system of corrupt CEOs and financial institutions and cannot be taken seriously any longer.

Gregory did little to hold their feet to the fire.

Posted by: MNobserver | February 1, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I think he'll be confirmed.

Richardson had corruption allegations -- too close to home for the man from Illinois.

But they confirmed a Sec of Treasury who made a pretty common screw-up. Like the IMF didn't mention employees would need to pay their own payroll taxes -- I don't think so.

Daschle will sail by too. The Republicans are going to have to wait for some bigger screw-up to get any traction.

Posted by: RedBird27 | February 1, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

This comment is probably redundant, but many of these posts are so tiresome that I won't check carefully to see. What I find most troublesome about Daschle's failure to pay is that he knew he would be under a microscope, but apparently thought this little perk was beneath notice. All these guys and gals, in both parties, have an amazing sense of entitlement. Can't they at least hire accountants good enough to keep them from violating tax law?

Posted by: frodot | February 1, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

'The corruption, racism, greed, ignorance and incompetence are just beginning. "

No, they started 8 years ago. Been in a cave?

Posted by: drindl | February 1, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats exploited racism, scare tactics, deception and plain lies to get him in office."

That's freaking hilarious coming from a Repub, considering the above is the ONLY way repugs ever get into office --racism, scare tactics and lies.

Posted by: drindl | February 1, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Cryos - And, Cryos, don't go blaming liberals or conservatives for the corruption. These people are genuine honest -to-god sociopaths and can change their politics as easily as you or I might change our clothes. Go take a look at the list of corrupt scumbags that are the chief recipients of "financial services" money - Schumer, Dodd, Ron Paul (!!). The list has about as many Democrats as Repubican's. Then, go look at the traitors driving this free trade nonsense, Schumer, McCain, Brownback, Clinton, Richardson, Dodd, Guiliani, Romney... The fact is, politician's who obviously care more about money than the future of this country, espouse every kind of political ideology under the sun. None of them actually believes in anything they say, though, and we're all fools for believing any of them.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 1, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

think Daschle's a dirt bag, but, then, I still think Geithner's once of the worst pieces of scum to have flowed from under a rock in many a year. The problem is, Obama actually appears to be a pretty decent guy who has placed his fate into the hands of the usual Washington and Wall Street insiders. So... we're screwed, and I mean the country is doomed, and Obama will go down in flames as badly as Bush. You can thank Daschle and the other assorted crooks, con men, and self serving swine in Washington and New York for that.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 1, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

On a lighter side it looks like once they get the cabinet together, Biden needs to call a meeting and give them all a patriotism speech ;)

Posted by: Cryos | February 1, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately it's looking more and more like Obama is who I thought he was. A typical far left wing politician. Democrats exploited racism, scare tactics, deception and plain lies to get him in office.

The American media also lost all credibility and ethical reporting in 2008 which is a huge loss for all americans. I hope Obama proves me wrong in long run but it's not looking good so far.

Posted by: Cryos | February 1, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This is not change I can believe in. It's more of "Do as I say, not as I do."

Posted by: cater2me | February 1, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to James Wolcott, there are 3 things the Obama administration need to to do Daschle:


But they won't. The administration will bend over backwards to save Daschle's backside because they want access to his Rolodex.

Posted by: cab91 | February 1, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

My how we're ready to overlook the the same issues as a speck regard a Governor from Alaska, and a mote in Tom Dashle. Vetting, reporting expenses, it all lines up. That's why no Republican Senator has changed his mind about Dashle since before the news broke. They're all waiting to hear back from their tax accountants about their own taxes before becoming all Holier-Than-Thou.

The real sin is that we Little People can't use as many clauses in the tax code that the rich can. Q: Which is longer tax code or Bible?

Perhaps the opportunity for good conscience blunder that complexity allows explains the limited amount of commandments found in the latter.

Posted by: DonJasper | February 1, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Obama, and to me, it looks very bad. The vetters did not do their jobs. And, Obama is not taking responsibility for the problems with his picks. Two tax cheaters in the Cabinet is ridiculous - especially one that will be Secretary of the Treasury! That's outrageous!

Add this to the Constitutional issue of choosing sitting Members of Congress, and Obama's Cabinet is tainted from the start.

If he wants people to follow his example, then he's not setting a very good one. It just calls into question Obama's honesty and integrity. Right now, he's looking like just another politician.

Posted by: Tyche15 | February 1, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Much ado about nothing:

"Senator Daschle is a limited partner in InterMedia Partners of Englewood, CO and Chairman of its Executive Advisory Board. Senator Daschle also is an independent consultant to InterMedia Advisors, LLP of New York City. He entered into a business relationship with InterMedia in February, 2005. Beginning in April, 2005, the senator was provided the use of a car and driver by Mr. Leo Hindery, the Managing Partner of InterMedia. In addition to being business partners, Mr. Hindery and Senator Daschle have been personal friends for many years. Charges for the car and the services of the driver were billed to InterMedia. InterMedia did not issue Senator Daschle a Form 1099 for the value of the car service and Senator Daschle did not report the value of the car service as income on his original tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Senator Daschle told staff that in June, 2008, something made him think that the car service might be taxable and he disclosed the arrangement to his accountant. Under Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code, the value of transportation services provided for personal use must be included in income. Senator Daschle estimated that he used the car and driver 80% for personal use and 20% for business use. On January 2, 2009, Senator Daschle filed amended returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 reporting the value of the car service as income. He did not pay self-employment tax on the personal value of the service. It was determined during the Committee review of Senator Daschles returns that the personal value of the car service is subject to self-employment tax. The senator has acknowledged that the 2005, 2006 and 2007 tax returns will need to be adjusted to pay the applicable Medicare taxes of 2.9% of the personal value of the service."

Any corporate exec with a company car who doesn't get a 1099 - BEWARE!

Posted by: toritto | February 1, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Banks collecting billions of dollars in federal bailout money sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers to the U.S. for high-paying jobs, according to an Associated Press review of visa applications.

The dozen banks receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.

The figures are significant because they show that the bailed-out banks, being kept afloat with U.S. taxpayer money, actively sought to hire foreign workers instead of American workers. As the economic collapse worsened last year — with huge numbers of bank employees laid off — the numbers of visas sought by the dozen banks in AP's analysis increased by nearly one-third, from 3,258 in fiscal 2007 to 4,163 in fiscal 2008.

The AP reviewed visa applications the banks filed with the Labor Department under the H-1B visa program, which allows temporary employment of foreign workers in specialized-skill and advanced-degree positions.

It is unclear how many foreign workers the banks actually hired; the government does not release those details. The actual number is likely a fraction of the 21,800 foreign workers the banks sought to hire because the government limits the number of visas it grants to 85,000 each year among all U.S. employers.

During the last three months of 2008, the largest banks that received taxpayer loans announced more than 100,000 layoffs. The number of foreign workers included among those laid off is unknown.

Foreigners are attractive hires because companies have found ways to pay them less than American workers.

Posted by: lucygirl1 | February 1, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

This just goes to show you folks that if you or your family has enough money and power, you can get away with anything. I call it the American Dream 2.0: Hope that you will be born into or adopted by a rich family and your Dream will come true. Otherwise, enjoy this lovely Great Depression II that we're heading towards.

Posted by: amendele | February 1, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

People should be more upset about Daschle's million dollar jobs (after losing his Senate seat), than mistakes on his taxes.

If you do your own taxes, or even use a program, you know that there are lots of pits to fall into. I have to agree with the poster who suggested that audits of most people would 'discover' problems ... and most of those would likely be because no human can understand all the tax laws.

Posted by: schlicht | February 1, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it raises any questions about President Obama's decision making. However, I do believe that it raises doubts about his vetting team and their prowess. It also raises the question of just how many key decision makers in Washington have these problems. I know that I'm not the only Washingtonian who was utterly shocked by the news about Daschle. He always struck me as a consummate professional and someone who would overpay his taxes before he failed to pay them.

Posted by: flick231 | February 1, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

darmar 40-
Nice advice to Linda- what about those who voted for "Change" and believed their healthcare system would be placed in the hands of someone who has not been in bed with the healthcare industry as on overpaid lobbyist....they want to stay in this country and have it run by a man who does what he promises! Not one who lives up the the truest sense of the term "Chicago Politician" by picking Dascle as payback for the Iowa Primary!

Posted by: thecannula | February 1, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

EVERY hypocrisy we feared pertained to BHO (notice he now reclaimed his middle name since the inauguration) is coming true piece by piece...RECALL his promise not to have lobbyists who lobbied in their field of government assignment is HIS HOLIER THAN McCAIN administration????
Daschle was a MULTI million dollar healthcare lobbyist! (and tax evader:
From Todays NY Times-
"At least six leading Democratic senators have come out in support of Mr. Daschle, but the fate of his nomination is unclear. The Senate Finance Committee, which is charged with holding a confirmation hearing on Mr. Daschle’s nomination, will meet behind closed doors Monday to discuss his taxes. After Timothy F. Geithner, Mr. Obama’s Treasury secretary, faced similar issues, some senators may have little appetite for confirming another nominee with tax problems.

“It’s totally shocking,” an aide to a Democratic senator said Saturday. “Why do we have to continue to have the same story over and over again with these nominees?”

Posted by: thecannula | February 1, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

EVERYTHING hypocrisy we feared pertained to BHO (notice he now reclaimed his middle name since the inauguration) is coming true piece by piece...RECALL his promise not to have lobbyists who lobbied in their field of government assignment is HIS HOLIER THAN McCAIN administration????
Daschle was a MULTI million dollar healthcare lobbyist! (and tax evader:
From Todays NY Times-
"At least six leading Democratic senators have come out in support of Mr. Daschle, but the fate of his nomination is unclear. The Senate Finance Committee, which is charged with holding a confirmation hearing on Mr. Daschle’s nomination, will meet behind closed doors Monday to discuss his taxes. After Timothy F. Geithner, Mr. Obama’s Treasury secretary, faced similar issues, some senators may have little appetite for confirming another nominee with tax problems.

“It’s totally shocking,” an aide to a Democratic senator said Saturday. “Why do we have to continue to have the same story over and over again with these nominees?”

Posted by: thecannula | February 1, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Why should Dsschle face the Senate Finance Committee? President Obama should withdraw his nomination immediately!!!

Posted by: rw-c | February 1, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Daschel’s issues are scandalous to say the least: failure to pay income taxes; possible conflict of interests; failure of full public disclosure by a public official; ethics violations.

Of primary concern is the profit Daschle made from the healhcare industry. As WAPO writers Ceci Connolly, Joe Stephens, and R. Jeffrey Smith pointed out, Health Industry Distributors Association already reminded Daschel of the $14,000 they paid him for a speech (see: Daschle Delayed Revealing Tax Glitch). Clearly, the healthcare industry believes they already bought and paid for Daschel; he’s not confirmed and already they are trying to cash in their markers.

The Senate cannot sit still for such blatant malfeasance.

Posted by: txgall | February 1, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Another "oversight". Another "mistake". Another "Lapse" in judgement. These people have college educations. Almost all are LAWYERS who know about ethics, the difference between "Right an Wrong". At what point do we say "Enough is Enough".

Posted by: doughboy96 | February 1, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

This may be the consequence of Barack's short time in DC. He doesn't get (or didn't, I bet he does now) just how interwoven legislators, governors, lobbyists, etc. can be. People with long careers have skeletons, more often than not. It's hard to avoid in a world where everyone is pushing 'favors' on important politicians in return for influence. Heck, Daschle got a million-dollar salary to sit on boards and 'consult.' These folks live in a unique world full of ethical landmines.

That said, a transition is a short time in which a lot has to happen, and vetting appointees got replaced by reliance on resumes and reputations.

The return-to-ethics platform is taking a big hit. Barack may have to throw Daschle out, even (especially?) if he isn't forced to by the Senate, to reinforce his cred on the issue. Health policy is a big field; he can find a strong replacement.


Posted by: stw_25 | February 1, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Daschle was the head of the Senate. He is not an ignorant man. He was responsible for creating tax laws. President Obama is a role model for many young Americans. He is trying to bring this country together. Mr. Daschle is extremely partisan anyway. Sorry, but President Obama has to show that he is a man of integrity. Mr.Daschle appears just as slimy as the Wall Street executives.He made millions during bad times too and refused to report the income. That is a dishonest tax cheat. We are asking many Americans to dig deeper in their pockets and help our country. Mr.Daschle has no shame. He should have removed himself and not placed President Obama in this position. Mr.Obama has to remove himself from Mr.Daschle guilt. People will start to give credence to the "Chicago Way" garbage. This country will still remain divided if Mr. Daschle does not get thrown under the bus. Sorry, but there are plenty of other people more deserving than Mr.Daschle who are capable of doing the job. We have already asked Americans to look the other way with the Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Daschle is not new. He is the same old same old partisan politics. American want all of this to stop and for thing to begin to get done. The job of Health Care Czar is an honor. We have wanted this for a long time now. Mr. Daschle is not worthy of the honor. Actions have consequences and Mr. Daschle should be held accountable for his. It sounds too much like "The Dog Ate My Homework." I wouldn`t accept that from my children and I`m certainly not going to accept that from Mr. Daschle. There is too much money involved to trust a tax cheat. Mr. Daschle has lost American`s trust.

Posted by: JD17 | February 1, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The corruption, racism, greed, ignorance and incompetence are just beginning. Already some of Obama's selection of his cabinet are already laden with corruption. Where is the change? Most of his appointments are laden with Clintons dirty linen. All we see is more of the same. Obama's rants about change are white lies. He won by duping voters about change and all the change we see is giving away money to those who caused the recession on the backs of generations to come. The battle is just beginning. The most recent flap, involving discoveries that Treasury Secretary-designee Timothy Geithner had a maid working for him illegally and failed to pay his own payroll taxes for a few years, Now Tom Daschle is in the mix. Throw them in jail just like they do to the rest of us ordinary citizens when we circumvent the law. . Obama should start over with his appointments.

Posted by: Korvet | February 1, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Well what is the big deal?
Can you say Charlie Rangel,what committee is he the head of?
Or how about the next great senator of Minnesota, he owed taxes in three states. I can't remember his name? Al F&*^EN.
I think we owe it to these people to give them a stipend so they can get there taxes done. Lets say maybe $93,000 that should help.
Change we can count on.
Where can I get the form to apply for a bailout program refund????
You are judged by your associates,and it is becoming darker everyday.

Posted by: vandy2 | February 1, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"At last, "Change we can believe in" - Chicago style. Posted by: Linda7"

Well, I don't think there is any ball and chain holding you to the ground of the USA (unless you are in prison)! They still sell one-way tickets to country of your choice! ba-bye!

Posted by: darmar40 | February 1, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Listen up! For all of you critics and "throw the bum out" need to understand something. We have 8 years of implanting neo-con rogue right-wing so-called-christians throughout the fed govt, including the IRS! As a former Revenue Agent I can honestly tell you that... IF and WHEN you are audited by a field agent, you WILL BE inquisited on the tax year of the audit, plus 3 prior years! Their job is to find anything and everything! I'll betcha anyone of you that want to point the finger would be amazed what the result of an examination of YOUR taxes years would be!

I am not siding with Obama and his picks, I am saying something is seriously wrong within the ranks of the fed govt -- implanted by the last 8 years of corrupt world dominion bankers and financiers! It's only a matter of time, IF you ever start to make some money! The IRS has a flock of agents and attorneys... that WILL smear anyone of us financially. The only ones that come out schweet are the RICH!

However, I also agree that every legislator should be audited!

The illegal act of the Federal Reserve and the illegal acts of the IRS needs to STOP! The amendments of the constitution CLEARLY state that federal taxes are to be collected for earnings, NOT wages!

Need more info? Research Arron Russo's films, or research more of what Ron Paul says about all of this... You'll be amazed how many of you are just living in the Big Brother bubble. Try to step out of it... and you'll wish you were in Gitmo!

Posted by: darmar40 | February 1, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

At this point, between Geithner and Daschle, all of this is flying in the face of all of the charming and inspiring BS that came out of Obama's mouth nonstop for months on end. As my mama always said, what you DO speaks much louder than what you SAY. This is exactly the kind of behavior on Obama's part that so many of us warned against for long months on these blogs. Daschle HAS to go for Obama to have any hope of recovering credibility re his promises............that runaway Obama train is poised for the crash so many of us predicted.

Posted by: nana1ellen | February 1, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Not to defend these two Cabinet picks, but I wonder how many senators/congressmen/public servants at the national and/or state level who were picked at random would survive a tax audit unscathed? I'm just sayin....

Posted by: RationalDem | February 1, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

At last, "Change we can believe in" - Chicago style.

Posted by: Linda7 | February 1, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what a few have said in this blog, I am not a "neocon," nor am I an unemployed Repblican leaving town and taking a parting shot. I am an emplyed Democrat who supported President Obama and believed his promise that he would do business differently. While he is making great change many fronts, his choices of Geitner and Dashle reflect business as usual. Although I certainly don't think President Obama knew these two were tax cheats before he nominated them, once it came to light he should have simply pulled their nominations and moved on. These two episodes suggest once again that taxes are for the little people. Yes, we all make mistakes, but to put people at the highest levels of government who fail to abide by tax laws is, to me, too much to stomach. It's too late for Geitner, but it's not too late to pull Dashle's nomination before his old friends rally 'round him on the Hill.

Posted by: logan303 | February 1, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Daschle can claim ignorance about not paying enough taxes at the time, but can't profess ignorance about needing to inform Obama right away. He betrayed the President and should not get the post.

Posted by: Sutter | February 1, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the Daschle imbroglio says anything about Obama's judgment--I'm pretty sure Daschle hid his tax shenanigans from the president as well as from everybody else.

But Daschle is unsuitable for the HHS job. Look, we all know that the vast majority of members of Congress are on the take, selling their votes and feathering their nests at taxpayer expense. However, such a blatant case of contempt for the law from someone that we're supposed to trust to fix our healthcare system--no. Absolutely not. There must be someone as qualified as Daschle who does not have his legal issues.

We've had 8 years of bald-faced crooks running this country under King George. It needs to stop NOW. Granted, there is a culture of corruption in Congress, but known tax cheats should not be named to the highest levels of government.

Posted by: nicekid | February 1, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to the USSA.

Posted by: bigbobed1 | February 1, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

I am convinced 98% of these posts are made my recently-unemployed Republican operatives. Most people in the country realize that by freezing administration salaries, banning torture without a signing statement, and meeting with the opposition, Obama has already provided a COMPLETE SEA CHANGE from the last eight years. All this Daschle non-sense is just that; I would think the media would have bigger fish to fry then some story about how Tom Daschle mis-understood the tax code.

Posted by: mrmopkins | February 1, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse




The tax matter is inconsequential and a diversionary tactic.

The Bush-Cheney "multi-agency action" extrajudicial vigilante network and its related unconstitutional array of "programs of personal destruction" remain in place.

President Obama may not even be aware of some of the deeply entrenched "ops" that threaten his presidency...

... The "multi-agency action" nationwide army of citizen vigilantes hiding behind federally-funded volunteer organizations;

... the deployment of radiation weaponry to police departments nationwide;

... and the multi-agency unconstitutional programs -- ranging from pervasive spying to a parallel system of transaction processing that amounts to fascistic theft by deception -- must be taken down.

Immediately. Before more damage is done.

Before another "generated crisis" claims the renewed American spirit and again plunges the nation into despair and submission to "the dark side."

The agencies of government that are covertly commandeering this devolution of American democracy -- via their draconian "multi-agency action" programs -- must be reined in and reformed, top to bottom, never again to subvert the rule of law.


Posted by: scrivener50 | February 1, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

So this is the change I voted for!

Like many in our country I have voted republican. But desiring change from policies and a philosophy that absolutely did not work and made our country weaker, I happily voted democrat across the board.

Now I get a treasury head (in charge of the IRS) who cannot pay his taxes!!

And a health "guru" who not only cannot pay his taxes but also collects "fees" from corporations in an industry (if he is confirmed) he will regulate!!

I thought I was voting for change.

Now it seems all I will get is different faces playing the same old stupid game.

Maybe next time I will just stay home because if this is the face of the future ..... then clearly there is no future and my country will be condemned to the dustbin of history as so many have been before!!!!

I'm sad.......

Posted by: chrisco80 | February 1, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

O has not told us why he feels it is necessary to back a thief and tax cheat as the "Health Czar." Geithner may have had unique knowledge of the financial system but what about D?

Does O understand the basic health care plan which D has proposed based on a system patterned after the Federal Reserve which many economists blame for the current financial crisis? What protection would such a plan have against being used as a political plum and hot potato by future Congress and lobbyist which was the case when former Texas Senator Phil Gramm and the Washington Lobby successfully proposed and passed the repealed of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. This permitted banks, investment firms and insurance companies to combine and become too big to fail, the ones pleading for bailouts, to rip off the American public and throw millions of people from their homes on to the streets.

Under D's proposal, could the plan come under attack some day by lobbyists and the likes of Gramm and leave millions of Americas dying in the streets?

Tell us Mr. President why you must have a thief and tax cheat to build a healthcare system?

Posted by: FromtheRaft | January 31, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Obamas first 2 weeks have been very good- and I am glad that he is doing well.

This is directed at all of you who directed all of your "old politics" and "strapped with scandal" stuff at Hillary.

Let's see how the big endorsements for Barak have turned out:

Kennedy, tried to slip his neice into a senate seat, but she had to pull out because she was ridiculously unqualified

Daschle- taking money from these companies and not claiming taxes is knocking him out of HHS

Richardson- corruption charges, withdrawn from Commerce

Edwards- affair cripples chances of ever being attorney general

Old politics was played here- these people expected their shot- they just had extenuating circumstances- mostly corruption and old politics...

and then there was one secretary of state who passed the test of the senate easily...what was her name?

Posted by: nycLeon | January 31, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Not only does this not make me question President Obama's judgment, but I also think it is a bad for the country that this is an issue. The tax code is complicated. I am pretty sure that if someone actually did a study, they'd find that 2 out of however many cabinet secretaries are appointed is the same or actually a lower percentage of people who made mistakes on their taxes than occurs in the general public. If anything, this argues for simplifying the tax code. I think it's dangerous when this kind of mistake threatens to thwart nominations. Each time it happens, it makes future qualified, capable people less interested and willing to serve in appointed positions, and on the federal bench. That results in something less than the best possible appointments, which is bad for the country.

Posted by: brianros | January 31, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I think it is very entertaining that some posters just have to default to the republicans in the past 8 years to make their point rather than address the issue at hand. Obama has broken many promises in the first 2 weeks of his presidency. WOW! I didn't think it would happen so quickly! This just shows that Obama either lied to us during the campaign about "change" or he has very poor judgement and really isn't qualified to be president. Maybe it is a little of both.

Posted by: nblakeq | January 31, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

One thing I haven't heard talked about that could be an issue - it's well known that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Daschle don't get along. At all. I believe Reid wrote about that in his book, didn't he?

Posted by: TransplantedTexan | January 31, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The Daschle Report, as attached, describes what amounts to errors of omission rather the acts of commission. Considering the complexity of the IRS Code, there is sufficient reason to believe this matter should not prevent Mr. Daschle from taking his post at DHHS in the new administration.

Posted by: dickhealy | January 31, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you want to know if O's selection of Daschle raised questions or doubt about his decision? Yes, that and more.

As Daschle was being driven around Washington in his free limo he should have been arrested for DUI as being Power Drunk!
... taking salary from a firm founded with investor losses from the Global Crossing tech scam, making big fees from speeches to special interest groups and padding his pockets with funds that should have gone to the IRS and having the audacity to lobby the White House for the HHS job to further his power to collect more salary and fees in the future for having been associated with the O administration.

Obama has been scammed. He is naive. He has no backbone to standup to people like Dachle who supported him early in the campaign. Just like he compromised himself with Geithner. He is not firmly keeping his campaign promises.

He should paint every campaign promise he made on canvas. Hang the canvases as sails on boats floating in the Lincoln Memorial's reflecting pool. When a promise is broken hang the canvas from the columns of the Memorial.

Monthly, take his children there and tell them what kind of President and father he is.

Posted by: FromtheRaft | January 31, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Daschle’s looks like a classic Washington scandal--and few survive the classic scandal:

1) he went into CYA mode when Obama called to appointment him head of HHS; his biggest mistake was to redo his taxes;
2) the amount of income Daschle failed to report is significant;
3) his failure to document the charitable contribution he and his wife supposedly made violates fundamental IRS practices the average American adheres to;
4) his failure to disclose years of use of a friend/business associate’s luxury car and chauffer is not only illegal, but unethical.

Americans will forgive most sins, but not when it comes to cheating on taxes.

Posted by: txgall | January 31, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rtfanning | January 31, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The DNC must have some major dirt on Pres. "O" to force him to appoint every Democrat rat they can find to power possitions. They must sill have H C's 1500 FBI files.

Posted by: MITCHS52 | January 31, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Not a problem. Mr. Obama will just create another exception, much the same as he had done to the rule he established for former lobbyists, and Mr. Daschle will be confirmed. Are there any honest people left in Washington? Are the power elite exempt ethical principals?

Posted by: epicpee | January 31, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Tom Daschle is the the answer to bi partisan support. He is a master at reaching across political lines and getting things done. Rumors to the effect that he is a thug and obstructionist are not true. He has never once been convicted of beating his wife. His smarmy snarly cynicism is just his way. The fact that he is too stupid to find over a quarter million in income is, when compared to the Billions he wasted while in office, truly an oversight. He needs to be in Obamas cabinet just so Obama will look smart by comparison.

Posted by: MITCHS52 | January 31, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Were is the change I have been voting for? Can't we find qualified people who pay their taxes like most of us? Daschle is not the person I want to see in this administration.

Posted by: kasselaener | January 31, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to start cheating on my taxes. It looks to be the way toward a major position in our government!

Posted by: mateo_md | January 31, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know about anyone else and won't speak for them; but I pay my taxes by the book and I damn well expect those elected,nominated, or appointed to government posistions to have payed their taxes when due. You just don't forget to pay your taxes, it doesn't happen your either thinking that everyone else is more stupid than you or your an outright tax evader. Tax evasion is a crime unless your a rich Democrat/Republican former or current employee or the sibiling of one.
If they can't be prosecuted they should be shown the road. No government job,NOT EVER."

Well, I'm no fan of people not paying taxes, but I hate self-righteous asssoles even more. Go Daschle!!

Posted by: DDAWD | January 31, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

More than $350K in "unreported" income... ooops...

Makes Geitner look like a piker. Obama is wasting Daschle on HHS. He should appoint him Treasury Secretary!

Posted by: MediaFreeze | January 31, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The Obama Crime Family continues to grow.

Posted by: robtr | January 31, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Daschle will survive because the system is what it is. As far as Obama's decision making is concerned, I'm not sure if it is an apples to apples comparison. Geithner, Richardson and Daschle are appropriate candidates for their positions, they've just hidden their dishonest activities from the authorities. If the IRS doesn't know they haven't been paying taxes, how are the transition vetters supposed to know?

I think the bigger flag around Obama so far is the way he is positioning power inside and outside of the White House and Cabinet. I think he is setting himself up for conflicts of interest and mixed lines of authority. Perhaps this is a reflection of his outsized ego that we are hearing about. Despite never having managed an organization (let's be honest the candidate gets all the blame or credit for how smooth the campaign runs, but he is in no way running the day-to-day), he thinks his changes are prescriptions are the best fix.

Posted by: Redsoxjam | January 31, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about anyone else and won't speak for them; but I pay my taxes by the book and I damn well expect those elected,nominated, or appointed to government posistions to have payed their taxes when due. You just don't forget to pay your taxes, it doesn't happen your either thinking that everyone else is more stupid than you or your an outright tax evader. Tax evasion is a crime unless your a rich Democrat/Republican former or current employee or the sibiling of one.
If they can't be prosecuted they should be shown the road. No government job,NOT EVER.

Posted by: jhnjdy | January 31, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about anyone else and won't speak for them; but I pay my taxes by the book and I damn well expect those elected,nominated, or appointed to government posistions to have payed their taxes when due. You just don't forget to pay your taxes, it doesn't happen your either thinking that everyone else is more stupid than you or your an outright tax evader. Tax evasion is a crime unless your a rich Democrat/Republican former or current employee or the sibiling of one.
If they can't be prosecuted they should be shown the road. No government job,NOT EVER.

Posted by: jhnjdy | January 31, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the Republicans will be anxious to keep Daschel out. He would be a very effective advocate for universal health care, which is something they hate. If Daschel can't get approved, I suggest Obama stop playing nice and bring in Howard Dean to take his place. It's obvious that Grover "Kill the Government" Norquist and the Axis of Weasels (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity , and Bill O'Reilly)are now in control of the Republican Party and the last thing they want to something that would interfere with their war against the middle class. The last thing they want is something that provides benefits to workers without letting some corporate interest bleed them dry.

Posted by: bizecology | January 31, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The nomination will survive for one reason - Daschle was a respected member of the Senate who still has many personal friends that are still serving. If Daschle had not been a member of this club, his nomination probably wouldn't survive.

Posted by: JasonT910 | January 31, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's a tax cut plan Republicans and Democrats can agree on. Just don't pay what you owe.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 31, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Let's get serious......where's the CHANGE...just more of the same slime....get rid of the clown!!!

Posted by: curmudge | January 31, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

H O W A R D D E A N MD An honest man.

Posted by: gandalfthegrey | January 31, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Heehee! I wonder what percentage of this country's small business is employing illegal immigrants and paying them off the books? - just like employing a nanny and not reporting it.

Give it a rest....the guy didn't report the milage on his company car as income. Happens everyday.

Posted by: toritto | January 31, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"George Bush Farts"
10,000 Google stories

"Obama Surrounds Himself With Crooks"
10 Google stories

Posted by: rtfanning | January 31, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

This is just how people who consider themselves better than everyone else have always behaved since, I dunno, our forbears decided they were better than the Neanderthals. The only difference here is that Obama made a point of promising that he would change this 30,000 years or so of elite human behavior. Can he accomplish that? Ask a Neanderthal.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 31, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Another tax cheater in the offings? Any one suprise by the wisdom of the fraud, the Messiah??

Remember, the Messiah has always some kind of weired associations throughout his life. So, I don't see any difference here.

Just look at the democraps explanation about the nominees once they are caught.

These are the most brightest folks American can offer to solve the crisis of the country.

If the democraps and the Messiah has run out of finding an honest folks, I have a solution for the fraud, Messiah and democraps.

Why not OUTSOURCE for the cabinet nominees and the appointed positions ?????

Anyway, these scoundrel have taken the country in this financial crisis.

I wonder why the democraps love to raise taxes.

Guess what????????

They do not pay taxes and instead reward for their anti-citizenry behaviour.

Wake up, folks. This fraud, Messiah would break the country apart before it is too late.

Look at the following,

Obama, the Messiah ----
Nancy Pelosi ---
Barney Frank ----
Chris Dodd ----
Charles Rangel ----
Treasury Secretary ---
Dashle ----------

All happen to be democraps,tax cheaters and dishonest folks.

That's all I have to say about this fraud, Messiah and the democraps gang.

Posted by: CuriousJhum | January 31, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Term limits, accountability, ethics reform, no pork, no "pay-to-play", pay your taxes, no hiring of illegals, and no corporate bailouts! Now who would want to do all that for "change" in Washington?! Yea, right!

Posted by: GFAlexander | January 31, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Daschle has been one of the leaders in the fight to raise the taxes of American workers, yet can't even pay his own taxes. He's got to go.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 31, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

After the festering financial corruption "left behind" by Bush\Cheney, Tom Daschle looks like a clean start to most of us. His expertise in healthcare is too important to be sacrificed to more republican hypocrisy.

Posted by: seemstome | January 31, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Look people, we cannot whitewash this thing. It tells us what is "stinking in Denmark". The aristocracy is taking "privilege" to not pay taxes until they get caught. I wonder how many more there really are out there like Daschle, Richardson, and Geithner? Is this the tip of the iceberg? The Obama administration may have become to be known as "The Admin of Tax Cheaters". They cheated folks, they did not just make a mistake. Does anyone really think Daschle would have paid the money if he were not nominated? Wake up public. Let's start demanding somthing of our elected officials. How about honesty and priciple?

Posted by: docjoyer | January 31, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Tax cheats should not hold positions in our government, no matter how famous they are...its as simple as that. I wonder if Daschle would have voluntarily come forward to pay his taxes, had his problem not been exposed publicly?

Posted by: snakep1 | January 31, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Before I retired from a major U. S. financial corporation I had a company car for my business and personal use.

The corporation required that I note the miles driven on company business each year in a log book. Now, for example, does "company business" include the miles driven to and from work from my home? (No). Does it include miles driven to my home from a corporate meeting away from my place of work? (Only to the extent the milage exceeded my normal comute).

At year end I had to advise the corporation (a) my total miles for the year and (b) the miles for company business. The difference was added to my W-2 as ordinary income at the milage rate the URS was using that year.

Nobody kept an accurate daily log. We all just estimated it at year-end, knowing full well that the lower the estimate of milage for business, the higher our income on our W-2.

Do you think I would have done all of this if the company didn't force me to?

Nah. I would have just driven the car.

Shall I tell you about corporate life insurance partially paid for by the company?

All of it doesn't amount to a hill of beans - and its easy to miss something that will come back to bite you in the rump.


Posted by: toritto | January 31, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I think President Obama has found a new way to raise money from taxes. Nominate someone, anyone, and then they will have to pay the back taxes that they owe. Then, after they do that, he can withdraw the nomination. think how much money the government could raise under this system. After all, with just two nominees, he has raised almost 150 thousand dollars. Way to go!

Posted by: EWayne1 | January 31, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

This is an unfortunate distraction because, of all Obama's domestic priorities, reforming health care can have the greatest impact on the lives of every U.S. citizen. Daschle has studied this issue thoroughly, written a book and plan, and is obviously dedicated to the cause. He has also tried to make amends by paying back the taxes and penalties before the hearings. That being said, if he loses the PR battle and the backlash grows, he may be an ineffective leader on an issue that has eluded the administrations of Harry Truman, LBJ and Clinton, among others.

Posted by: billbolducinmaine | January 31, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"I think tax cheats should go to jail."

Tax cheats pay fines. I think that's a better solution. I'd rather have the extra cash.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 31, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse


Boom to lobbyists.

Proctologist for taxpayers!

Posted by: FromtheRaft | January 31, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone so upset with these nominations? Look on the bright side. The message here is that as citizens we don't have to pay our taxes in full. We simply wait until we are nominated to some high public office, and then, we apologize and pay what we owe.

Posted by: PatriaeCausa | January 31, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Daschle's position as WH Health Care Czar doesn't need confirmation. If necessary they could just slot whoever his proposed Deputy is into the seat and proceed as they want. The Senate knowing this is not going to try to force him aside over a minor point like this. And it is minor in context even though it might be a huge thing for you and me.

I really doubt Daschle deliberately risked his whole future career to save $100,000 in taxes. He could pick that kind of money simply getting added to another corporate board.

This guy is taking a huge cut in pay to try to take on a multi-trillion dollar health care problem. He made a six figure mistake which led to a six figure penalty now let him get to that 11 figure problem.

Posted by: BruceWebb | January 31, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I find it noteworthy that so few self-proclaimed Democrats OR Republicans are supporting Daschle in these comments. If grassroots Democrats supported Daschle, just as they supported Obama and were critical of Palin, for example, you can be sure they'd be saying so here. They aren't.

Indeed, I would wager, there are some Republican Senators who are more supportive of Daschle's nomination (because they are friends in some cases) than there are grassroots Democrats who support it.

Obama: WE are your constituents.

Posted by: john15 | January 31, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50 - your kidding right? How long will you left wing nut jobs keep trying to blame every problem in the world on Bush? Get over it you wingnut! Bush was an outstanding President and I predict history will show he was head and shoulders above Hussein Obama. I predict Hussein will serve but one term and will dwell in the cellar along with the likes of Jimmy Carter as worst of the worst. Just wait and see! In the mean time find someone else to blame - like Hussein.

Posted by: sasines1 | January 31, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat. I have always had high regard for Tom Daschle, and I think he would have done a spectacular job heading up healthcare reform.


I STRONGLY agree with the other poster who suggested that Daschle now needs to disappear quickly and quietly.

Moreover, Obama needs to clearly reverse his recent pattern of supporting nominees who run into trouble, pay homage to Daschle's past service (which is considerable) but say that no tax cheats are going to serve in his cabinet. Period.

Obama did the right thing with Richardson, but he did the wrong thing by supporting what's-his-name, the new Treasury Secretary, and he is doing the wrong thing by supporting Daschele now.

Obama is giving up the single most important contributor (in my opinion) to Democrats' wins in 2006 and 2008: the moral high ground.

Americans were rightly disgusted by all the self-dealing and corruption of Bush's administration, and they are rightly also disgusted by Tom Dashle's tax problems.

At least, this Democrat is.

Posted by: john15 | January 31, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it is time for the little people to stop paying taxes. They're only wasted bailing out the rich. Then again paying taxes requires that we have a job. Maybe we can get them anyway

Posted by: oncebefore | January 31, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of our esteemed lawmakers would be caught if they (IRS)decided to audit both houses. I think its time to find out. I think we should demand that Capital Hill be audited. We would probably have enough money from fines to do the landscaping at the mall.
I think tax cheats should go to jail.

Posted by: jcshouses | January 31, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I think we need a new rule.

Every Congressman, Senator, and Cabinet appointee should automatically have their tax returns audited every four years. This would: (1) create jobs (2) collect any unpaid taxes and penalties (3) expose lobbyist/favoritism.

If you wish to represent the American people you should expect this type scrutiny. It should be automatic. No exceptions. No excuses.

Posted by: bginNC | January 31, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps eona Helmsley was Right.

Ony the little people pay taxes

Posted by: jweb2 | January 31, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Man, who would have thought that Hillary Clinton would be the high profile picked MOST liked by the Republicans.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 31, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

And his red eyeglasses are a definite disqualifier!

Posted by: rdklingus | January 31, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Daschle needs a course in ethics not a seat in the Cabinet. Remembering to pay taxes after the fact doesn't wash. Out the door. The President, for whom I have much regard, can do better.
Why do these people think they can get away with stuff we would go to jail for? Oh,just a little oversight a couple hundred thousand dollars. What rubbish.

Posted by: mgre | January 31, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

A small time mayor gets elected, to a washington big time seat, And i find it odd that he need not serve to long, and now his income is 100s of thousand dollars a year, surley he not on the take. IS HE.

Posted by: dv1236 | January 31, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

As a Democratic supporter of Obama,
all I can say is Tom Daschle needs to
go away as quickly and quietly as possible.

This looks terrible for the Obama Administration. Daschle would be the
second...gee....what's the word here....hmmmm...TAX CHEAT in his cabinet.

I won't even comment on the red glasses.

Posted by: ethereal_reality | January 31, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

What gets me is the smallest error in my taxes (and the subsequent penalties) would drastically change my lifestyle. It is maddening to see these rich, liberal types not paying their taxes, getting caught, and paying the penalties out of their pocket change.

Isn't this what is wrong with our current economy? Rich people living outside the laws of the common people? Why should they care if they get caught breaking laws?

I'm just sick of it.

Posted by: playfair109 | January 31, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Typical statements of demo-rats posting here.

Yes hes a cheat, but hes our, cheat.
What about all the republican cheats.
What about Bush.

Blah Blah Blah.

What about Barack Obeanhead's, campaign promise to clean this mess up ?

The high and mighty, demo-rats always tout how much better they are than republicans.

Well F-ing Show It for Once, and go against this tax cheats appointment.

Posted by: dashriprock | January 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

If you don't follow the rule of law, you should be out. Period.

Posted by: dmahon | January 31, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

In Sunday's Soup Bowl, if O's team, the Stealers, win Daschle is in. American people out with the Birds!

Posted by: FromtheRaft | January 31, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This is all such bullshi*. Tom Daschle knew what he was doing was wrong. But what is worse is that he put his own ego above the new Administration's priorities, message, and momentum.

If Obama gets rolled over this, his entire Cabinet will know his words ring hollow and the price to pay for screwing him is pretty low.

Posted by: Losercuda | January 31, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama's going to change it. Daschle's going to change it. Blago's going to change it. Out with the old, in with the new. Bonuses for all.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | January 31, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

How unfortunate for Obama given his strong campaign for openness and reform in Washington. What's wrong with his vetting system? He's been embarrased by his choices of Richardson and Geitner (who should not have been approved), and now, Daschle! I supported him with campaigns and a vote, but I'm growing disappointed in his ability to select new and inspiring visionsaries; instead, it's just more of the same old crap!

Posted by: GFAlexander | January 31, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If Obama wants to fix things that needed to be fixed, then he should start at the very beginning. Make sure the people you hire are honest. All of these people are cheats, plain and simple. I don't believe for a second that guys who have gotten to their position in life by never missing a detail start missing "details" that even I can figure out.

So yes, by having Obama withdraw their nominiations it would send out the message that integrity matters: that's qualification one. But, of course, we have the expediency issue, that is, they're the only one's around who can handle these issues - something I don't believe for a minute iether - no one else will do. That's how we got into a lot of these messes in the first place, letting the character issues go because these guys are supposedly so smart.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | January 31, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

When one considers all the crooks in the Republican party and the Bush administration, not to mention the Republican cronies on Wall Street, this hoopla over Daschle is petty!

Posted by: jeffersontao | January 31, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Obama's transition team should reasonably have been expected to "catch" something like the car service when Daschle failed to self-report it. But now that we know, it looks bad. Especially because Daschle's chosen excuse is that he thought it was just "generosity." There is no "generosity" in big business, and someone tapped to run the VERY big business that is HHS had better not be so naive. If he doesn't know that his car service is a taxable benefit, how can be make good decisions about benefits for tens of millions of Americans?

Unfortunately, because of his stature as former Majority Leader, he probably won't be asked to step aside, and he probably would be confirmed along party lines. But scandal always reduces clout, and clout with Congress was his big selling point at HHS. If I were him, I'd go back to making his $1 million per year in industry, and let Obama submit his #2 choice to the Senate.

Posted by: Hawthorn | January 31, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Trying to properly figure out your taxes is Vodoo-economics. I remember that a while back there was a study done where 13 different tax preparers were asked to do a sample return. The result? 13 different answers--and the IRS disagreed with all 13 submissions. Let's face it, the tax code is a sieve for special interests. What one person calls cheating, a tax lawyer calls a deduction.

Bottom line: Before Daschle or anyone else is disqualified, every Senator should submit to a tax audit. I would like to see the results of that one!

Posted by: gvergara54 | January 31, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how much symbolic resonance it would have to toss Daschle given that he didn't toss Geithner. That seems to send the message that its ok to cheat on taxes if you're good enough in other ways. I think Daschle is more replaceable, though.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 31, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Daschle discovered it in June, before he was in line for nomination (as there was not even a definite candidate for president). He went on record to his accountant and sought advice. Within a few months, the accountant went on record with the IRS and reported it.

I, for one, almost made a similar mistake while preparing tax records-- but actually woke up in the middle of the night with a realization that I was forgetting to claim something. If I had not awakened with such a subconscious thought that it disturbed my sleep cycle, I would have been in the same situation.
If he had knowingly and willingly falsified records, it would be much more serious.
What is the old philosophy about "to err is human..."?

Posted by: ginnymci | January 31, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Considering our Treasury Sec's tax "errors," I don't know why Daschle's would be viewed in a worse light. Frankly, given the circumstances regarding either man it is quite an act of testicular fortitude and hubris for Obama to have even nominated them. I hold it against him, even if I voted for him. It's sad the country so willingly accepts such ethical and legal lapses from the people expected to run the government without graft and corruption.

Posted by: info38 | January 31, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

When Obama originally was considering his cabinet choices, surely he had a set of minimal qualities that he was looking for in each pick. One of the criteria that he should have insisted upon is as follows:

"The candidate must have taken no action within the past ten years that would cast any doubt upon his or her honesty or upon his or her willingness to scrupulously obey the law, except minor traffic offenses not involving the use of drugs or alcohol."

There are millions of bright, overachieving, experienced Americans who can pass this test. Anyone who can't should be weeded out at the beginning. Including Tom Daschle.

Posted by: Bill1230 | January 31, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree with most of the posters here. I'm a lifelong Democrat, but this is too much. Ordinary folks like me are sick of having one set of rules for the rich, powerful, and well-connected and another set of rules for the rest of us. That is part of what Obama was elected to change. Now is a good time to start, by withdrawing Daschle's nomination.

Posted by: lydgate | January 31, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

another limosine liberal bites the dust! (get it - he had a free caddy and driver - limo service!)
of course this reflects on Obama, duh. his clown car of Boyz Klub members is spilling out onto the parade route and getting - oooops! - driven over.
Hillary's often-cited "baggage" was a tote bag compared to the steamer trunks of trouble these dopes are dragging.
this isn't change I can believe in. so far - bad minister for 20 years; bad DNC smoke-filled room screw job to HRC primary voters in Florida and Michigan; bad German trip with homemade Styrofoam seal and "I am president" pantomime; bad job trying to walk back comments about HRC war vote as rationale to vote against her when now she's apparently fine to handle all the foreign affairs; bad job leaving the Bush pentagon team largely in place with a Raytheon lobbysit tossed in on an 'ehtics' waiver; and bad job having a dopey kid speechwriter who thinks it's a hoot to get pictured online groping Hillary's photo.
for this "leader" people were hysterical in the streets and weeping? um, get a grip.
can we have a do-over vote, please? now that we have established that the vast majority of us voters are NOT racist and welcome diversity at the highest levels. let's now go for competence, shall we??
maybe NoBama could find a better fit at the U.N., where they blow hot air day and night.
we need a leader with his focus on our problems. can we please have one?

Posted by: nancyjeanmail | January 31, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

President Obama pledged to have the most open, most transparent, most ethical administration in history – unless of course, it is absolutely, positively convenient not to. He is just another two faced politician busy lying out of both of them. But why should we expect anything else? The river of dirty Soros money that washed him up from the sewer of the Chicago democrat/union politics into the White House didn’t wash him clean – he only plays an honest politician on TV.

Posted by: majcsmith | January 31, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Now this is "Change" we can believe in...These people disgust me. All politicians are corrupt.

Posted by: nosurprise2me | January 31, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

there is a very easy explanation for the reason career politicans snd political appointees believe the laws relative to income taxes do not apply to them:

these careerists see how the Federal government continually operates at a deficit, i.e. not paying its bills in full.
Why should they pay their fair share?

Where is the IRS when we need it? They have audited me three times in my life. wonder how many times Mr.Daschle was called in?

Posted by: bobfbell | January 31, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this matter reflects poorly on Obama's decision making.
But Daschle is a complete waste. These guys are worse than the corporate stooges they supposedly seek to monitor and chastize.
Whoops! A common tax error(S!!!) just now "discovered" and of course immediately remedied.
What a joke.

Posted by: CJArlington | January 31, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Border proclaimed that the facial that Blagovich gave to Obama would leave a deep and lasting impression?

Now he's saying that the public cares how Republican's vote? And is seems we think that Daschle's tax screw-up will bring down the Democratic party?

Is the taffic still as busy - and the stores as active - in Washingtion as it was a year ago?

Maybe it's like a football game. The announcers and analyst's have lots to talk and argue about, up until the time they wheel out the cart for an injured player. The columns still need to be filled with something I guess - what is the silent passing of time would be something like . . . Well the Broder, Parker columns (and dare I say it? The Fix)?

Well Da Master still has something the others can only droll over. He can take a pic, say 'How about some captions folks' and call it a day! (Da Fix does nothing more than write this blog right? He's not on NBC offering insight and analysis.)

Posted by: DonJasper | January 31, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I'd also like to add that this is not a problem with just the Obama administration; it's a problem that seems to transcend political affiliation and has more to do with hubris and a sense of entitlement by people who are rich and well off.
Where in hell does the buck stop?

Posted by: mikie44 | January 31, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

What did a former Senator from one of the Dakotas do to earn -- does the word "earn" mean anything anymore? -- a million dollars a year for consulting? Why would anyone pay him a million dollars a year for "consulting"? Was it a deferred bribe?

Betcha if he did not get that one month check for $83,000+ he would have complained but he used the typo and underreported his income. You try it and see what happens.

As for Harry Reid aupporting Daschle -- Reid is getting boring. What did you do for Nevada lately? What did you do for yourself lately?

Posted by: BeanCounter49 | January 31, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Daschle is toast. As another poster suggested, go read the comments under the story, "Daschle Owed Back Taxes That Exceeded $128,000." Over 675 comments, and still coming in despite the fact that has taken it down, overwhelmingly negative and from self-described Republicans and Democrats alike.

The administration over-reached this time. They sneaked Geithner by, mostly on the premise that he was too invaluable, as a former Fed leader, to the economic recovery plan to not be confirmed. What they didn't take into account is that most voters, from both parties, just don't like Daschle. They see no off-setting value in his being the new health care guru. Buh-bye, Tom.

Posted by: hisroc | January 31, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pick may not have been bad, but they shouldn't be supportive now. It leads to questions of just how ethical they plan on being. Tim Geithner was considered indespensible. But Daschle is not. Another real difference are reports Daschle discovered this in June 2008. He only paid in early Jan (after being picked for the Cabinet?). This could lead one to question why he didn't pay as soon as he found out.. or whether he intended to pay unless he was picked for an Obama position. Not an accusation, but the smoke is there, and it needs to be handled before there's a fire. Otherwise, Obama's staff is going to have him look like the ethical 'talk' was there, but not the 'walk' if there are yet more exceptions. If Daschle really wants to serve Obama, he can only do it now by withdrawing his name from consideration.

Posted by: todaysopinion | January 31, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The high and mighty that burden us insignificant taxpayers with forms to fill out, declarations to be made, estimated taxes to be paid, and constant withholding of tax money obviously have trouble with their own fargin taxes. So, there is something systematically wrong with our tax system, which should be addressed with all the other evident bugs in the system of finance. Government does things. Many of the things it does it does poorly and that's because Congress establishes programs and leaves oversight to those who are hired to run the programs and to itself when scandal occurs. Management techniques, of which Congress is apparently unaware, are available and can be enacted into law and paid for to constantly monitor processes to see whether they are accomplishing the purposes of the programs that the processes aim to achieve. And, instead of just recording numbers, true managers adjust processes to more closely align actual results with expected results.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | January 31, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The cases involving Geithner and Daschle coming so close together and congress' tepid reaction say to me that it is accepted practice on the hill to not pay self employment taxes. Perhaps this is because they feel that they are superior in the food chain to everyone yet covet the high salaries earned by some in the private sector. Whatever the reason, it is shameful. These are not obscure taxes that are easy to overlook. I get paid as a consultant, and I pay others as consultants. I file 1099 forms for everyone I pay and I pay my own taxes. It would be unthinkable for me not too. I am insulted that those who have the power to collect my taxes or spend my taxes feel they are not subject to the same laws that I am. For me, this is a black and white issues. Geithner and Daschle should not have anything to do with this administration. For them to stand up and say that the wealthy should pay more taxes, but to subvert their own duties to the country is the height of hypocrisy and self dealing.

Posted by: edomalley1 | January 31, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

This is really starting to piss me off. I believe that it's time for every elected office holder in this country to submit to a thorough tax examination.
What this creep, Daschle, was compensated for and did not pay taxes on is about what I made in the last 5 year.

Posted by: mikie44 | January 31, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Where's Eugene Robinson? Bring me Eugene Robinson. And while you're at it bring me Olberman, Matthews, Maddow, all of MSNBC, NBC, NPR, THE DAILY KOS, THE HUFFINGTON REPORT, STEWART SMALLEY (Franken), SCHUSTER, AIR AMERICA (still broadcasting?), MOVEON.ORG, George Soreass, The New York Times (are they still in business?)'s gonna take all of them to sweep this dirt under their corporate rugs. Let's review:
-Richardson pulls out in advance of play-for-pay scandal/indictment
-Holder confirmed in spite of active role in pardoning terrorists and Mark Rich
-Geithner confirmed at Treasury in spite of his inability to "understand" tax codes requiring him to pay thousands
-Dashle (probably) confirmed in spite of dodging taxes owed of over $135,000+
Your boy Obama is off to a great
"CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN" indeed. If any of this rogue's gallery had an "R" after their names you can bet that pack of partisan jackals listed above would be in full attack mode...but hardly a word so far. Didn't take long for his inexperience and/or true political heritage to surface. But with Nancy and Harry running rough-shod over Republicans who's to stop him? To the victor goes the spoils...and spoil they will.

Posted by: ddnfla | January 31, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Not paying taxes certainly trumps Bush's tax cuts for the "rich". Has Daschle no shame?

Posted by: slim2 | January 31, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I think this is about more than Obama's decision making process. Politics – at this level – has always been full of bad decisions, so it can’t really be a surprise that Obama (and his nominees) did not know there was dirt under their finger nails. I hate to be a cynic, but they are all dirty in some way. The individuals in question here (Daschle, Geithner and Richardson) made really bad tax and financial decisions because the penalties did not look so bad until they actually needed something (like a Senate confirmation). Obama will make the decision making process even less genuine by not encouraging the IRS to assess penalties. What a great Executive example of change that would be to hold these folks fully accountable – my parents were railed by the IRS for a $300 filing mistake back in the day. And lastly - while admittedly slightly off-topic – RNC chairman-hopeful and Columbia native Katon Dawson (born 1956) must have known his South Carolina country club had a racial history – the club was built in 1928 during Jim Crow’s reign (for that matter, WDC-metro area club members might want to check their club’s charters for good measure). Katon’s decades-late decision to rebuke the club (which I suspect has probably spawned many SC politicians) only emerged when it looked like he might not get what he wanted. Fundamentally flawed decision making processes are non-partisan across the board.

Posted by: chrismango | January 31, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I hired an employee for my small business last year. I originally planned to hire three new employees. When I finally figured out how much time and money all the State, Local and Federal government paperwork, fees, and communication sucked out of my business hours I was glad when the employee soon quit for personal reasons. The government bureaucratic monster quickly makes every effort to destroy any small business that decides to give people jobs. I suspect I am not the only business owner that hates the confusing mess of required paper tax forms, conflicting deadlines, and government's rotten use of Internet technology. I will not hire an employee until government fixes that mess. Which probably means I will never hire another employee. I also plan to move my business to a state that actually knows what the Internet is.

Posted by: thw2001 | January 31, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Geez, what is going on with the vetting process with the Obama people? Taxes are the first thing one looks at before announcing the nomination. Very poor staff work.

Posted by: VirgilCaine | January 31, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Ya, like H&R block did my niece's tax's wrong last year, and she couldn't figure it out at all on her own. This single, common little mother ended up paying $1,500. back to the IRS. It can happen to anyone. Now one knows now a day what is taxable and what is not, it's so darn complecated. If it's thats hard for a single mom, can you imagine all they would have to sift through for some one like Daschle. so untill you walk in his shoes, and can figure out your own tax's with out makeing errors and mistakes, than see it for what it is! A program that need to be simplified and changed for all of our benefits. So get on with life, and stop pouncing on problems that even you and I have to over come.

Posted by: abbytreadway | January 31, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

loonyleft, it sure sliped your mind real fast that it was the republicans who just got a blank check to bail out banks and Big bussiness, and now they can't account for those BILLIONS of dollars! they got CEO buying jet planes with bail out money, and giveing huge bonuse's because republicans isn't following the billions given them and they are busy wasting it all! Your loony party won't work with a stimulus package to rebuild infrastructure and in doing so put thousands to work, and want MORE tax cuts that they have tried for 8 years now, that doesn't work1 Their idea's and programs are tired, old and none affective to stimulate this economy.You've wasted 8 long years of our lifes digging us a deeper whole every day that will take years to get out of and expect obama to solve all your problems in less than 20 days! It's time you all get real. let this president do his job! It's a sad day when the Republicans us a African American for window dressing, and try to fool the american people into believeing they are changeing! how dare they! its sadder steele isn't intelligent enough to know or understand that the republicans are useing his "BOY" quality to their advantage and in no way will allow him to run anything in their party.

Posted by: abbytreadway | January 31, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that this will stop his confirmation OBAMA is too popular. Republicans need to give it a break peroid!

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 31, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Dashcle should be immediately disqualified and they need to move on and reselect.

Posted by: airslie51 | January 31, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Aw gee. The Fix to?

WHY do people spend so much time and energy chasing the small-time chump-change trivia?? Wall Street bankers spend more for two chairs and a rug. Get a life and move on already.

Posted by: DonJasper | January 31, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

When he heard that Geithner got through, he didn't think he would have a problem.

Posted by: totalkaosdave | January 31, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It's three guys which isn't all that much, but the short time period may allow for a sort of narrative to be built the same way it was done for Republicans prior to the 2006 elections. It's too early to say that narrative is taking hold, but we're getting close.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 31, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I suggest the 'fix' check the comment section to the article 'Daschle Owed Back Taxes That Exceeded $128,000'.

Obama tried the Wall Street trick of releasing bad news on a Friday night.

But Americans are sick of politicians that raise their taxes, but won't pay their own taxes.

There should be a rule. One tax cheat per adminstration.

Posted by: jdcw | January 31, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come off it! How many politicians don't claim their car/driver and other small junk on their tax's? Get real, do you really think any of these politicians understand the tax thing, any better than we do? Let's see now, who first the Republican whip in the house, or the Demacrate whip? should we just go through all their tax's? Oh by the way maybe we better check yours out first----Oh thats right H&R block does yours, you don't know if they done it right, because you don'lt understand it enough to do it yourself! So ya, don't be to quick to put Dachle down,and that goes for reporters who hide things from the IRS to!

Posted by: abbytreadway | January 31, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

So here's a thought - let's nominate a few thousand people to cabinet level posts. The money that the IRS will get from tax cheats will balance the budget!

Posted by: mikem1 | January 31, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Democrat hypocrits again. I just wasted 3 hours of my day trying to figure my taxes using Turbo Tax. Lets have a FLAT tax. Everybody pay the same rate. NO exemptions, deductions or other nonsense.

Posted by: Phil5 | January 31, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Official motto of the loony-left liberal d-crat TAX CHEATS: "You Pay Taxes So We Don't Have To".

It's bad enough that the d-crats waste trillions of taxpayer money on useless pork-filled bailouts and other garbage. It adds insult to injury to have them hand over responsible government positions to such tax criminals.


Tim Geithner, hussein's Secretary of Treasury and head of IRS - cheated federal government of $34,000 plus thousands more cheated to state.

Charlie Rangle, Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee - cheated federal government of $10,000, plus thousands more cheated to state. Botox pelosi keeps him as tax panel chairman!

Caroline "You Know" Kennedy, Loony-Left Princess - refuses to disclose amount of tax cheating from her inherited fortune of $100 - $400 MILLION.

Keith Olbermann, The Most Biased Political Commentator on The Most Biased Cable Network - his tax warrants and judgments from New York and California for TAX CHEATING now exceed $100,000

Tom Daschle, hussein's candidate for HHS secretary - cheated federal government of more than $128,000 plus tens of thousands more cheated to state.

In LESS THAN ONE MONTH, the hussein administration has become the MOST TAX CORRUPT GOVERNMENT IN HISTORY.

Posted by: LoonyLeft | January 31, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Another tax cheat nominee? If this continues. Obama may have to hold his cabinet meetings at Ft. Holabird, a federal prison near Baltimre. Good show, democrats!

Posted by: nmg3rln | January 31, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I like Daschle and think he would be really good to head the program to obtain universal health, but did HE use TurboTax, too?

Seriously, non-monetary income is a tricky area because your tax preparers don't know you get it if you don't tell them, and many non-monetary compensation is not obviously "income" to people. I would posit that when they are asked about "income" most people think "money received."

Posted by: RealCalGal | January 31, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

No, it does not make me question Obama. However, I do not think Daschle should be confirmed. Howard Dean for HHS!

Posted by: havok26 | January 31, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

This one is pretty bad. You get a car and driver and think it's just somebody being nice to you? This doesn't pass the smell test.

It's a shame as health care reform is needed. Even when you have insurance, the game is confusing. You go to the provider. Pay your copay. Several months later, a bill arrives from the provider already overdue (30-60 days). We're theoretically insured, but I've no clue as to what is and is not covered. It shouldn't be this hard (and isn't in Europe).


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 31, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse


There was no intent to defraud. Period. If there had been, the IRS would have pursued such a case. Instead, it let Daschle (and Geithner) pay the back taxes with interest. Done, and done.

These petty distractions serve to divert attention away from a SERIOUS THREAT to the Obama presidency, legacy programs of the Bush-Cheney era that make a mockery of the rule of law in America and endanger lives.

Team Obama must immediately join with GOP defenders of the Constitution to dismantle the Bush-era apparatus of "extrajudicial punishment" meted out nationwide by vigilantes operating under the cover of federally-funded volunteer programs.

This nationwide, Gestapo-like operation, apparently overseen by federal security/intel agents with local law enforcement as their willing foils, has claimed many victims from all strata of society.

Crimes against humanity are being committed across the nation via the use of so-called "directed energy (radiation) weapons" which the Bush D.O.J. recently confirmed are being widely deployed to police forces nationwide.

These RADIATION weapons emit silent, pulsed bursts of various forms of radiation -- and are degrading and damaging the health of those on the receiving end as well as their operators.

This weaponry has NO PLACE in civilized society -- much less in the hands of security personnel who interact with the public.

The widespread deployment of this weaponry virtually assures its misuse. Imagine if rogue actors tried to use its silent, deadly force to induce illness or to disable our political leaders.

Perhaps they already have.

Victims of this extrajudicial punishment network also see their finances and livelihoods expropriated and destroyed by coordinated "multi-agency action" "programs of personal destruction" that deny them due process of law while degrading their lives and destroying their families.

A parallel system of transaction processing has been established with the aid of the private sector -- a program that victims say amounts to a fascistic theft by deception.

Obama administration officials must address these abuses IMMEDIATELY, before these affronts to the Constitution destroy more American families -- and subvert the Obama presidency.

The bureaucrats and officers behind these "programs of personal destruction" remain entrenched. They cannot be co-opted or reformed. They must be removed from power and brought to justice.

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 31, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

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