Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Obama's top nominees withdraw from candidacies due to problems with the IRS

Two top nominees, including former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle withdrew their candidacies from the Obama administration nominees.
Daschle's exit from consideration to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, resulted after a firestorm over his failure to pay $146,000 in taxes.
  • More than $100,000 in back taxes and interest for a car and driver that was provided to him for four years by Leo Hindery, a wealthy Democratic donor, longtime friend and business associate of Daschle.
  • Daschle was paid $1 million annually for his consulting services, and he had unreported consulting income of $88,333, in 2007.
  • Daschle also had reductions to charitable contributions totaling about $15,000 over the three years.

Just hours earlier, Obama's nominee for the newly created position of Chief Performance Officer, Nancy Killefer, also stepped aside because of a tax problem. Killefer failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help.

Rewarding failure is just part of the Washington political culture. Just ask Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner and the Senate Republicans. Recently, Geithner was confirmed as treasury secretary despite belatedly paying $34,000 in income taxes. A guy who can’t figure out his own taxes is supposed to 'fix the economy?' You don't seriously expect us to believe that?

Add the fact that Obama's first choice for commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, took his name out of consideration when his confirmation appeared headed toward complications because of a grand jury investigation over how state contracts were issued to political donors, and you've got to at least wonder... what kind of people has Obama been associating with?

"Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks -- no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them."

-- James Madison
Speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 20, 1788