Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Deja Vu

I don't know about you, but something about this sounds vaguely familiar:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fighting to salvage his Cabinet nomination, Tom Daschle apologized Monday for failing to pay more than $120,000 in taxes and appealed to former Senate colleagues to approve him all the same. President Barack Obama said he was "absolutely" sticking with his nominee for health secretary, and a key senator added an important endorsement.

The White House both underscored the magnitude of the problem and tried to downplay it in the space of seven words. "Nobody's perfect," said press secretary Robert Gibbs. "It was a serious mistake. ..."

Nobody was predicting defeat for Daschle's nomination as secretary of health and human services, but it was proving an unsavory pill to swallow for senators who only last week confirmed Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary despite his separate tax-payment problems. It's an issue that strikes a nerve among lawmakers' constituents who are struggling with their own serious money problems.

On the bright side for Daschle, he got warm words of support from the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the panel that will have the first say on his fate. Daschle has been "an invaluable and expert partner" in efforts toward health care reform, said Democrat Max Baucus of Montana—an especially important endorsement since the two men have had tussles in the past over Baucus' handling of GOP tax-cut proposals, Medicare changes and other issues.

Daschle was to meet into the evening with the committee in private.

The former Senate Democratic leader, expressed his remorse in a letter to the Finance Committee, saying he was "deeply embarrassed and disappointed" about what he said was an unintentional failure to pay taxes that he owed. He recently filed amended returns for 2005-07 to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.

Obama, asked at the White House whether he was standing by his nomination, answered, "Absolutely." He did not elaborate.

In his letter, released Monday, Daschle sought to explain how he overlooked taxes on income for consulting work and the use of a car service. He also deducted more in charitable contributions than he should have.

"I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them," he told committee members.

Between two of Obama's Cabinet appointees, they've avoided more in taxes than I'm likely to make in the next 5 years.  Somehow I suspect that if I failed to pay a dollar and twenty cents in taxes, I wouldn't get off so easily.


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This blog is about my opinions and world view.  I am a conservative, evangelical Christian.  Generally speaking, if you post a comment, I'll allow you to express your view.  However, if you say something hateful, untruthful, or just generally something I don't like, I may remove it.

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