Tuesday, February 03, 2009

My Thoughts on Tax Situation (late breaking, Daschle withdraws -phew)

I have a few thoughts on the 'tax situation'...

1) Nancy Kileffer - Doesn't this sound like Bernard Kerik? Fess up to a smaller crime and withdraw when no one is paying too much attention? I know it's pure speculation on my part, but her offenses hardly seem worthwhile to withdraw over - so I assume there's something we don't know.

2) Geithner - I understand why one could say his transgressions are more serious than Daschle given his standing as chief enforcer (and overseer) of tax collections. But in his case, I think this actually does show how complicated taxes can be and might help the case for simplification (which I firmly believe could and should be a nonpartisan issue, however, if you think the debate over social security is considered the 3rd rail, wait till they take away deductions for interest on home equity loans).

3) Daschle - This is where I have a problem. I can (kinda) understand that he is given a corporate car and driver and fails to recognize that as income.

However, the problem is that he was accepting a car and driver as a consultant. There is no meaningful distinction here with the forbidden class of 'lobbyist' and he's been involved in this game for years (his wife's been a consultant for decades). Obama's loyal to Daschle as Daschle has been a mentor to him, but exceptions to rules need to be meaningful - and I don't see a reason why Daschle NEEDS to be the pick for HHS. Is he the only one who can get health care reform passed?

With the person given the waiver in DOD, I can understand saying that he is the ONLY man for the job - Daschle is not the only man for the job and he is tainted by the revolving door. Barack doesn't need him, but apparently his talk of cleaning up DC ends when his friends are the topic. I'm embarrassed. (and now I'm relieved he's gone...)

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