Tom Daschle is the former Democratic leader of the Senate. So, the fact that he has been nominated by President Obama for Secretary of Health and Human Services shouldn’t be a problem. Right? Wrong.
Seems that Mr. Daschle has a tax problem, as in he owed the IRS money. Now it wouldn’t be that bad I guess, except that this is the second cabinet nominee to have a “tax problem”. Daschle is of course embarrassed, and using the it was a mistake routine, but that excuse should only be allowed once per new administration.
Daschle, had about $130,000 dollars in errors on his taxes and had to amend returns for several years. He has paid back the government $140,000 dollars in taxes, penalties, and interest. Meanwhile Daschle has written a letter to the Finance Committee Chair, and ranking Republican apologizing for his errors, and that they had to devote time to them.
“As you can well imagine, I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns,” the former South Dakota senator wrote in the letter, released Monday. “I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them.”
The committee, chaired by Max Baucas, will meet later today to determine whether to recommend confirmation. Tim Geitner who was Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary had similar tax problems, and made similar “mistakes”, but had no problem with confirmation. My guess is that Daschle will not either. If the Treasury Secretary can get away without paying taxes, Health and Human Services surely can.
Daschle, who served as the Senate minority leader, was defeated by John Thune in 2004 when it was perceived by voters that he was the leader of an obstructionist type agenda. It now seems that Daschle will have the last laugh after all, he has been tapped for HHS Secretary specifically to shape this country’s healthcare agenda.
This is just another, in a string of events that have been an embarrassment to President Obama’s administration. Going back to the Blagojavech scandal, to Geitner and now Daschle. Makes you wonder if Democrats don’t mind raising taxes because they don’t pay them.
Video of Mitch McConnell discussing Daschle below.
Tom Daschle Video