Obama, Geithner, and Daschle’s rules for the IRS

Less than 2 weeks into the Obama Presidency, we have some new excuses that you can use before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Not.

1. On former Senator and Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, who failed to pay more than $120,000 ($128,203 in taxes and $11964 in interest):  “Nobody’s perfect,” said Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs. “It was a serious mistake. …”  (February 2, 2009)

2. Senator Tom Daschle said he was “deeply embarrassed and disappointed” about his failure to pay taxes.  He added, “I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them.  (Daschle’s financial disclosure form -filed about a week ago- showed that he made more than $200,000 in the past two years speaking to members of the health care industry that Obama wants him to reform.)  February 2, 2009

3. Now Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner failed to pay a total $34,023 in taxes from 2001 to 2004 when he was primarily employed by the IMF (International Monetary Fund).  Geithner called it a “careless mistake.”

4. Geithner also claimed that expenses for summer camps qualified for the child and dependent-care tax credit.

5. Documents also suggest that Geithner failed to pay a penalty tax for withdrawing money early from a federal retirement account.

6. Geithner also had a three-month period during which a “foreign-born domestic employee’s” immigration documents had expired.

7. Geithner failed repeatedly to pay the Social Security and Medicare taxes for three domestic employees until letters from the federal government reminded him to do so.

8. President Obama stated about Geithner “it was an innocent mistake.”

9. Senator Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, Senate Finance Committee Chairman stated, “This is an honest mistake and it’s clear there was no intention not to pay it and he did pay immediately, as soon as his mistake was discovered.”

10. Democrat Nancy Killefer “Chief Performance Officer” nominee withdrew after failing to pay unemployment taxes in 2005 and having a tax lien placed on her house to collect it.  (President Clinton’s head of the Social Security Administration failed to pay Social Security taxes too, but did not withdraw.)
11. [Feb 5, 2009]. Democrat Rep Hilda Solis (D-CA), President Obama’s nominee for Labor Secretary had the Senate abruptly cancel her hearing after her husband paid tax liens on Feb 4, 2009, some of which had been outstanding for 16 years.
12. [March 31, 2009]: Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius paid more than $7900 in back taxes from “unintentional errors.”  Sebelius stated that they “mistakenly believed” that mortgage payments were still deductible.
13. [July 27, 2009]: “I never had any idea that I got any income” from that property in the Dominican Republic.  Charlie Rangel, House Ways and Means Chairman.  Another good one you can use with the IRS.  [Stated Fall of 2008]
Excuse me, Mr. IRS Agent, “Nobody’s perfect, it was a serious mistake, with unintentional errors, and I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed in myself.  I apologize for my careless mistake and errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them.  It was an innocent mistake.”  How do you think that would fly for the average taxpayer?

You have to love the one set of rules that we live by, and the set of rules that those in Washington live by.  At least the guy in charge of the IRS has stated his rules.  I had always thought “equality under the law” meant something.  Yet another example of, to paraphrase Animal Farm, everyone being equal, just some people being more equal than others.

It is also fascinating to note that the “smartest people” who are going to Washington can’t figure out their taxes.  It says several things: tax law is much too complex, a flat tax would be beneficial and that, perhaps, they are not as smart as they claim.