Tax Cheats – the ethical and unethical

So far three of Obama’s cabinet post picks have been found to have tax problems. Nancy Killefer, a former assistant treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration, withdrew her nomination for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, after it became known she hadn’t paid D.C. unemployment taxes.

Tom Daschle, who was going through the confirmation process when it was found he owed $143,000 in taxes (and has paid them now), backed out today.

Both said they did not want to be a distraction.

I respect that they backed out. It was the moral and ethical thing to do. But it is disturbing that three people, who had been in such positions of power, found themselves above the law that the rest of us have to follow.

Can anyone figure statistical probability of this?

Sure, they said it was a little mistake, but c’mon. Do you believe that? Or do you believe they knew they wouldn’t be audited, so why not fudge a little, or a lot?

Then there’s Geithner, who will oversee the agency that garnishes our wages and freezes our assets when we do what he did.

A friend of mine said we should be able to do what Geithner did, and when we get caught, just tell the IRS we are exercising the Geithner Exclusionary Rule, and assure them that when we get nominated to a cabinet post sometime in the future, we’ll be happy to pay up.

Somehow I don’t think that will work.

But where Daschle and Killefer at least had the decency to withdraw, though they likely would have been confirmed anyway, Geithner doesn’t seem to feel that sense of shame and the need to step down for the greater good of the administration that is trying to change Washington.

No, he figured his apology was good enough. Could that be because he comes from the same stock as the bankers who stuck their hands out for our hard earned money, then promptly lined their pockets with it? Remember Geithner was head of the N.Y. Fed and was in on the original bailout deals.

Not a big surprise that he feels no embarrassment for what he did. The heads of all these banks who ran their companies into the ground feel no embarrassment either. Why should they? Everyone around them is doing the same thing. In their world, this is normal.

I would love to see Obama task the IRS with auditing every present and former cabinet member and legislator going as far back as possible. I would start with the 18 who voted for Geithner in committee, then I would move on to the 60 who voted ‘yes’ in the full roll call vote in the Senate. Perhaps they ‘yes’ votes didn’t want to appear hypocritical by voting ‘no’, just in case they get tapped in the future.

What’s interesting is who voted ‘no’.

For the most part, both senators of the deep south states voted ‘no’. States in the west and midwest were split or voted no (except Illinois, of course, where everyone voted ‘yes’, but then we aren’t know for our ethical politicians).

And in the Boston-Washington corridor? Well what do you think would happen in the corridor of power.

BTW. What bank did the heads of the banks put their billions in bonuses in? Or did they just buy gold?

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