03 February 2009

Best News of the Day

First, let me say that my concern was not that Tom Daschle had screwed up his taxes. It was that he figured it out in June and didn't pay them until it was clear he was going to get caught! It was only after he was nominated (or informed he was going to be nominated) that he paid up!

I understand the difficulties of the tax code. As a pastor, I am both self employed and an employee; I have a housing allowance and lots of unreimbursed business expenses. My paper return runs about 18-20 pages a year. Thank heavens for TurboTax.

Speaking of which, having used the same product that Timothy Geithner used for his taxes for almost 20 years, I can tell you that he had to intentionally tell the computer that he did not owe any self-employment tax, because the program always asks me.

And it probably says something about my Blog addiction that I actually learned about these withdrawals of Daschle and Nancy Killefer from victorsleeps!

On the Killefer matter, I am inclined to agree with James Taranto at WSJ Online:

Unlike Geithner and Daschle, she paid her delinquent taxes in full long before Obama even became a serious candidate for president. If an error corrected in a timely fashion leads to this sort of public humiliation, why would anyone accept an appointment to a government post?

The best news of the day:

"I will not be the architect of America's health system reform, but I remain one of its more fervent supporters," Daschle said.

This is good news because Daschle was one who thought Hillarycare was not socialist enough! Maybe his hobnobbing with the health care industry over the last couple of years might have moved him back to the center, but I do not think so.

On that hobnobbing, the New Orc Times went on to say:

Mr. Daschle’s financial ties to major players in the health care industry may prove to be even more troublesome as health reform efforts proceed. Like many former power players in Washington, Mr. Daschle cashed in on his political savvy and influence to earn $5 million in recent years, including more than $2 million from Alston & Bird, a law and lobbying firm; more than $2 million from the private equity firm, InterMedia Advisors, which provided the car and driver; and hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to interest groups, including those representing health insurance plans, medical equipment distributors and pharmacy boards.

These facts would have created an even greater embarrassment, especially since he was acting as a lobbyist at a lobbying law firm (he is not a lawyer) and did not register as a lobbyist as required by law. CNN reports that all of this would have led to a "bruising confirmation hearing." And he would have come out of it damaged, no matter what the outcome.

BTW, the Sissy Award for the day goes to the Senior Senator from Iowa:

"I'm too emotionally upset to answer," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, when asked for his reaction.

Welcome to the NFL, Senator!

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