Monday, February 2, 2009

"Only little people pay taxes"

“Only little people pay taxes.” – Leona Helmsly To that I might add, “and Democrats in high places when cornered.” We have had Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HHS Secretary nominee Tom Daschle. And we had rumors of tax problems with potential Senator Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. That's a pretty long list in a short period of time. Tim Geithner should never have been confirmed, nor should be Tom Daschle. We can’t undo Geithner but we should take a better look at Daschle. Not only did he know about his tax problem in June, but he failed to act until discovered by the transition team in January. The very specific amounts of the value of the car and driver services appears to indicate a 1099 was filed and he ignored it, but we won’t know that unless asked by a committee member. But there are other items in Daschle’s past that throw doubt on his integrity. He allowed his wife to represent Boeing, while he was Senate Minority and Majority leader, and of course in a position to influence legislation on the Air Force Tanker program. This unusual lease back program was criticized by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office as being highly unfavorable to the government. It eventually blew up when it was discovered that the Air Force contracting officer had been offered a job by the CFO of Boeing during the selection process that chose Boeing over competitor Northrop Grumman/EADS. Both the contracting officer and the CFO served federal prison time for their misdeeds. While lobbying the Congress by a Senator’s spouse is not an ethics violation under the extraordinarily lax Senate rules, it certainly goes against the grain of accepted first world business practices. The other question is what the heck did Daschle do to warrant a million dollar a year salary from Leo Hindery? What were his duties as Chairman of the Advisory Committee of InterMedia? Sounds pretty vague. Who else was on the committee he chaired? Was this a “no show” job? A very uncurious press hasn’t even posed these questions, much less answered them. So much for “Hope and Change.”

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