I welcome President Obama’s efforts to court bipartisanship with Republic… (Pardon the interruption, but Madison just vomited all over my bed while watching “Blues Clues.” I didn’t think the episode was that bad. Upon further review, she also wretched in her crib overnight. OK, we’re all cleaned up and snuggled under blankies. Close supervision will commence.) …and in Congress, but the news that at least 2 of his Cabinet nominees have failed to pay substantial amounts in taxes is a little, um, taxing to this supporter.
First, now-Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004, but that didn’t stop a mostly Democratic Senate majority from confirming him. Now it emerges the big O’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, former Sen. Tom Daschle, failed to pay $128,203 in back taxes.
It’s troubling that the individual selected to lead us out of a financial mess caused by avarice and deception and positioned to head the IRS cheated on his taxes and still was confirmed by the United States Senate.
The problem is many of our corporate and political leaders feel they are entitled to skirt the rules like collecting $18B of taxpayer money in bonuses when their behavior may yet sink our country. It is bred into many of them early in the form of “special favors” from parents, teachers and draft boards when the indiscretions of these elite are treated differently than those committed by kids living in Newark or South Central LA. In the case of Secretary Geithner, it was the Senate that chose to look the other way.
It was refreshing to hear President Obama call last year’s Wall Street bonuses “shameful,” and to send a message to Citicorp to “fix it” when reports of their $50M corporate jet surfaced, but when he’s willing to seat people in his Cabinet who are essentially guilty of the same kind of greed and cheating of the Wall Street executives he scolds, well, that’s just hypocrisy.