Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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A Taxing Situation

Questions, questions, questions.  Sooooo many questions I have about how three of the people the president wants to be on his team could have tax issues.  One guy managed to make it onto the team, but he pretty much ruined it for the other two who had to take their ball and go home.

First question:  I thought that the Obama transition team was supposed to have the most complete, privacy-invading vetting process ever known to man.  So, you have to believe that Obama and his transitioners knew about the tax troubles of Tim Geither, Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer.  Did he think it wouldn't matter, especially when two of those three people (Geithner and Killefer) are supposed to help lead the way to a brighter economic future?

Second question:  If Geithner (Treasury Secretary) and Nancy Killefer (ex-chief White House performance officer nominee) know so much about money, how is it that they made mistakes with their own taxes?  These people should either be smart enough to correctly do them themselves, or smart enough to hire competent accountants to do their taxes for them.  If they can't do either of those things, I'm not sure I want them overseeing trillions of dollars.

Third, fourth, fifth, and maybe sixth questions:  Tom Daschle (ex-HHS Secretary nominee) tried to make good recently by paying $140,000 in back taxes and interest that he owed for the personal car and driver he enjoyed for free courtesy of a private equity firm.  Daschle has called his failure to pay those taxes on time "completely inadvertant."  Really?  That seems like a pretty big oversight.  Did the firm not let him know that he needed to pay taxes on these things?  And, where's his accountant?  For some reason, I just don't believe that a guy who had a personal car and driver was spending his time in the back seat doing his own taxes.  Is it really that hard to find good help?

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