So far, the incoming Barack Obama administration has given us a tax cheat/incompetent to run the IRS (Tim Geithner) and at least three lobbyists to regulate their industries (William Lynn, Mark Patterson, Neal Wolin). Now we’re back to tax evasion, and once again it’s a major Cabinet appointment:
ABC News has learned that the nomination of former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-SD, to be President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services has hit a traffic snarl on its way through the Senate Finance Committee.
The controversy deals with a car and driver lent to Mr. Daschle by a wealthy Democratic friend, a chauffer service the former Senator used for years without declaring their use on his taxes. …
Based in New York City, InterMedia Advisors is a private equity firm founded in part by longtime Daschle friend and Democratic fundraiser, Leo Hindery, the former president of the YES network (the Yankees’ and Devils’ broadcast network).
That same year he began his professional relationship with InterMedia 2005, Mr. Daschle began using the services of Hindery’s car and driver.
The Cadillac and driver were never part of Daschle’s official compensation package at InterMedia but Mr. Daschle — who as Senate Majority Leader enjoyed the use of a car and driver at taxpayer expense — didn’t declare their services on his income taxes, as tax laws require.
Daschle’s team claims that the former Senator deserves the credit for revealing the problem himself. Daschle did report this — but only after getting picked as HHS Secretary. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s when Geithner suddenly discovered that he owed Uncle Sam money too, only Daschle paid back a lot more: over $100,000.
How many more people will Obama nominate who either are too incompetent or too dishonest to declare all of their income and pay all of their taxes? Is this the new career track for tax cheats — a Cabinet office?
Update: Apparently, Daschle can’t even use the Geithner “I’m so stupid” excuse, as ABC also discovers that he flat-out failed to report direct income:
The report indicates that Daschle’s failure to pay more than $101,000 taxes on the car and driver a wealthy friend let him use from 2005 through 2007 is not the only tax issue the former Senate Majority Leader has been dealing with since his December nomination prompted a more thorough examination of his income tax returns.
Mr. Daschle also didn’t report $83,333 in consulting income in 2007.
Plus, Daschle claimed almost $15,000 in charitable donations over three years to organizations that don’t qualify for the deduction.
How many Americans make so much money that they could forget about $83,000 of it in a year?