Barack Obama plans to make sure his administration finds everyone who’s not paying their taxes — and apparently hire them to work in government. The latest appointment to make an emergency call to H&R Block is Capricia Marshall, who worked for Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential campaigns until now. And while tax evader Tim Geithner’s appointment to run Treasury and the IRS still wins the irony competition, Marshall may come a close second:
President Obama’s choice as chief of protocol for the State Department, a position that carries the status of an ambassadorship, did not file tax returns for 2005 and 2006, errors she corrected last November.
The nominee, Capricia Penavic Marshall, has placed blame for the problem on the Postal Service and on miscommunication between her husband and their accountant.
No — please tell me she didn’t just blame the Post Office for losing her returns two years in a row. Yes, she did:
In her written answers and in accounts she gave to government officials, Ms. Marshall has said the errors were unintentional. She has said that her husband failed to recognize that the couple’s accountant had included the tax returns for 2005 in a binder he provided with copies of the returns, and that the actual paperwork was never mailed.
The couple learned something was awry, Ms. Marshall has said, when the Internal Revenue Service notified them last fall that their 2006 return had never arrived. She wrote that an agent “advised us that there were a large number of tax returns misplaced by the D.C. post office for the 2006 tax year.”
That call led the couple to the discovery that the authorities had no record of their returns for 2005 and 2006. No late fees or penalties were assessed when they later submitted the returns.
Does the dog eat her homework, too?
It seems awfully convenient that the one post office that lost “a large number of tax returns” was the one that would handle returns for most federal officeholders and their staffs, too. Isn’t it a little remarkable that the IRS didn’t penalize the Marshalls for late returns? Those of us who don’t work on Hillary Clinton’s staff would not get treated so kindly. Besides, If the DC post office lost “a large number of tax returns” in 2006, why did that let them off the hook for 2005?
Unless the Marshalls somehow managed to pull off the remarkable feat of getting exactly the right amount of tax withheld two years in a row, they would either have had to write a check to the IRS or get one back as a refund. Does Marshall mean to tell us that these two successful people and their accountant never noticed that the check didn’t clear or that they didn’t get the refund? How have they balanced their checkbook since 2005? Of course, given the way this administration spends money, a balanced checkbook might be a disqualifier.
And what will Marshall do once she takes her job?
The protocol chief customarily helps plan events for visiting leaders and helps oversee protocol matters for the president and vice president abroad.
Well, she’s certainly proven adept at planning and process, hasn’t she?
No one doubts that the president who gave Region 1 DVDs to the British Prime Minister as an official gift and an iPod to the Queen with his own speeches preloaded needs a Chief of Protocol — and needs one very badly. However, can this administration pick someone — anyone — who has paid their taxes properly?