Disappointing Daschle


Filed Under General on Feb 3 

If the technology existed to embed a background song into this blog post, right now you’d be hearing the immortal and unmistakable bass guitar riffs along with the sound effects associated with Pink Floyd’s Money. As I’m limited by the textual realm, I’ll insert some of the lyrics where I see fit.

At what point does a cabinet nominee’s failure to honestly declare their income (from all sources) and properly pay the taxes associated with said income disqualify them from serving at the highest levels of government?

So far we’ve seen the newly sworn in SECTREAS Tim Geithner get away with the “TurboTax ate my self-employment tax” excuse as the reason why he neglected to pay his fair share. I read his explanation and came away less than impressed. Over the past six years I’ve used that software program to file my own taxes – complete with self employment tax – and have somehow managed to get the amounts right. One would think someone aiming to run the nation’s tax collection system would at least be able to get his own taxes right – or pay somebody to do it for him. Oh well. Welcome to the age of Obama – where experience and proven competence have no standing as qualifications for any job.

Money, get back.
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack.

Enter Tom Daschle. He has the singular honor of having been the first sitting senate leader of either party to lose a re-election bid in 52 years. As senate majority leader he managed to run the Senate at a glacial speed and was known for being constantly “disappointed” about one issue or another. Having been tossed from the Senate, he did what most ex-senators do – he became a lobbyist. Evidently lobbying brings in a good paycheck. Daschle has pulled in about $5 million over the past few years. It’s a good gig if you can get it.

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay.

During his less-than stellar tenure in the Senate, Daschle railed against what he called “Benedict Arnold” corporations for not paying what he believed to be their “fair share” in taxes. Well, in the past few days we’ve learned that Daschle must have learned a few tricks from the very people he despised. Turns out he somehow managed not to declare some $255,000 in income from 2005-2007.

Money, it’s a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.

Daschle would have us believe this income – centering on a car and driver provided to him by a wealthy friend – was simply misunderstood by him to be a “favor by an old friend”. I believe Daschle less than I believe Geithner.

New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I’ll buy me a football team.

I have a friend who occasionally gives me a ride to or from the airport. This “favor” is provided when my departure time coincides with the time he goes to work or my arrival time coincides with the time he leaves the office to go home. Usually this “favor” requires that I buy him a soda at the 7-11. If those stars don’t align, I shell out about $60 for a cab ride home. That, Mr. Daschle, is the definition of a “favor”.

I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear Jet.

Daschle got the unlimited use of a car and chauffer whenever he felt the need. Evidently he got used to the service as senate majority leader and found a way to continue it as a private citizen – never bothering to understand that private citizens pay for that kind of service. Daschle can downplay this discrepancy all he wants. I’m not buying it. If the roles were reversed and this was a Republican nominee with the same tax problem, Daschle would be calling for his head to be placed on a pike on the Capitol lawn.

Money, it’s a crime.
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie.

Most private citizens in the DC area don’t have a car and chauffer on standby. There’s no place to park in DC and driving there borders on the insane. If I have to go into DC, I use the Metro. Tom Daschle and the rest of his limousine liberal posse would feel uncomfortable using a mode of transportation which involved so many common people.

I have to wonder just how close Daschle is to the door on the Team Obama Bus. Already comparisons are being made between him and the tax evasion poster girl Leona Helmsley. That can’t be good. Yes, I know that Obama has proclaimed his unqualified support for good old Tom. That said, such a declaration has often been the last step before a nominee has withdrawn for “personal reasons”. Despite his best mea maxima culpa, Daschle’s “sell by” date has long since come and gone.