Editorial: Obama's Taxing Trend
And then along came another. Just when Americans thought they had heard the end of the back-tax scandal consuming so many of the Democratic President's nominees, news broke that Kathleen Sebelius, the Democratic governor of Kansas, was just forced to repay nearly $8000 in previously owed taxes and interest.
Gov. Sebelius, who has been nominated to head up Health and Human Services, had hired an accountant to comb through her taxes—and discovered that, lo and behold, she and her husband, a federal judge, owed $7040 in taxes, and $878 in interest—all for the 2005-2007 tax years. She then sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee, explaining her “unintentional errors.”
Governor Sebelius joins a long list of Obama appointees who have recently admitted to tax “errors:” Tom Daschle (first Health and Human Services nominee), Timothy Geithner (now-confirmed Treasury Secretary), Nancy Killefer (first CPO nominee), Rep. Hilda Solis (now Labor Secretary—her husband owed taxes on his business), Ron Kirk (now-confirmed Trade Representative), and now this. And one is left to wonder if “tax problems” have become necessary prerequisites for cabinet-level nomination in the Obama Administration.
The typical Obama response (invariably accompanied by a casual shrug) is that his minion's tax scams don't really amount to all that much, so just forget about it.
In essence, its not the principle that matters, but the degree. If that is true, then why was such a fuss made about Joe the Plumber, when the liberal media discovered $1200 in owed tax monies? Does this principle apply only to the Democratic elite, and not to working-class Americans? Or must all taxpayers abide by the same rules—including those in public office?
Yes; it is true that, compared to the tax and fee problems of now-confirmed Timothy Geithner ($40,000) and now-withdrawn Tom Daschle ($140,000), Governor Sebelius' back taxes appear to be small. Even a Wall Street Journal Blog makes that point twice, stating that her back-tax numbers are not “rising to the level” and are “far below” those of Daschle. The WSJ article then closes with this gem:
An Obama administration official told the WSJ the White House had seen the tax issues in the vetting process, but they were too minor to get in the way of her nomination.
“Too minor.” Tell that to all the Americans who are being incessantly hounded by the IRS for the pittance in back-taxes that they owe and are struggling to pay. It's unlikely that the IRS will consider their tax debt “too minor”—even with Mr. Geithner now in charge.
Unfortunately for honest American taxpayers, the Senate seemed more interested in praising the Kansas Governor than questioning Obama's vetting of his nominees. The Democratic Chair of the Senate Finance Committe, Senator Baucus (D-MT), immediately issued a statement of support after the news leaked.
Too bad that the same standard is not applied to the millions of Americans who will dutifully put their checks in the mail later this month. Or, on a second thought, maybe instead, they, like Mr. Obama's appointees, should simply pocket the cash—and then ask Mr. Baucus for their own “Get Out of Jail Free” card.