FEBRUARY 02, 2009
A second Barack Obama cabinet pick who for years evaded taxes suddenly became motivated to pay them during the vetting process and the administration famously known for promoting change wants Americans to forgive and forget.
A few weeks ago it was the cheating Treasury Secretary—considered by some to be a brilliant financial markets specialist—who committed an “honest mistake” when he forgot to pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes on his lucrative salary over several years. Timothy Geithner still got confirmed and now heads the crucial agency that promotes economic stability and ensures the nation’s financial security.
That probably means that Obama’s nominee for Health Secretary (former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle) may also get confirmed because, like his Treasury counterpart, he has made amends with a hard-to-swallow public apology and a long-overdue check to the Internal Revenue Service. Daschle finally paid $140,000 in back taxes on the millions of dollars he has raked in over the years as a health industry “consultant” to firms that incidentally stand to gain millions from the work he’ll do as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Daschle even wrote a heart felt letter to the ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee, who will meet with him this week to discuss the matter. In the letter, published by several media outlets, Daschle writes that he’s “deeply embarrassed and disappointed” by the errors which he assures were “unintentional.” He apologizes for his wrongdoings and profoundly regrets that the committee has to devote time to them.
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