MARCH 03, 2009
In what may seem like a bad joke, yet another top-level appointee in the Obama Administration for years failed to pay taxes but plans to make amends before getting confirmed.
Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, Obama’s nominee for U.S. trade representative, blew off the Internal Revenue Service for several years and has agreed to pay about $10,000 in back taxes now that his misdeeds have gone public.
It turns out that Kirk conveniently omitted close to $40,000 in income for approximately 16 speaking engagements from 2005 to 2007. The discrepancies were discovered during a review by the Senate Finance Committee, which will hold a hearing on Kirk’s nomination next week.
Kirk is the fourth Obama nominee who repeatedly stiffed the federal government out of substantial tax dollars. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner owed more than $34,000 in taxes before he took office and former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle was forced to withdraw as Health Secretary nominee because he owed more than $100,000 in taxes. Obama’s pick for chief performance officer (Nancy Killefer) also withdrew because of tax problems.
In each case Obama supported the candidates and Kirk is no exception because his tax issue is “minor,” according to the White House, and his nomination is on track. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Montana Democrat Max Baucus, said Kirk is still “the right person for this job and I will move his nomination quickly.”
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