“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.” — Senator Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, May 7, 1998, p. S4507
Tom Daschle, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, is singing a different tune today.
“I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required
me to amend my tax returns,” said Daschle, the former Senate Democratic
leader. “I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have
had to devote time to them.”
The apology came more than seven weeks after Obama nominated him and a month after Daschle decided it would be a good idea to file amended tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest on income he apparently forgot about. According to the Senate Finance Committee’s report, there are still unresolved issues concerning Daschle’s income and charitable contributions.
President Obama and leading Democrats, as they did for Treasury Secretary Geithner, rallied around Dacshle’s tax cheating.
Yesterday, Politico’s Jonathan Martin and John Bresnahan reported Obama remains committed to Daschle’s
nomination. Today, Obama reaffirmed his support for Daschle. When he was asked if he still supports Daschle despite tax “errors,” Obama gave a one-word reply, “absolutely.”
On Saturday, Democratic senators John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Ted Kennedy and Charles Schumer defended Daschle.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Senator Max Baucus, issued a statement supporting Daschle’s confirmation.
According to Chris Wallace, all of this Democrat support for tax cheats lead one of the top Republicans in the House to say:
“Listen, no wonder that Democrats don’t mind raising people’s taxes, because they don’t end up paying them themselves.”