Washington Times – Daschle gave speech on tax cheats

Oh the irony… Prosecute Daschle to the extent of the law just as he advocated… Let him be one of the people…

Go to the source to hear the clip…

If Tom Daschle had his way, Tom Daschle would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for failing to pay his taxes.

At least according to the old Tom Daschle, who gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor about the scourge of tax scofflaws.

“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter,” the former Senate Majority Leader said in 1998 during a debate on a bill reforming the Internal Revenue Service.

The blogosphere went wild after Mr. Daschle’s Tuesday withdrawal from his nomination to be Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. Discovered in the blitz was a campaign ad from 1986, when the former South Dakota Democrat was running for election. Click here to see the ad.

Then-Rep. Daschle is shown driving a beat-up, old 1971 Pontiac in Washington as a narrator talks of his humble needs. “Among Washington’s BMWs and limos, is this: Since 1971, the old Pontiac has served its owner well. Sure it’s rusted, and it burns a little oil,” the narrator says. “But after 15 years and 238,000 miles, Tom Daschle still drives his old car to work every day. Maybe he’s sentimental — or just cheap. Whatever the case, isn’t it too bad the rest of Washington doesn’t understand that a penny saved . . . is a penny earned.”

Mr. Daschle was the third high-profile nominee by President Obama to bow out, after belatedly paying nearly $140,000 in penalties and interest for a chauffeured limousine provided by a wealthy Democratic donor. He said he assumed he was getting a free ride and simply didn’t know that the limo should have been considered “imputed income.” On Tuesday, performance officer nominee Nancy Killefer also dropped out because she, too, had tax problems. Mr. Obama initially had tapped Bill Richardson to be Commerce secretary, but the New Mexico governor withdrew amid a grand jury investigation into a state contract awarded to his political donors.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner slipped through Senate hearings before Mr. Obama took the oath of office, despite having failed to pay $34,000.

Mr. Daschle, who emerged ashen-faced from a Senate hearing room Monday night after a closed-door grilling by Finance Committee members about the unpaid taxes, was said to still hold popularity among his former colleagues. But some vowed to question him hard over the scandal, and others still held old grudges.

Some senators remember 2001, when Mr. Daschle, then the Senate Democratic leader, helped torpedo President Bush’s choice to head the Labor Department, Linda Chavez. The Hispanic woman admitted housing an illegal immigrant and giving her money, which was more than Mr. Daschle could bear. “The labor secretary ought to set the example,” he said.

Mr. Obama was reportedly furious over the continuing stream of nominees who failed to pay their taxes. In a series of mea culpas on TV, he said he had “screwed up” and “messed up.” “This is a self-induced injury that I’m angry about, and we’re going to make sure we get it fixed,” Mr. Obama said. “We can’t afford glitches, because right now, what I should be spending time talking to you about is how we’re going to put 3 [million] to 4 million people back to work.”

via Washington Times – Daschle gave speech on tax cheats .

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Daschle Crawls Under The Bus With Killefer

And Gibbs ends by saying there is nothing wrong with the vetting process… These choices are being made knowing the problems these people have, it would only be a problem if these problems were discovered outside of the vetting process only… The problem is the choice of who is being looked at to start with…

As of yesterday Obama was 110% behind Daschle… Today Nancy Killefer got exposed and dropped out… Now Daschle the same day… Obama’s trial and error management is just that… Now that the public is pissed, Daschle is forced to drop out too, the politcal ash is starting to settle…

Too bad Republicans and the people did not put that much pressure on the Timothy Geithner nomination…

Change You Can Believe In! 

CNN) — Former Sen. Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a statement Tuesday from the White House.

Former Sen. Tom Daschle apologized for making mistakes on his tax records.

Daschle had been fighting to save his nomination as HHS secretary following controversy over his tax records and questions over his work in a field that some consider lobbying.

In a statement announcing his withdrawal, Daschle said it was an honor to be chosen to lead the reform of America’s health care system.

“But if 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that this work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction,” he said.

“Right now, I am not that leader, and will not be a distraction. The focus of Congress should be on the urgent business of moving the president’s economic agenda forward, including affordable health care for every American.”

The Obama administration had stood by his side, and fellow Democrats lined up behind him, but Daschle’s problems, coupled with other nominees’ issues, gave critics ammunition to question President Obama’s call for a “new era of responsibility.”

The president said Tuesday he accepts Daschle’s decision “with sadness and regret.”

Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake, and this decision, cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country, from his years in the military to his decades of public service. Now we must move forward, with our plan to lift this economy and put people back to work,” Obama said in a statement.

Daschle’s resignation came hours after Nancy Killefer’s withdrawal as Obama’s chief performance officer, a new post in the administration.

Officials said privately the reason for Killefer’s withdrawal was unspecified tax issues. The much-touted post was designed to scrub the federal budget.

Daschle, the former Senate majority leader, apologized Monday for failing to pay his taxes in full. He said earlier he was “deeply embarrassed” for a series of errors that included failing to report $15,000 in charitable donations, unreported car service and more than $80,000 in unreported income from consulting.

Daschle recently filed amended tax returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest for 2005-2007.

A New York Times editorial on Tuesday called for Daschle to withdraw.

The paper’s editorial board particularly took issue with Daschle saying he identified the unpaid taxes in June but did not pay them until his nomination for the top post at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The editorial also criticized Daschle for generating a sizable income from health-related industries while working in the private sector.

“Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform,” the editorial said.

Shortly after news of the tax quandary broke, a number of Democratic senators released statements expressing their support for Daschle, including Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Charles Schumer of New York, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. In their opinions, Daschle identified the problem and corrected it.

Daschle’s supporters said that given his record of three decades of public service, he was still the right man for the job.

“One cannot underestimate how widely admired Tom Daschle is in Washington for his integrity, for his public service. And many, many Democrats look to him as one of the favorite people. He’s got a lot of support in this White House, starting with the president,” said David Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN.

Obama and Daschle have a longstanding relationship. Daschle endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination in February 2007 — nearly 11 months before the first contest. Daschle was also considered to be a contender for Obama’s No. 2 spot.

Daschle also has a history with members of Congress. He represented South Dakota in the House of Representatives for four terms, and he served in the Senate for three terms. He was the Senate majority leader from June 2001 to January 2003, and was the minority leader before losing his re-election bid in 2004.

Daschle’s work in his post-Senate years was also a point of contention on his path to confirmation.

After leaving the Senate, Daschle went on to serve as a special public policy adviser at the law firm Alston & Bird.

According to the firm’s Web site, Daschle advised clients on “issues related to financial services, health care, energy, telecommunications and taxes.”

His work, for which he reportedly made millions, seemed to contradict Obama’s strict rules on lobbyists working in his administration.

Promising “a new era of openness in our country,” Obama signed executive orders relating to ethics guidelines for staff members as one of his first acts in office.

“If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years,” the president said.

The administration had defended its choice of Daschle, pointing out that he was not technically a lobbyist.

“If you’re not registered to lobby, you can’t be a lobbyist,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, according to Time.com. Time.com: When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist?

Daschle and Kellifer were not the first of Obama’s nominees to come under scrutiny.

Before Tim Geithner was confirmed as treasury secretary, he was questioned over concerns involving his personal taxes and the immigration status of a former housekeeper.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson also withdrew his nomination to be commerce secretary, citing the distraction of a federal investigation into ties to a company that has done business with his state.

Given Obama’s pledge for “unprecedented transparency, rigorous oversight and clear accountability,” some said the controversy surrounding Obama’s appointments are calling into question the president’s vetting process.

“Mr. President, your picks to help run the federal government don’t have to be perfect, but is it too much to ask that they pay like everyone else, to keep that same government functioning? And more importantly, that they don’t wait until everyone, including you, is watching?” CNN’s Campbell Brown wrote in a commentary.Read the commentary

Asked if the president is embarrassed by the slew of appointment problems, Gibbs was quick to negate that idea.

“No, I don’t think that — that we believe there’s any problem in the vetting,” Gibbs said Monday.

via Daschle withdraws as HHS nominee – CNN.com.

Performance Czar Withdraws After Tax Evasion

What did Obama do? Did he pick his choices from an IRS list of tax evaders? I guess she dropped out (crawled under bus with a little prodding) because Obama has to sacrifice someone at this stage of the tax evaders invasion…

So the change Obama was talking about was having the most tax evaders in his administration as possible… This administration thinks it is above the law and the sad part is it is only starting

What is really sad is that Congress already approved other members of the administration that have more severe violations and ties to lobbyists and will wield much more power in their new posts…

I dub this administration EvasionGate…

Change You Can Believe In!

WASHINGTON (AP) – Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.

Killefer was the second major Obama administration nominee to withdraw and the third to have tax problems complicate their nomination after President Barack Obama announced their selection.

“Nancy Killefer has decided to withdraw her nomination, and we accepted her withdrawal,” Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said Tuesday. The 55-year-old executive with consulting giant McKinsey & Co., was expected to explain her reasons for pulling out later in the day.

When her selection was announced by Obama on Jan. 7, The Associated Press disclosed that in 2005 the District of Columbia government had filed a $946.69 tax lien on her home for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help.

Since then, administration officials refused to answer questions about the tax error, which she resolved five months after the lien was filed. Obama’s first choice for commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, took his name out of consideration when his confirmation appeared headed toward complications because of a grand jury investigation over how state contracts were issued to political donors.

More recently, Timothy Geithner was confirmed as Treasury secretary despite belatedly paying $34,000 in income taxes, and Tom Daschle is still waiting to see if his late payment of more than $128,000 in income taxes will harm his nomination to be health and human services secretary.

On paper, Killefer brought impressive credentials to the two jobs Obama selected her for: deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, which requires Senate confirmation, and a new White House post, chief performance officer for the entire federal government, which does not require confirmation.

Killefer oversees McKinsey’s management consulting for government clients. During 1997-2000 in the Clinton administration, Killefer was assistant Treasury secretary for management. As such she was the chief financial officer and chief operating officer for the Treasury and its 160,000 employees and led a modernization of its largest component, the Internal Revenue Service.

But for nearly a month, the administration had refused to answer how its choice to make government workers more efficient and more responsive had bungled her household payroll taxes.

The AP reported that on March 7, 2005, the D.C. Department of Employment Services slapped a tax lien on her home in the tony Wesley Heights neighborhood. The local government alleged that just three years after she left the high-powered Treasury post she began to fail to pay unemployment compensation tax for a household employee. And she failed to make the required quarterly payments for a year and half, whereupon a lien for $946.69 was placed on her home.

That sum included $298 in unpaid taxes, $48.69 in interest and $600 in penalties. The lien was filed March 7, 2005, but Killefer didn’t get the lien extinguished for almost five months, not until July 29.

During that period, Killefer and her husband, an economics professor, had a teenage son and daughter, but she had two nannies and a personal assistant to run her life when she was on the road, she told Harvard business students back then. 

via Official: Performance czar withdraws candidacy.

Obama’s Dirty Dozen (17 lobbyists)

Not really much of a surpise to me… And the republicans in congress are just letting them pass through when they have had the opportunity to block a couple of them…

Change You Can Believe In!

It is easy to project yourself as a clean politician after making your debut in South Side Chicago with buddies like Rahm Emanuel. US president Obama has appointed more than 17 lobbyists after talking big on anti-lobbyist Governance and rooting corruption out of the American Government.

Dreams are dreams. Facts are facts. President Obama is surrounded by corrupt lobbyists ready to sell America cheap. One good silver lining – if Obama Adminsitration’s corruption index is 10, Bush Administration’s was 95.

Take the example of the newest exposure of doubletalk from Obama! After calling for clean Governance, he appoints a Treasury Secretary who “forgot” to pay for his ‘business tax’ for years! Tom Daschle, a top lobbyist in Washington, who has amended his U.S. tax forms to pay back taxes with interest, is now Obama’s best choice for America’s chief health official.

Daschle, 61, paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest on Jan. 2, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified administration officials. The back taxes involved unreported consulting fees, questionable charitable contributions and a car and driver provided by Democratic Party donor Leo Hindery Jr., a founder of the private equity firm InterMedia Advisors, according to a confidential draft report prepared by the Senate Finance Committee, the Washington Post reported.

No wonder Obama does not want to prosecute the Bush Administration for their wrong doings! No wonder Obama spent 170 million dollars in inauguration extravaganza when common American families were facing loss of jobs, lack of healthcare, and foreclosures!

Would you believe, Obama had to issue 17 waivers on his own rule in less than two weeks for allowing lobbyist enter his Administration and control Governance of America!

via IndiaDaily – Obama appointed more than 17 lobbyists after talking big on anti-lobbyist, clean Governance.

Daschle’s Millions

Daschle should not be approved. Now it has come to light that he waited a month before disclosing his tax evading problems. This is a direct contradiction of the news that he immediately notified the administration of his problem when he was nominated… Along with this Daschle knew of the problem back in June 2008 and only took care of it after he was nominated and knew it would be a problem… Same old same old as the Obama administation, keep quiet until you have been backed into a corner… It also shows the Obama administration lied to the public when it said that he had notified them as soon as he was nominated.

Now more disturbing than this is the fact that he made millions from the industry he will be responsible for overhauling. This is a major conflict of interest and he should withdraw his name immediately.

Change You Can Believe In!

Thomas A. Daschle waited nearly a month after being nominated to be secretary of health and human services before informing Barack Obama that he had not paid years of back taxes for the use of a car and driver provided by a wealthy New York investor.

Daschle, one of Obama’s earliest and most ardent campaign supporters, paid $140,000 to the U.S. Treasury on Jan. 2 and about two days later informed the White House and the Senate Finance Committee, according to an account provided by his spokeswoman and confirmed by the Obama administration.

Although Daschle had known since June 2008 that he needed to correct his tax returns, he never expected the amount to be such a “jaw-dropping” sum and “thought it was being taken care of” by his accountant, spokeswoman Jenny Backus said.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said last night that Obama stands behind his friend and confidant. “The president believes nobody’s perfect but that nobody’s hiding anything,” Gibbs said.

How he made millions
The disclosure of Daschle’s tax problems coincided with the release of the financial statement he submitted to the Office of Government Ethics, which details for the first time exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington.

Daschle’s expertise and insights, gleaned over 26 years in Congress, earned him more than $5 million over the past two years, including $220,000 from the health-care industry, and perks such as a chauffeured Cadillac, according to the documents.

In mid-December, Obama’s transition team discovered that $15,000 of the $276,000 in charitable contributions claimed by Daschle and his wife over three years lacked proper receipts. But the former Senate majority leader did not mention the larger tax liability until after his accountant had filed amended returns for him.

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a private session tomorrow to discuss Daschle’s tax problems. Daschle, visiting an ailing relative, was unavailable for comment this weekend, and aides refused to release his tax returns.

Meanwhile, the disclosure of Daschle’s lucrative ties to private companies with Washington interests have begun to raise eyebrows among those who expected Obama to be wary of relying on wealthy insiders to stock his administration.

“Daschle is the quintessential Washington story. You leave a powerful position, and you leverage it to make a fortune,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit government watchdog group. “He is not alone . . . [and] it would be hard for Obama to fill his administration without ever turning to someone like that. That said, these are the kind of Washington insiders that Obama campaigned against.”

The Obama team is “learning that it’s easier to campaign on that than govern under it,” Sloan added. The problem is that “it looks disingenuous.”

Obama condemned lobbyists
In his principal campaign speech on government ethics in June 2007, candidate Obama decried the “morally offensive conduct” of lobbyists and lawmakers who help large industries and special interests exercise “an effective veto on our progress.” He singled out the drug and insurance industries for particular scorn, saying that they had pushed for a new Medicare prescription drug benefit and that lawmakers and Bush appointees who made it happen were rewarded with “cushy lobbying jobs that pay millions.”

 

Americans, Obama said, “are hungry for a new kind of politics.”

In recent months, Daschle has advocated for changes to the U.S. health system that are unpopular with sizable portions of the industry, including some physicians, drugmakers and insurance companies. Daschle has nonetheless prospered from a stream of income from the health sector, including $220,000 in speaking fees in the past two years, according to the ethics filing.

He also has been a trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. For part of the $2 million he received from the law firm Alston & Bird over the past two years, Daschle also reported that he gave “policy advice” to United Health, a conglomerate that sells insurance, helps the government administer Medicaid, advises drug companies and physicians and dispenses prescriptions.

The 12 organizations or companies that paid Daschle speaking fees, ranging from $12,000 to $30,000, included the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and America’s Health Insurance Plans, an influential trade group.

 

The Health Industry Distributors Association, a trade association representing medical product distributors, wrote to Daschle last week to express concerns about proposed Medicare changes and reminded him of the $14,000 speech he delivered at its conference last year.

“As you may recall from speaking to some of our members during HIDA’s 2008 Executive Conference in Miami, where you were the keynote speaker, a competitive bidding program will undermine access to quality care for millions of beneficiaries,” said the letter, which was posted on the group’s Web site.

In a letter sent to the HHS ethics office on Jan. 16, Daschle did not list any specific entities that would pose a conflict of interest; he pledged instead not to participate for the next year in particular matters in which “a former client of mine is a party or represents a party.”

 

When he left the Senate in early 2005, Daschle held a more modest portfolio, according to the financial disclosure report he filed with the Secretary of the Senate.

Four pages in length, the document listed financial holdings ranging from $255,000 to $775,000. All of his money was held in investment funds and a retirement account, the two largest being a Fidelity/First Union capital management fund and a Vanguard fund, each of which held between $50,000 and $100,000. He was paid $175,700 as Senate leader and did not have any specific stock holdings.

Daschle did not list his Washington home in the Foxhall neighborhood, which, according to records, he and his wife, Linda, purchased in 2003 for $1.9 million. It is now valued at $2.9 million.

Impossible to determine net worth
It is impossible to determine Daschle’s current net worth with precision because his assets and income are reported in ranges. He also wrote that the value of some assets was “not readily ascertainable,” including profit-sharing arrangements with InterMedia Partners, owned by Leo J. Hindery Jr., a longtime donor to Democratic campaigns and causes, and stock options granted to him by the commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis and by ethanol research company Mascoma Corp.

Spokeswoman Backus said that Daschle did “extensive work for four years, raising funds” for InterMedia from investors. Daschle, a Senate Finance Committee veteran, “naively” thought the car service Hindery provided was “nothing more than a generous offer from a friend,” she said.

Daschle collected director’s fees from five companies and organizations, including the nonprofit Freedom Forum, which advocates free press and speech rights; the bioenergy company Prime BioSolutions; and the Mascoma ethanol research company. The international energy company BP Corp. alone paid him $250,000 in director’s fees.

He also received a $21,000 advance for a book on resolving the health-care crisis.

Daschle listed two residences, each valued at $100,000 to $250,000 — one in Aberdeen, S.D., the other in Altus, Okla.

‘Gold standard for integrity’
Several Democrats on Capitol Hill defended Daschle.

“He’s the gold standard for integrity in government,” said former Daschle aide Andrea LaRue, now a partner in the government relations firm NVG. “The fact that he’s done so much to fix the honest mistakes shouldn’t be held against a man who has had such a long and distinguished career.”

via Daschle delayed revealing tax glitch – Washington Post- msnbc.com.

“Liberals don’t mind if the tax rate goes up because they’re not going to pay it anyway”

This is the quote of the year… So true

During our interview today on “This Week” I asked Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., of the joint economic committee whether ABC News’ report this week that President Obama’s pick for health and human services secretary had to pay about $128,000 in back taxes could disqualify him from the job.

“It may be,” DeMint told me.

“I want to find out more about it. But it’s disheartening, obviously. I mean people are struggling to pay taxes on a very small amount of income,” DeMint said.

“I can see now why liberals don’t mind if the tax rate goes up because they’re not going to pay it anyway. So, yeah it frustrates me. It did with our treasury nominee. But we need to look at it and I wish they would just say, ‘hey, our tax code is just incomprehensible. We need to change it.'”

via George’s Bottom Line.

Obama Wag(s)y(o)u Steak Celebration

Obama and Congress are demanding no bonuses for Wall Street…. Well no BONUSES or WAGYU steak ($125 Per Steak!!!!) for Politicians…

Turn up the heat… in the White House that is… The rest of American must turn down their thermostats to save the environment…

All this in celebration of the Pork Package that made it through the House… Well I guess they wanted to make sure their celebration was Kosher and pork free, unlike their stimulus package…

This man is a contradiction of everything Americans voted for… The sad thing is the liberals that voted him in do not see it yet…


Change You Can Believe In!

So I listened today as Barack Obama scolded Wall Street executives for their bonuses last year, and while I was listening to him I couldn’t stop thinking about the swank dinner party that Obama threw last night celebrating the house passing his massive spending bill.

While Obama is scolding executives for their spending, there seems to be no limit to what he is willing to spend. First, if you haven’t heard, he has brought his “private chef” from Chicago to the White House. That’s right, Obama had a private chef before he was president, doesn’t everybody? The old White House chef will also stay so we will be paying them both to feed Obama and his family.

This just after the most expensive inaugural event in our nations history, just after his exclusive Hawaii vacation.

Anyway, back to last night, he invited a bunch of congressmen and senators to dinner to celebrate his new “pork” bill passing the house, which started with alcoholic beverages for everybody and included “wagyu steak” on the menu. I know, I know, what’s wagyu steak your probably wondering? Look it up! It’s meat that cost $125 per pound, and don’t rush out to the grocery store to buy some because it’s something reserved for only the upper crust of society, and our politicians since they eat on our tax dollar. This is change we can depend on for sure!

Don’t even get me started on the spending bill that passed and created this celebration. My advise is take a look at the details for yourself. There is more pork in this thing than there is in the Jimmy Dean sausage factory! Creating jobs they say…..yeah right! It’s more like political paybacks and buying votes! I feel sure your great grandchildren won’t mind paying for all of this, since they are the ones that will pay.

So don’t forget to turn your thermostat down tonight, Obama has called on us all to make sacrifices…remember?

In the mean time, he will continue to sacrifice as much of our tax dollars as he possibly can while in office, dancing around and shouting, “Yes We Can!”

via Newsvine – Obama’s Wagyu Steak Celebration.