May 29, 2024

There are so many ironies in all the flap about Obama’s cabinet nominations with tax problems.

So far, we’ve got three nominees who has tax problems – Tim Geithner, Tom Daschle, and Nancy Killefer. Tom and Nancy “withdrew” their nominations. But the only one who got confirmed will be the head of the IRS? It’s OK for the leader of the Treasury to have tax problems and not the others? That has got to the irony of all ironies.

And here are three people that most people would consider pretty good in financial matters.

Tim Geithner was the president of the NY Federal Reserve. Prior to that he was a director at the IMF. But, he failed to pay self-employment tax and says it was “careless, avoidable and unintentional”. If he can’t figure out how to pay taxes correctly (now as the head of the IRS), how will the rest of us non-financial experts figure it out?

Tom Daschle served on the Senate Finance and Ethics committee (as well as many others). Yet he had several tax problems. If one serves in the Senate Finance committee and can’t do taxes correctly (even with the help of an accountant), how can we do it correctly by ourselves?

Nancy Killefer is no stranger to finance and tax laws either. She was on the IRS oversight board and was the CFO of the Treasury. If she was able to get a lien for tax problems, I think it’s pretty much hopeless for the rest of us to do it right.

I’m glad that Obama admits he screwed up. But, I think his campaign promise of “changing Washington” is now demonstrated to be just words.