In the top picks for President Obama’s cabinet a plague of tax issues seems to be creating quite a stir. The latest embarrassment has been the finding that Tom Daschle has over $140,000 in unpaid taxes and interest. Now it appears that he is resigning in shame for not coming clean with this small accounting error. This comes on the heels of Nancy Killerfer’s problems with Washington D.C. unemployment tax and Timothy Geithner troubles with Social Security and Medicare taxes. Tom Daschle has recently withdrawn himself from heading up the Department of Health and Human Service under President Barack Obama. Nancy Killerfer also recently withdrew her name from consideration as President Obama’s Chief Performance Officer citing similar tax problems.
This may give us at least some sense of relief that there are checks and balances in place to show that breaking the law will not be tolerated. Our economy has already been demolished by those who have taken extreme risks to get ahead at the expense of the taxpayer. The last thing we need is more of our government officials violating our trust.
The question then remains: When/should Timothy Geithner resign? If there was intent to defraud the IRS of their due share, then we propose that he should resign. Of course no one “wants” to pay taxes, but it is the law and we need to have the person who is charged with the responsibility of mopping up the giant mess within our financial markets to have a clean record. We should not allow those that cannot follow the rules to be involved with setting our government policies when they are unable to do the same on the personal taxes.
If this problem is all about the complicated tax system, then that is a different story. Sure, taxes have become increasingly complicated with the number of deductions, credits and limitations available – but somehow, it seems that the next Treasury Secretary should be able to handle a 1040. Right?
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