Tuesday, February 3, 2009

3 of Obamas picks for cabinet have tried to not pay taxes.

This Geithner, the guy that's been appointed Treasury secretary, failed to pay his taxes and his nanny's taxes, too. "No big deal. Oh, no, we need this guy so much, we can't let these little technicalities hold him back." He didn't pay his taxes! He was audited by the IRS. Now one of the things about this that's curious to me, he worked at the IMF, the International Monetary Fund and apparently when you work there you're an independent contractor, you are self-employed, as such, there are no tax deductions, you are paid the gross. Thus it is up to you to file quarterly estimates.

He didn't do this for a number of years on the basis that it just slipped his mind? That he wasn't aware? The guy ran the New York Federal Reserve. He is said to be the only guy that can run the Treasury department to bail us out of all the problems that we're in, and he doesn't know about -- I just find this hard to believe. Forgot it? The nanny thing is one thing, that's equally as problematic, but the thing about this that gets me is that he's getting a pass and claimed not to know he had to pay taxes on gross income. I know he didn't blame his wife like he didn't blame anybody else, but some of this stuff is just unbelievable.

These are the smartest people in the world, and they get away, whether they're in Chicago or in Washington, of acting in the stupidest ways you can possibly imagine educated people to act. Jose Serrano, a Democrat congressman from New York, has proposed an amendment to the constitution to repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment. Now, for those of you who voted for Obama, the Twenty-Second Amendment is the amendment which limits the presidency to two terms of four years. Jose Serrano not waiting for the inauguration, they want to eliminate the Twenty-Second Amendment so that Obama could perhaps serve forever.

Tom Daschle has withdrawn as the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Maybe President Obama should do what he did following Bill Richardson's withdrawal as the Commerce Secretary nominee -- look to a Republican. There's a better chance of avoiding an ethics problem that way.

UPDATE: Nancy Killefer, Obama's nominee for "Chief Performance Officer," an OMB position, has also withdrawn due to tax payment issues.

I'm reminded of David Frum's story about the legendary Harvard Law School professor Paul Bator, whose course in civil procedure I had the privilege of taking when he visited at Stanford. David recalls how Bator, one of the few conservatives teaching at an elite law school, told his class the story of James Landis. Landis was a famous New Deal figure, the dean of Harvard Law School, and a friend and adviser to the Kennedy family. It was widely assumed, when John Kennedy became president, that Landis would be nominated to the Supreme Court -- until it was discovered that Landis hadn't filed tax returns for years.

Bator's comment was: "What is it with these liberals?"

JOHN adds: Maybe the commercial was the last straw.

The Obama administration is off to a surprisingly rocky start. They ran a great campaign, but after only two weeks in office the wheels are starting to come off. Nothing that can't be remedied--yet--but it's going to be a long four years if Team Obama doesn't get its act together.