Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2009

The Latest in a Series of “Honest Mistakes”

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — Jack Dunphy @ 8:22 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Mrs. Dunphy and I have been working on our taxes this weekend, and like most taxpayers, I suspect, we were shocked to discover just how much of a claim the government has made on the fruits of our labors. And we were also wondering what might happen if the IRS were to discover that we had come up, oh, let’s say $128,000 short in paying our obligations as citizens. Would anyone – anyone! – take us seriously if we were to claim it had been an “honest mistake” as Tom Daschle now has?

And can you imagine the harrumphing and caterwauling from such as Chuck Schumer and Carl Levin and Maureen Dowd and E.J. Dionne and all the usual suspects if it were Republican nominees being paraded out so heavily freighted with ethical lapses of the kind we’ve seen with Daschle, Tim Geithner, and Eric Holder?

–Jack Dunphy

54 Responses to “The Latest in a Series of “Honest Mistakes””

  1. Jack,

    The donks get a free pass…they’re all about “Hope” and “Change”. If it were you or me that had the tax problem, we’d be “hoping” that we could find the “change” in the couch to pay off our taxes…and keeping the IRS at bay

    fmfnavydoc (59b1f9)

  2. It’s not a mistake; it’s a crime!

    While I don’t have a company vehicle now, I have had in the past, and a working class guy like me still had to fill out forms every year concerning personal mileage — and mileage from home to work and vice versa counted as personal — and the results of those disclosures appeared on my W-2 forms; the company reported it to the Infernal Revenue Service.

    InterMedia was billed for the car and driver; that means that the company had to have records of the mileage. The “personal use” split would require self-reporting from Mr Daschle, but the company was obligated to ask for it.

    It’s difficult for me to see an unreported taxable benefit in six figures as being a misdemeanor.

    And yeah, I wrote about it here.

    Mr Daschle was working for Leo Hindery, the CEO when Global Crossing fell. You’d think that an honest politician — please pardon the oxymoron — would have been very careful about the accounting when working for Mr Hindery.

    The very serious Dana (556f76)

  3. Can you imagine the harrumphing and caterwauling if it was Sarah Palin or perhaps even John McCain’s wife who was caught short? Or consider the outrage if Limbaugh or Hannity made a few of Tom Daschel’s “honest” mistakes.

    Now might also be a good time to ask the editors, writers and sock puppets at the LA Times to take a close look at their tax returns and clear up any irregularities. That goes for Reverend Wright, Bill Ayres, and Mr and Mrs Blogo too.

    Heck, that’s a good idea for everyone. Let’s all get right with the IRS this time around.

    Ropelight (d40bc3)

  4. Why, folks, I am surprised at you!

    Don’t you remember that following the law is for the Little People?

    Seriously, I don’t mind the tax evasion so much; this kind of thing is as old as civilization. What I detest is the portrayal of current Democrats as being—what did Pelosi call it?—the most honest and ethical government in history? President Obama and family talking about how hard it is to do the shopping and all—when they had a personal chef (and did they pay health benefits and other employer contributions, by the way?).

    But I am with Ropelight: let’s ALL follow ALL the rules. Voters would appreciate that. I still think that Congress should take a 25% pay cut until the recession is over. The sad part is even the superrich congresscritters wouldn’t do it.

    They’re different from you and me.

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  5. I think I’m beginning to understand the nomenclature. An honest mistake is one that

    (a) you get caught at
    and
    (b) you have the ability to correct

    If you don’t get caught at it, it’s unspoken profit. If you don’t have the ability to correct it, it’s a criminal offense.

    Steverino (69d941)

  6. Blame it on Turbo Tax and see if that works.

    Liberals seem to believe that corporations are conservative and therefore inherently evil so the more blame shifting you can do the better.

    daleyrocks (ae34ca)

  7. […] of Health and Human Services, has apparently forgotten to pay $128,000 in taxes. Just another honest mistake, right? After all, this is the smoothest transition in the history of the nation, right? […]

    Daschle provides more tax fraud on the Obama Cabinet « Wellsy’s World (2b7e85)

  8. So that whole “culture of corruption” crap was projection?

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  9. Or maybe’s Obama’s “change” is from an administration that has to defend itself against a shitload of accusations to one that is actually guilty of a shitload of accusations?

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  10. You have got to be fucking kidding me. These clowns are one big ginormous joke.

    JD (4d1a78)

  11. My favorite part is the whineing on left wing blogs.

    Daschle has now paid his taxes so the recession should be over soon. These guys are amazing. I’m not whining, just astonished at the tax evaders going into the administration. — Mike K, @ 21:03

    Much as I, too, deplore tax evasion, especially among the super rich (if you owe $100K in taxes alone, *and* can afford to pay that, without going bankrupt, you can’t be hurting or worried about where your next glass of milk is coming from), I can’t help but wonder…

    Just how much of those revelations about the “tax mistakerers” (this being the second) surfacing at all is due to Obama’s invitation to all and sundry to actually scrutinise every last nook and cranny of his administration/proposed administration?

    Anybody remember such an invitation ? Where are Obama’s grades from Columbia ? What about Chris Dodd’s mortgages ?

    I’m not whining, but I can’t remember anyone in the Bush administration having their tax returns examined with the same microscope.
    Posted by: exlibra

    These people are amazing. NO sense of irony at all.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  12. Further proof that “inside the beltway” needs to be declared a demonstration project for the effectiveness of the Neutron Weapon.

    AD (d63605)

  13. Tom Daschle is a tax cheat. When Democrats raise taxes, Tom Daschel will be a bigger Tax cheat.

    Jim (8e35b1)

  14. Is it too late for Steele to avert Star Wars episode one?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  15. In Daschle’s defense, he is the one who notified the IRS of the error, last year, and he paid up without a complaint. Further, the “income” was in services, not cash — which is a grey area to most people, and no tax program will ever catch.

    Unlike Tim Geithner, who didn’t pay until he was caught, still didn’t pay up the part they didn’t catch, on a tax that every person who has ever been self-employed knows about, and his tax program would have red-flagged as an error.

    It would be ironic if Daschle hanged for this when Geithner got away with it, because Daschle probably did make an honest mistake, and Geithner is still a crook.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  16. I’m not whining, but I can’t remember anyone in the Bush administration having their tax returns examined with the same microscope.
    Posted by: exlibra

    No, what exlibra doesn’t remember is anyone in the Bush administration being delinquent on their taxes.

    I’m pretty sure every member of Bush’s cabinet went through the same microscope.

    Steverino (69d941)

  17. Yes, but Daschle has always been a sanctimonius POS who rubbed a lot of people the wrong way over the years.
    He worked the system for his own benefit for years while proudly proclaiming his sack-cloth wardrobe. He is, after all, one of them (a DC Insider) while Geithner is a “New York Banker” who knows where a lot of bodies are buried in the financial mess that each and every one of the pols on The Hill want to have not stick to them.
    Now, for Tom, it’s time to pay the tailor.

    AD (d63605)

  18. Now we know why the Demos always seek to raise taxes. Because they don’t pay them anyways!

    Alta Bob (44f27c)

  19. That’s right, it’s the Leona Rule:

    Taxes are just something for the little people to pay!

    AD (d63605)

  20. I dunno, Kevin. Someone of Daschle’s particular career and stature not knowing that services count as income? You think he wouldn’t have been aware that a donation of a car and driver to his campaign would have counted as a contribution?

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  21. Kevin, I think you are being very charitable.

    Daschle was in government how long? And it never occurred to him that a car and driver was a form of income?

    I will bet you cash money that there is audio or video of Daschle berating other politicians for corruption or improper associations.

    Why give the man a “pass” on something that I can promise you he wouldn’t extend to others?

    Anyway, the man has never been squeaky clean:

    http://www.chrishenchy.net/2003/z081303a.htm

    And it’s not just about the chauffeur and driver. From Wikipedia:

    “Daschle reportedly also did not pay taxes on an additional $83,333 that he earned as a consultant to InterMedia Advisors in 2007; this was discovered by Senator Daschle’s accountant in December 2008.[37] Furthermore, the former Senator improperly took tax decuctions for $14,963 in charitable donations that he made between 2005 and 2007, even though the organizations that received the donations did not meet the requirements for being tax-deductible; this fact was discovered by the Obama transition team.[6][5][37]”

    Sure, just an oversight. Excuse me, oversightS. But at what point do we say, enough is enough?

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  22. Don’t forget that Daschle’s wife made millions as a lobbyist leveraging her husband’s powerful position. Thanks to “Change-you-can-believe-in”, her husband is getting another powerful position!

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  23. Eric–

    Yes, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt because he corrected the thing himself. The IRS generally does that, too.

    As for what he does or doesn’t know — I’m willing to be he doesn’t do his own accounting or his own taxes, so his claim is plausible.

    Contrast with Tim Geithner, who didn’t pay a tax that ANY tax program would have at least suggested he owed, based solely on having 1099s. Further, the IRS called him on it (the tax being so obvious), and yet he still didn’t fess up to 2 more years where he owed the same thing (yes, statute of limitations, but did he know that and not Schedule SE? Not likely.)

    My argument is that Geithner is the real crook here, since he cannot even muster plausible deniability. Not that Daschle is squeaky clean.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  24. I’m seriously considering including my Honest Mistake Deferment Form (with $0.00 deferment) in our tax filing this year. [It won’t happen because my wife is very (small “c”) conservative.]

    But I also agree with Kevin in spirit. The tax code is not gospel, and there are people who are undertaxed, but I don’t think that Daschle is one of them even with his “honest mistake”.

    nk (bf9c84)

  25. And if I sound contrarian, it is because I am when it comes to society using mala prohibita to define who is “good” and who is “bad”.

    nk (bf9c84)

  26. First, I agree that Geithner is the far more disturbing example of malfeasance.

    But I have found, in my own family, that the IRS does not give the benefit of the doubt to many people. Daschle getting the benefit of the doubt from the IRS surely had nothing to do with his being a former Senator, and in the groove for President Obama’s administration. Yuck.

    Our tax codes are ridiculous, in any event. I think everyone can agree with that. I’m reminded of the old cartoon showing a guy looking at the new “Short Form”:

    Step 1: Write down your income.
    Step 2: Send it to us.

    I still think Daschle is a slimy hypocrite. But everyone’s mileage may vary.

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  27. And I think that this would be a great idea:

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDQ2NjlmZmRiOTQzODNhYzMxMjJiNzY1OWQxZDhjODA

    But then, the rules aren’t for the important people.

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  28. Yes, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt because he corrected the thing himself.

    Did Daschle really do this on his own, without the motive of joining the Obama administration?

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (20ba0d)

  29. I read things like this, and observe the flaky behavior of so many people in the party now running the Congress and White House and think it’s therefore quite appropriate — symbolically and otherwise — that one of the biggest crooks to arise from America’s current bout with foolishness (symbolized by the elections in November, and firmly embraced by people in, say, Hollywood), investor Bernard Madoff, was a major supporter of Democrats/liberals.

    All this mess, all this hypocrisy, all this idiocy, emanating from Tim avoid-the-IRS Geithner to Barack kum-bah-yah Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary sniper-fire Clinton.

    AFP: US President Barack Obama’s offer to talk to Iran shows that America’s policy of “domination” has failed, the [Iranian] government spokesman said on Saturday.

    “This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed,” Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

    “Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change,” he added.

    After nearly three decades of severed ties, Obama said shortly after taking office this month that he is willing to extend a diplomatic hand to Tehran if the Islamic republic is ready to “unclench its fist”.

    In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh tirade against the United States, demanding an apology for its “crimes” against Iran and saying he expected “deep and fundamental” change from Obama.

    Mark (411533)

  30. Darn it. I also agree with Eric in spirit. There is more than one rule. “Caesar’s wife must be above reproach.” Daschle made and will make the rules and he should live by them.

    nk (bf9c84)

  31. That’s why we need our 100 Senators, who need to raise $11,000.00 a day for six years for their re-election campaigns, to decide these hard governmental philosophy questions for us. We idiotes just do not have the capacity for it.

    nk (bf9c84)

  32. I still agree that Daschle isn’t as bad as Geithner. But that is sort of like saying that you prefer chicken crap over horse crap. You might be right, but they are both still crap.

    Speaking of crap sandwiches (the bail out bill, which is hardly a bail out).

    nk, I didn’t think we disagreed all that much.

    I really don’t like hypocrisy, from either party. I often hear (not here) how “politics is like that,” but I find that the people who say that kind of thing apply those rules in a partisan fashion…

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  33. Mark #28,

    If all is still well with America, Ahmadinejad just gave Juggy his opportunity to prove that he is an American President. It could be the test Biden talked about.

    nk (bf9c84)

  34. Don’t worry, nk. The Senators don’t really know anything. It is their unelected staff members who tell him or her what to say and how to vote.

    Brrrr…

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  35. “Yes, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt because he corrected the thing himself.

    Did Daschle really do this on his own, without the motive of joining the Obama administration?”

    I’m of the opinion that he was forced to correct this in anticipation of joining the Obama campaign. He gets no credit from me. If he paid someone to prepare his return, perhaps he “neglected” to tell him about the car and driver. Someone with Daschle’s years in Congress is certainly well enough acquainted with rules around lobbying activities, improper benefits, and the deductible portions of contributions to understand that he was receiving a taxable benefit from Hindery. This is not rocket science. I was fucking taxed for years on free lunches I was forced to eat with an executive team at work.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  36. I think all of you are being unfair. This is part of an effective campaign by our Hope and Change President to close the famed “tax gap” that Democratic senators have identified by appointing major offenders to Obama`s cabinet. And it has proven to be effective-look at how much additional revenue has already been collected!

    R Solomon (3a481e)

  37. Interesting thought, Solomon. Perhaps he could cycle the entire Democrat party through his cabinet. Might tie up the Senate a bit, but do we really want them to pass any legislation?

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  38. Juggy’s test….
    Is “present” an acceptable answer?

    AD (d63605)

  39. I have a suggestion. Ask Obama to appoint another 100 former Democrat politicians to his administration. Tax collections might go up enough to balance the budget. Or at least balance some of the porculus bill.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  40. Mr Blair wrote:

    I still agree that Daschle isn’t as bad as Geithner.

    Why? Because it’s documented that Mr Geithner knew of his tax problems, but we don’t have absolute documentation that Mr Daschle knew? Sorry, but that won’t cut it. Tom Daschle was a United States Senator, and his wife was a very well paid lobbyist. If anyone thinks that Mr Daschle could have been blissfully unaware that a free car and driver isn’t free, Ted Stevens has a bridge to nowhere to sell to you.

    Senators are made very well aware about what happens when you get something for nothing, he has been through an Ethics Committee investigation, and he even said:

    I think that there has to be far more ethics committee oversight involving members of congress. It has gotten to be too much of a club. There should also be greater oversight of the administration by Congress through an aggressive committee process. This isn’t a matter of writing new law as much as it is enforcing the laws that already exist.

    Part of Timothy Geithner’s problems stemmed from his employment by an international agency, one not responsible to US laws. Mr Daschle was entirely employed by American firms, responsive to US laws, laws he helped to write!

    The angry Dana (556f76)

  41. Every one of the trolls repeatedly repeated the line about Joe the Plumber’s rather insignificant tax lien.

    None of them has the guts to admit that Obama’s own cabinet choices are tax cheats two or three times greater in magnitude.

    Yet another example of the intentional dishonesty of the Obama cultists.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  42. Ah, but that is different, SPQR.

    Nuance, as Ace says. Nuance.

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  43. Democrats keep saying they want a fair (read higher) tax code, it’s just that they want compliance for the elite to be optional. So far Obama’s got two tax cheats nominated for his cabinet, an AG niminee who blatantly politicized his office in a prior administration and flat out lied to the Senate committee vetting him this time about his knowledge of Marc Rich. Holder prosecuted on of his firms in 1995 as a U.S. Attorney but claims he was unfamiliar with him prior to 1999 in defending his role in Pardongate. Unbelievable. You’ve got noted socialist and one world government fan Carol Browner in as climate and energy czar and not subject to confirmation. Look forward to nice California style regulation from that appointment.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  44. A nice piece in today’s Wall Street Journal:

    Bush Hatred and Obama Euphoria Are Two Sides of the Same Coin

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123336391229335459.html

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  45. The Dems are nothing more than liars, thieves and criminals. They prove it every day. The fact that the Drive-Bys will not address this for the most part will hasten THEIR demise. We need something to hasten the Dems’ demise. I keep thinking their lying, thieving ways will do it, but nah.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  46. A nice way to wake people up is to have quotes about the same kinds of things done by both Democrats and Republicans.

    In that way, the clear and silly bias of the MSM is underscored.

    This is why the blogosphere is so important.

    Eric Blair (e92b94)

  47. Daschle made and will make the rules and he should live by them.

    Yes, and this is the same individual who will serve as Obama’s point man on more massive “health care reform,” which means we’ll pay more for less healthcare in the end. No thank you.

    Dmac (2fab96)

  48. Now we know the reason Dems always want to raise taxes. IÞ is because they know they are not paying theirs.

    JD (4d1a78)

  49. Dmac, I would guess that all of our governmental officials will get significantly different health care than the health care program that they will try to foist upon the nation. This is just like the legislators in the 1960s and 1970s who were very pushy about busing school children around…but who had their own kids in private schools.

    The Few and the Many, as was once explained in the cheese-tastic TV series, Kung Fu.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  50. Eric, are you suggesting that The One finally send his children to public school, in order to set an example? How dare you! Don’t you realize the massive security problems, the reality that his poor children have never set foot in a public school in their lives? What’s next, you want him to lower his thermostat to 72 degrees?

    Dmac (2fab96)

  51. I shall remind you that Sandy Burger stuffed NATIONAL ARCHIVES DOCUMENTS down his pants and not a single Democrat batted an eye.

    What would happen to you (You are not the former National Security Adviser subpoenad to the 9/11 Commission), what would happen to you if you were found to have stuffed National Security documents down your pants and stolen them???

    I’ll wait.

    Democrats/Libs don’t believe rules apply to them.
    They are right, we are wrong.

    libocrat (a96913)

  52. Someone said they didn’t remember the Bush administration having their tax records gone through with a fine-tooth comb.
    ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?
    The left went so far as to MAKE FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS about the PRESIDENT. And a CBS LIBTARD ran with them. (Dan Rather you may recall).

    Libs are nuts.

    libocrat (a96913)

  53. It’s getting late in the game, but NRO posted this gem…from Tom Daschle’s own hit parade of quotes:

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MDdjZjFkYmIwZjRhNmM2MjIzYzAzYTNmNWRmMjg0MmI

    Here is the ironic quote from 1998:

    “Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter. ” Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, May 7, 1998, p. S4507.”

    Whoops. Hope and Change!

    Eric Blair (53ab22)


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