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I was an early proponent of Howard Dean being considered for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Now, given Tom Daschle's tax woes, I think the argument is even stronger for making the right choice for HHS.

UPDATE - if you agree, please DIGG IT!

First Geithner, and now Tom Daschle, President Obama's pick to run the sprawling Department of Health and Human Services, also has some tax issues:  

Daschle filed amended tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 to reflect additional income for consulting work, the use of a car service and reduced deductions for charitable contributions. He filed the returns after Obama announced he intended to nominate Daschle to head the Health and Human Services Department.

Most of the additional taxes resulted from unreported income from the use of a car service provided him by a close friend and business associate, Leo Hindery Jr. The unreported income for that service totaled more than $250,000 over three years.

Daschle also had unreported consulting income of $88,333, in 2007. He also had reductions to charitable contributions totaling about $15,000 over the three years covered, according to the Senate Finance Committee document. The document, marked "Confidential Draft," is a committee statement concerning Daschle's nomination.

                       
The White House insists that this "stupid mistake" won't derail the nomination, as does the Democratic leadership. But given that Obama's (self-imposed, strictest in history) lobbyist rules are also getting bent a bit, the tax flap is giving critics of the Administration plenty of ammunition to gleefully play with. Going to bat for Daschle invites a lot of distraction from the aggressive domestic agenda that Obama seeks to implement, and Daschle (a veteran Senator with many post-Senate "consulting" affiliations and other associations) may simply have too much baggage to be effective in pushing that agenda through. The sheen of technocratic comptence that is so critical to building popular support for bold policy starts to wear thin when your Cabinet picks keep making "stupid mistakes" (direct quote from an unnamed White House upper-up).

What was Daschle's qualification for HHS, anyway? I am aware of his legislative record and policy expertise, but Daschle remains firmly within the old guard of the Democratic Party, the same generation as John Kerry (whose nomination for president didn't exactly light a fire under America's collective consciousness). It's great to have the grizzled voices of experience and senior expertise in the diplomatic sphere (which is why I applaud the choice of Holbrooke and Mitchell as envoys - under Secretary Clinton's direction). But in terms of executive leadership, we need new blood.

The argument for Howard Dean as Secretary of Health and Human Services is quite straightforward. He's a medical doctor, and has more executive experience than anyone else in Congress or the White House. In his six terms as Governor of Vermont he paid off the state's public debt, expanded health insurance for children, lowered taxes, signed civil unions into law, and delivered a balanced budget every year. And of course as Chairman of the DNC he implemented the 50-state strategy that gave Obama the foundation for victory.  

The only reason Dean wasn't tapped for HHS outright? Rahm Emmanuel, who bitterly opposed the 50-state strategy that brought his new boss to victory. As I mentioned earlier, Dean's name was excluded from consideration quite early on, citing Dean's "partisan background" and lack of congressional experience. That argument is total nonsense - and applies far more to Daschle than it does to Dean anyway.

It's time to acknowledge that Howard Dean is the right choice for HHS.

Originally posted to Aziz Poonawalla's Amazing Dkos Diary on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:18 AM PST.

Poll

Dean for Sec. of HHS?

82%175 votes
10%22 votes
7%15 votes

| 212 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Dashle is fine. (9+ / 0-)

    Dean is a good choice as well, but Dashle will do just fine (as long as there's nothing big lurking in his closet).

    But it's funny how I know so much MORE about Obama's cabinet picks than I ever did about Bush's.  I wonder why that is (okay actually I don't).

    You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

    by DawnG on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:19:55 AM PST

    •  excuse me....nothing big (7+ / 0-)

      something big has already came out of his closet...tax cheat...Obama as well as us don't need this shit.

      •  oh please, do elaborate. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety, roubs

        Because I was under the impression that Dashle's tax problems were actually rather mild.

        Do you have information to the contrary?

        Please share it.

        You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

        by DawnG on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:25:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll Elaborate (11+ / 0-)

          Since Daschle's bill on his not-to-clever tax evasion charges ("I didn't know I had to pay it," which is a blow-to-the-face for people who think Congressmen are smart) is much more than my annual salary, I think it's a big deal.

          Besides that, Daschle is a lightning rod for Repub attacks anytime, and this just adds static to the air.

          Add that this is the second instance of tax evasion in Obama's choice of Cabinet picks, and that risks tainting his Administration for the next four years.

          How's that for sharing, Ms Snarky?

          •  okay, you just managed to insert... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freakofsociety, roubs, Number5

            ...your outrage and opinion without providing a single fact about this tax problem.

            Please tell me WHAT it is, now what you feel about it.  I would like to make a judgement of my own, if that's okay.

            You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

            by DawnG on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:32:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Elected Official. Unreported Income. (12+ / 0-)

              Daschle filed amended tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 to reflect

              -- additional income for consulting work
              -- a car service
              -- reduced deductions for charitable contributions.

              -- car service provided him by a close friend and business associate, Leo Hindery Jr. The unreported income for that service totaled more than $250,000 over three years.

              ... which is like having someone pay for your golfing vacation in Scotland ...
              and
              Daschle also had unreported consulting income of $88,333, in 2007.

              That consulting alone is a damn sight more than I make each year. Hmmm. "I did consulting and I guess I sent the bill, but I never checked to see if I got paid ..." Bull pook.

              I was willing to cut Geithner some slack, b/c the tax code is complicated and anyone can get caught out on a technicality. His involved being an independent contractor versus an employee, and it got corrected years ago rather than weeks ago.

              I myself, a low-income peon, once had a tax problem that I worked out. It had to do with the last recession (early 1990s) and losing two jobs from layoffs in quick succession in an expensive part of the USA. You do what you have to do to survive sometimes.

              Somehow I don't think Daschle's problem with the IRS was due to a job loss, a severe family medical emergency, what have you.

              Geithner, also, is not an elected official. There is another level of straight-up behavior we rightly expect from ANY elected official. We're awfully tolerant in what we put up with.

              Unreported income by a federal elected official is to me a deal-breaker. I don't care if the elected official is in office or not at the time, if they seek to go into a cabinet position, it's an issue.

              This man is just as much an idiot as the Wall Street Magicians with their billions in bonuses if he thinks that "I got used to having a car & driver so I just naturally figured it must have been free" is an excuse that will wash.

              I greatly dislike the level of privilege that Seantors and some Congresscritters assume as soon as they've been in office a while. I just love Barb Mikulski's use of the Royal We. Not.

              •  That is concerning. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                freakofsociety

                I will agree.  And it will definately need to be addressed.  

                Thank you very much for the information.

                I don't think it's an automatic deal breaker.  With cabinet positions i am most concerned with Policy and competence.  Which arguably Daschle would do fine with.  He does need to have a quality fo trustworthiness as well and as a senator he SHOULD have known better, but I am willing to let him make it up.

                You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

                by DawnG on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:08:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  no, geithner corrected it fully (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                freakofsociety

                when Obama's people got it.

                I Like Howard Dean, and I have no problems with his policy view, but Daschle and Dean have relatively little policy differences(if any) and Daschle has much, much more experience dealing with congress.  

                At a time where we will need to get major reforms done in healthcare, we need someone with an intimate understanding of the body, which Dean does not have.  

                Daschle's income was from the time he was not in office, and he is rectifying it now that it has been brought to his attention.  

                I do have to say, Daschle has been a friend of my family for decades.  He and my uncle worked together in the 70s when they were staffers for Senator James Aboureszk.  Daschle is not a corrupt individual.  he cares about people, and he wants a healthcare system that works for everybody just as much as everybody else here does.  

                I expect everyone, not just elected officials to be honest on their tax returns.  I highly doubt that Daschle knew about the error.  He has been lurking waiting for a place in a Democratic administration for some time now.  To have knowingly made such an error would have been idiotic.  My question is how his accountant didn't catch it.

                "The man who sees absolutes where others see nuances and shades of meaning is either a prophet or a quack." --Keith Olbermann -4.50, -1.90

                by Ab2kgj on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:38:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Tax Evasion? (6+ / 0-)

            Isn't tax evasion a criminal charge? Stop muddying the waters.

          •  I'll bet Shrub's cab picks weren't vetted as (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freakofsociety

            minutely as these appear to be vetted.
            Like the preponderance of Dem Govs and other elected folks being under investigation (Shrub effect,to go after any Dem) I am always cautious about the picture that is trying to be painted.

            It's the Shrub effect.
            "How can you best serve Shrub?" Right.

            Whatever the Repuglicans say, the opposite is the truth .

            by MariaWr on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:51:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  cross posted to City of Brass (11+ / 0-)

    My long-running blog, City of Brass, has moved to Beliefnet! Do stop by and take a look.

    City of Brass: principled pragmatism at the maghrib of one age, the fajr of another

    by azizhp on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:20:44 AM PST

  •  Howard is a warrior, not a diplomat. (6+ / 0-)

    HHS under this admin requires a diplomat to get health care reform through.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:23:28 AM PST

  •  Car & Drivier: It's Not Just a Magazine (6+ / 0-)

    It's the evidence that Tom Daschle's ethics aren't worth the tissue he wipes his ass with.

    •  He was receiving a million a year (0+ / 0-)

      and the clerk 'accidentally' forgot to report the May payment, so Daschle blithely reported $916,667.

      He makes Jack Abramoff look good. We don't need him!

      If you kids don't behave, I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - g_d

      by Clem Yeobright on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:32:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dean should've been the choice to begin with... (14+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting this. I hope Daschle does the right thing and withdraws himself from consideration. There shouldn't be any free passes given for things like this (and yes this includes Geitner... Joe Stiglitz would've been just fine at Treasury).

    Listen to Noam Chomsky...

    by MrBurns17 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:24:37 AM PST

    •  how many "stupid mistakes" (6+ / 0-)

      can we tolerate? Jesus Christ!
      These people are supposed to be professional and ethical enough to be trusted with govenment office and they can't get their taxes right?
      Give me a fucking break.
      I don't buy the "stupid mistake" meme.

      If both Daschle and Geithner are that stupid then why should they be trusted with public office?
      Geithner was a bad choice and so is Daschle, and for more reasons than their incompetence regarding their own taxes.

      -7.88/-4.41 "The blood sucking aristocracy stood aghast; terror stricken, they thought the day of retribution had come." - John Ferral, union leader

      by Interceptor7 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:34:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is someone who makes a "stupid mistake" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety, Number5

        a stupid person? Seems to be a big leap there. I made a few stupid mistakes at work but don't really think my whole life should be judged on them :p

        •  no, I think that Daschle is smart (8+ / 0-)

          that's why I think his "stupid mistake" excuse is bullshit.
          Perhaps I should have made that clear.
          I think that Daschle is either lying about what he knew of his tax mistakes or he was negligent.
          Didn't we just vote to do away with negligence and dishonesty in public service?

          -7.88/-4.41 "The blood sucking aristocracy stood aghast; terror stricken, they thought the day of retribution had come." - John Ferral, union leader

          by Interceptor7 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:40:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  alright (0+ / 0-)

            I think he should have the chance to address the issues before fellow Democrats pass judgment. It's possible he was dishonest or it's possible he made an honest mistake. I don't think we can make conclusions either way at this point so I wouldn't be on board with a "Dump Daschle" bandwagon.

            •  Of course. He thought he was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              walking those three years. I'll bet he wondered why his shoes never wore out. God save us from from people who make stupid mistakes- but only when they're to their own  advantage!

              curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought her back

              by graycat13 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:40:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  But then do you want a doctor doing brain (5+ / 0-)

          surgery on you that makes "stupid mistakes?"  Everytime that Obama has to go before the American people and make a special pleading for one of his picks is a time closer to when the American people wonder if he is really ready for prime time.  He will be measured by his cabinet.  It's not like Tom is the only fish in this lake.  
            Dr. Dean WOULD be an excellent choice, especially to the medical community that needs to be on the progessive side of this battle if the insurance industry is to be nullified.  We will never get a single-payer system if the medical profession is willing to stick with the status quo.

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:14:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry, but I don't consider years of tax (8+ / 0-)

          evasion by a former U.S. Senator to be a "stupid mistake". It's extremely doubtful that Daschle had anything to do with preparing his tax returns given his income bracket, and any professional preparer would have inquired about non-reported income such as Daschle is accused of excluding from his tax calculations.

          It's extremely implausible that he wasn't aware of his tax obligations, and quite likely that he simply concluded that he'd be able to skate on paying the bill, not expecting at the time any unusual scrutiny of his tax returns.

          Like the case with Geithner, this smells to high heaven. It's hypocrisy of the worst order, and frankly, undermines Obama's promise of accountability.

          "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK - January 20, 1961

          by rontun on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:27:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. Are there any standards? (10+ / 0-)

    If Pres. Obama want to counter the cynicism that pervades across the country there has to be high standard for serving in the administration.

    Would the average taxpayer be able to get a job even a middle level job even such a disclosure was made?

    RebelCapitalist - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

    by dennisk on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:24:48 AM PST

  •  We deserve better than another tax cheat (7+ / 0-)

    Mr. Daschle told committee staff that he had grown used to having a car and driver as Senate majority leader and didn't think to report the perquisite on his taxes, according to staff members.
    Some senators have also raised concerns about two vacation trips Mr. Daschle took aboard a corporate jet belonging to nonprofit lender EduCap, which faces a separate probe by the Finance panel into its tax status.

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    Thomas A. Daschle, nominated to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, did not pay more than $128,000 in taxes over three years, a revelation that poses a potential obstacle to his Senate confirmation. The back taxes, along with $12,000 in interest and penalties, involved unreported consulting fees, questionable charitable contributions, and a car and driver provided by a private equity firm run by entrepreneur and longtime Democratic Party donor Leo J. Hindery Jr., according to a confidential draft report prepared by Senate Finance Committee staff. A spokeswoman for Daschle said that Daschle, and his accountant discovered the error regarding the luxury car service and reported it to the committee after his vetting was completed. Daschle paid the back taxes six days before his first Senate confirmation hearing with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The Finance Committee, however, has jurisdiction over his nomination.

    There's a long, long trail a-winding into the land of my dreams.

    by allenjo on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:25:36 AM PST

  •  Dean has his own problems... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, Number5, winsock

    Last I checked Dean had some sort of lawsuit against him that the Obama team asked him to take care of before he left as DNC Chairman.  I'm starting to think that Rahm had nothing to do with not putting him on the team.  Check Wikipedia for more info.  

  •  He'd be a (4+ / 0-)

    good pick, if he wants it.

    The lack of vetting is disturbing.  Geithner's error as the man who will oversee the IRS is jaw-dropping.

    Why wasn't he replaced?  

  •  Why is it that so many at the top (5+ / 0-)

    of business and political circles have problems with their taxes?  Democrat and Rpublicans.  Can't they just pay 'em like the rest of us?

    "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemely swear.."

    by cgvjelly on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:31:27 AM PST

    •  paying taxes is for little people! (10+ / 0-)

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.

      by PhillyGal on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:33:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes -- this all strongly suggests (9+ / 0-)

        there's a huge amount of tax revenue that's not being collected.  It seems that anyone who is ANYONE doesn't pay the taxes that are due unless they get nominated as a Cabinet Secretary.  This is not a very efficient way of enforcing the tax laws.

        There ought to be a whole lot more outrage about this.  Not just the screw ups by the nominees themselves (about which I almost don't care), but the apparently significant and pervasive tax evasion by the wealthy and well-connected, lack of enforcement by the IRS, and absence of any effective watchdogs outside goivernment.

        •  You have every right to be angry and you are (5+ / 0-)

          right about the cause.  The IRS has been stripped of thousands of its agents because the conservative mind-set of the last 30 years considers paying taxes a matter of personal prefererence for fat cats and their personal sensitivities should not be disturbed by such a plebian thing as a tax audit...so...we have billions of uncollected taxes, while tax deadbeats live high on the hog.  
            Let's hope the the new Congress adequately funds the IRS so what those who owe taxes will PAY THEM!!!  This should be part of the stimulus package as it would both put people to work AND put more money in the public coffer.  It is stupid for Republicans to be allowed to get away with screaming about what things cost while sabotaging all efforts of the federal government to collect what is due it.  Maybe we would not need to raise taxes if those who owed them paid them!!!

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:43:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Audits for the rich (5+ / 0-)

          How about proposing that anyone who has made over hmmmm, say $1 million in the last 3 tax years must be audited for any possible tax "errors" or "mistakes"?  Seems to me, this should be automatic.

          If Tom Daschle is having such difficulties with his taxes upon returning to the private sector, maybe all congress men and women should be audited for 3 or 4 years upon leaving office.

          I'm sick of hearing about people who make 40 or 50 grand per year being audited.  Let's go for the big bucks!

          "Wake up, America. ... No more racism, no more sexism, no more ageism, no more hatred. No more!" Harvey Milk

          by Debalina on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:41:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'd be willing to bet (4+ / 0-)

      their tax returns are a little bit more complex than mine. I bet if you looked at every tax return of these folks you'd find quite a few honest errors. This is no reason to dump him before he's even had a crack at the job.

      •  Nothing that I've read about Daeschle's problem (5+ / 0-)

        suggests "honest errors".  How do you miss $88,000 of consulting fees?  And when you've been in national politics for years, and you and your financial advisors are accustomed to financial disclosure requirements and close scrutiny of the required filings, how do you manage to inadvertently not pay taxes in an amount greatly exceeding the incomes of most people?

      •  TurboTax (0+ / 0-)

        Yeah, it isn't like he can just plug his W2s into TurboTax and be done with it.  Or hop on down to HR Block.  I would be extremely suprised if he does his own taxes or handles his own accounting.  My little buisness doesn't bring in anywhere near this kind of revenue and I use an accountant.  

        Meet me in Cognito, baby

        by out grrl on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:01:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  True (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        Tax law is too complicated and changes too often to keep up with it. I'm self-employed and don't trust myself to do my own taxes or Turbo tax.  I am fully indebted to my accountant to get it right. If she makes a mistake, it's still my responsibility.  Luckily, she doesn't make mistakes.  :-)

        However, and it's a big however.  My accountant trusts that I report to her my true income and expenses.  I have to give her the numbers.  

        Where were Daschle's numbers?  This stinks and at the very least shows his ineptness at management or at hiring thorough, detailed people.

        "Wake up, America. ... No more racism, no more sexism, no more ageism, no more hatred. No more!" Harvey Milk

        by Debalina on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:52:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is amazing that Clinton is the cleanest (4+ / 0-)

    person out there. After all these years of investigation without digging up a thing, some folks were still scared of her "shadowy connections" and it turns out that well...you can finish the sentence...the left behaved like the right when it came to Hillary ....too sad really to see some of us acting like crazy rabid republican dogs foaming at mouth.

    Too late to push for Dean.  Obama committed himself to Dashle and associated himself with him strongly. If he withdrew, it would be read as a severe defeat and Obama cannot afford to have that in his first 100 days after the defeat of bipartisanship in the House a couple of days ago.

    Stick by him and ride the storm.

    Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

    by Mutual Assured Destruction on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:32:47 AM PST

    •  I really can't see how it could be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, larryww

      "read as a severe defeat" for Obama to ask Dashle to step aside.  If you accidentally step into a mud puddle, you wash it off and move on.  You don't jump up and down in it, then strut around pretending you're still spotless.

      Bush did inherit the 9/11 attacks ... from Dick Cheney

      by tovan on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:57:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are talking about Dashle here, not some (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety

        random third rate guy. Dashle was one of the most important backers of Obama from the start. He rallied all those heavy hitter senators during the primaries and he is a close friend to Obama (according to Obama himself).

        It will be read as a serious setback. I say "stick by him."  Moreover, dancing the tango this early, two steps forward and one step backward, is not a good signal to send. It feels, sounds and smells weak.

        Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

        by Mutual Assured Destruction on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:28:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "vetting" everyone? (10+ / 0-)

    Obama supporter here, but one who is getting very tired of hearing about taxes not being paid among our "leaders."  

    If we were to "vet" all the members of Congress and the administration and the judiciary and the Fed Reserve, etc.,  I wonder how many millions of dollars we could come up with in unpaid taxes??   Perhaps that requirement should be a piece of any stimulus legislation....

    And yes, Dean does make more sense to me than Daschle, tax problems or not.

    Be kinder than necessary.

    by worriedgranny on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:33:24 AM PST

    •  Simplify the tax code (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freakofsociety, Debalina

      Maybe if it didn't take a CPA to figure out the jumble of tax regulations and forms, there wouldn't be so many problems.  If all you have is a W-2 to deal with, great.  Otherwise, things can get very complicated very fast.

      Things work out best for the people who make the best of the way things work out.

      by winsock on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:52:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, but ... (9+ / 0-)

        ... you don't do about $90,000 in consulting and forget you did it, you billed it, and you got paid for it.

        I'm all for a more progressive tax code, and simplifying the entire system, whatever it takes.

        If you're a Senator, you either know the rules or hire people who do. This is not acceptable from anyone, R or D.

        •  exactly... (7+ / 0-)

          not knowing international implications of tax codes...maybe, although I still think Geitner was bsing us...

          but not knowing you have to report consulting fees???

          Really???

          REALLY???

          come on....

          Do not become the sycophants we have despised for 8 years.

          by justmy2 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:05:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's why (3+ / 0-)

            Senator Daschles consulting arrangement with InterMedia Advisors provided that the senator be paid $83,333 per month ($1,000,000 per year) for his services. Senator Daschle received a Form 1099 from InterMedia Advisors each year reporting income from consulting fees, bonuses and reimbursements. The 2007 Form 1099 did not include the May, 2007 payment for consulting fees in the amount of $83,333.

            Things work out best for the people who make the best of the way things work out.

            by winsock on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:21:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'd really like to know (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chigh, winsock

              what InterMedia Advisors does, who it gets its money from, and what  Daschle does for them that is worth $1,000,000 a year.

              Justice, if not pursued, does not exist.

              by phonegery on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:52:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  sounds like an honest mistake (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              freakofsociety, winsock

              if my employer was off by 10%, I'd probably catch it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people didn't

              •  Staff (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                freakofsociety

                If he pays a staff it would be easy to miss it.  I do not pay myself what I bill my clients.  I pay myself a salary and the rest of the money goes to running the business.  At the end of the year I pay a dividend out of what is left over.  If my 1099 is off, it would be easy to miss it.  The money goes in and goes out.  As long as everyone is getting paid what they are normally paid it would be 'invisible'.  

                Meet me in Cognito, baby

                by out grrl on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:05:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you had a contract for $1 million (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  justmy2

                  and the 1099 was for $916,667, you wouldn't notice it? One is a beautifully round number, and the other is ... 11 months worth.

                  Do you think if Daschle had actually been shorted the $83,333, he wouldn't have called up asking about it?

                  If you kids don't behave, I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - g_d

                  by Clem Yeobright on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:39:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  First Year (0+ / 0-)

                    If it was the first year of the contract, yeah, I think he could.  Especially if he has someone else managing it.  He should have kept a closer eye on his books - the accountant or whoever he has managing it should give him regular updates - but you could miss it.  If you asked me right now exactly how much  my company took in last year, I would have to call my assistant.  I know how much I got paid and I know we turned a profit but I don't know the exact income.

                    And with Daschle, this probably is not his only income.  I am sure he has multiple revenue streams.

                    Meet me in Cognito, baby

                    by out grrl on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 05:36:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  $1,000,000 doesn't look a bit like $816,667 (0+ / 0-)

                      to me, anyway. Nobody is talking about commissions or tracking a dozen million dollar contracts.

                      Shit is shit, Democratic or Replublican, and it all stinks the same to me. Your nose may differ, I guess.

                      If you kids don't behave, I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - g_d

                      by Clem Yeobright on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 05:44:01 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Check (0+ / 0-)

                        You are not handed a check for 1 million dollars.  You send in your hours and are paid in increments based on your billables.  All of it is probably direct deposited along with all of the other revenue into a single account that is the money pile for running the business.  

                        Everyone is going on as if he ran out to his mailbox to get his million dollar check and failed to notice that the amount was not correct.  It doesn't work that way.

                        I don't know if he did it on purpose or not. But I could see how someone could make this kind of mistake. Especially if the tax documents were screwed up.  If nothing else he is guilty of being a bad businessman.

                        Meet me in Cognito, baby

                        by out grrl on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 05:57:22 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  so he looked at his 1099 (0+ / 0-)

              that should say $1,000,000.00 in the federal and state income boxes...and saw random number, and didn't think that was a mistake?

              Or his accountant?

              Ok...maybe his accountant just trusted the 1099...

              Do not become the sycophants we have despised for 8 years.

              by justmy2 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 02:48:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's more complicated than that. (0+ / 0-)

                There is some dispute as to when one of the payments was actually received, whether in December or January of the following year.  In other words, there was a discrepancy and an adjustment needed to be filed later.  I'm not defending him, just saying that it's maybe not as black and white as his opponents seem to be claiming.

                Things work out best for the people who make the best of the way things work out.

                by winsock on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 03:15:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  willing to listen...I thought it said May (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright, winsock

                  the excuse better be good...

                  Do not become the sycophants we have despised for 8 years.

                  by justmy2 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 04:39:18 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Fair enough. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright, winsock

                  When you're that wealthy, it's easy to miss the small change /snark.

                  So let's give him a "geithner" on that one. Kinda like a mulligan. You get a pass for an accounting mistake.

                  Now, let's explain the $250,000 worth of free car and driver that he forgot about since he was used to being treated like King Tom in the Senate.

                  I guess that would have been the OTHER 1099?

                  •  Yep, the problem was (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Clem Yeobright

                    that Daschle used the car and driver not only for company business but for his personal use, as well.  That portion of the services (which was evidently a large portion) should have been claimed as income.

                    Things work out best for the people who make the best of the way things work out.

                    by winsock on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 06:56:41 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I wouldn't mind a (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Clem Yeobright, winsock

                      $1 million consulting contract, payable in monthly installments, along with a free car and driver.

                      Sign me up.

                      I'm willing to accept that Daschle is very well qualified; I don't have the expertise to evaluate that.

                      Where the cognitive dissonance sets in is with the assumption of privilege that's revealed by the tax snafu.

                      THAT'S really what bugs the hell out of me.

                      Are there any poor Senators/ex-Senators?

      •  F'in Daschle is RESPONSIBLE for the tax code. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        valion

        And yes, he should have a specialist managing his taxes if they are so complicated.

        In this case, he knew his contract called for a million a year and he reported $916,667.

        I'll bet he wouldn't have needed a CPA if a payment to him had failed to show up in his bank!

        If you kids don't behave, I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - g_d

        by Clem Yeobright on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:41:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Required public annual IRS audits for Congress? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      And for all high-level appointed 'public servants'?  And perhaps for lobbyists, too.  Then ... actually, I've been thinking for some time that it would be very satisfying if the IRS were required to start at the top with their audits.  All highest and corporate incomes first, then working down the income ladder if they have the time and manpower.

      Bush did inherit the 9/11 attacks ... from Dick Cheney

      by tovan on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:06:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not necessarily defending Daschle (7+ / 0-)

    (well sort of), but in my former world of corporate accounting, it was our job to make sure the 1099s we sent to members of our board, etc, were right.

    Let's face it, when people are at that level, with several sources of income, they don't know if the tax information they receive is right or not. They just turn it over to their accountant. While it is ultimately his responsibility, I can understand how he wasn't aware of the problems at that time.

    •  All true, but that serves to make his excuses (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pletzs, Clem Yeobright, phonegery

      hilarious.  He'd become so used to having a car and driver that he didn't think about it?  He had no idea whether or not he'd been paid the 88,000 dollars?  Way to sound like a man of the people, Tom.  I can see why he's not getting a lot of sympathy from any quarter.

      Also, if this was a Republican?  Everyone here would be screaming like a toddler.  (Not aimed at you, tabby, just sayin'.)

      •  Well, it was 88,000 out of a million dollars (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CJB

        I mean, who would notice THAT? He does seem to have some memory loss. Or maybe he thought he had given it to charity. Poor man.

        curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought her back

        by graycat13 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:51:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What's that old saw about Caesar's wife needing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CJB, Clem Yeobright

        Also, if this was a Republican?  Everyone here would be screaming like a toddler.  

        to be extra careful of any apperence of impropriety?   Obama cannot continue to hold himself out as the new broom cleaning up Washington if he sweeps such stuff under the rug. Obama really does not want to become Bush-Lite when it comes to the ethical practices of his cabinet.  
          It will be easier for Obama to drop Tom while explaining that "painful as it is, because Daschle is very qualified" he cannot support carelessness when it comes to paying taxes, than to have this issue regurgitated ad nauseum for the indefinite future....AND IT WILL BE!  Sometime wisdom is in cutting one's loses EARLY!  
         Does Obama want the news cycle about Wall Street bonues or Daschle's tax problems?  You do the math.  :-)

        ...Former candidate for Congress.

        by Steve Love on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:01:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, if this was a republican (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CJB

        we wouldn't know!

  •  Please, (6+ / 0-)

    Let's get an MD who understands the problems inherent in the current medical system.

  •  Daschle will be confirmed easily (3+ / 0-)

    Remember, he was part of the same club as the people voting on his nomination a few years back.

  •  Don't dump Daschle...he'll do a great job (5+ / 0-)

    and the tax thing is apparently more common than people know...as long as it gets resolved, it's no big deal.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:42:42 AM PST

    •  I'm not worried about Daschle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freakofsociety

      and I think Dean would do a fine job, but I think this...

      Dean's name was excluded from consideration quite early on, citing Dean's "partisan background" and lack of congressional experience. That argument is total nonsense - and applies far more to Daschle than it does to Dean anyway.

      is also total nonsense. The former Senate Majority leader has plenty of congressional experience.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 09:51:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure the GOP echo chamber will agree. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:02:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  no big deal? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery

    these people need to look into their affairs and make sure there are no problems before they take a job like this. why give the rethugs any more ammo to use against us. my reich-wing brother will have a field with this. we have to be better at these things.

  •  Say it loud!!! Say it Proud... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Colorado is the Shiznit, allenjo

    Daschle should go...how difficult is it to report your consulting fees?  What, was he paid in cash?

    DEAN DEAN DEAN

    Do not become the sycophants we have despised for 8 years.

    by justmy2 on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:00:14 AM PST

  •  Dump Daschle. Do Dean. (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, the change we can believe in.

    From Alabama to Obama - You've come a long way baby.

    by amk for obama on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:06:55 AM PST

  •  That would be some change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Colorado is the Shiznit, allenjo

    I could believe in.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:08:20 AM PST

  •  HHS is a very complicated organization ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, freakofsociety, engine17, Texnance

    and it needs the right leadership.  Howard Dean can't provide it for HHS.

    I was an early supporter of Howard Dean, and I remain so.  I admired and contributed to the DNC through his tenure as Chairman, largely due to the 50 State Strategy.  

    I also work in one of HHS's agencies, and Dr. Dean would be a disaster as Secretary. Dean's most significant shortcoming is getting people to agree with him. He's smart, and when he has an idea, expects that others will fall in line without doing the things many people expect before they will accept change.

    HHS is responsible for the following major services:

    Health insurance via Medicare and Medicaid -- CMS
    Health Care Research, Disease research and prevention -- CDC, NIH, AHRQ, HRSA, USPHS
    Food, Medical Equipment, and Pharmaceutical Regulation -- FDA
    Services to Children and Families ("Welfare") -- ACF

    The Secretary at best is able to coordinate the articulated visions of the Directors of each of the Divisions, and present them as a coherent whole to the President and Congress.  When a reformer such as Tommy Thompson comes along, the Divisions dig in their heels and seek assistance from their constituents and stakeholders.

    Real leadership at HHS requires careful staff work, consensus building, and the ability to build relationships with a variety of internal and external interest groups to create the opportunity for change.  If -- and it's a big if -- the question of universal health care, particularly single payer health care comes up during this administration, then Daschle is a better choice to build the kind of support and consensus required inside and outside HHS to make it succeed.

    Senator Daschle is well respected by senior management across the divisions, and has a long history of working with HHS.  The tax issue is disconcerting, but I do understand how it can happen.

  •  sheila kuehl as HHS n/t (0+ / 0-)

    die welt ist shizer

    by Unbozo on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 10:30:41 AM PST

  •  This is not the first time Daschle has been (0+ / 0-)

    targeted. Republicans know that this guy in the proper position, is dangerous to their long term prospects. Take a good long look at what he's being blasted for, before you start bashing him.
    Not paying taxes on a provided car & driver. I don't know what the rules say on this. Does the President have to pay taxes on his car & driver??? Do Rock stars have to pay taxes on limousines provided to transport them to shows??? I don't really know the technical aspects or rules but I would suspect that there are WAY more people who have these types of services provided who do NOT directly pay taxes on that.
    Most people at the level Daschle is at do not prepare their own returns. So while yes they are ultimately responsible, it is also totally plausible & even likely that the particular mistakes are at least partially the result of liberal accounting.
    I'm not saying looking closely is uncalled for but, Daschle has done a lot of good for the party & for the people. He's been a huge Republican target before & we really do owe he & Obama at least a chance to explain before making the call for a replacement.

    •  Oh! I agree with everything that you say (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pletzs, Clem Yeobright

      about Daschle.  He as been a GOP bulls eye for decades and is one the right side of most every issue.  My concern is not for Tom; it is for Obama.  Ten days into his administration and he is having to deal with TWO of his nominees having tax problems, that they were ignorant of or negligent in dealing with.  That hardly sends a message to the general public that Obama is ready for prime time.  That's what I am concerned about!

      ...Former candidate for Congress.

      by Steve Love on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:13:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In both cases their problems probably would have (0+ / 0-)

        never been issues had it not been for the rigorous vetting. The fact that these problems are being brought out in the light sends a clear message that his cabinet & appointees will be held to a higher standard & will either adhere to it or not have a position. The rest is all political gamesmanship.
        Again. How many people in different industries & positions of stature would think to claim a car & driver as taxable income??? I know these people are supposed to be representing the best of the best but it certainly makes a very strong case for simplification of tax codes doesn't it???
        Being concerned about appearances is valid.

        •  Haven't needed 'lipstick on a pig' in months. (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks for reminding me!

          If you kids don't behave, I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - g_d

          by Clem Yeobright on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 06:53:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure that Daschle's problem is from the (0+ / 0-)

          complexity of the tax code.  What did he do?  He forgot to declare income.  That cannot be corrected by simplifying the tax code, unless that means limiting the number of sources from which a person can get income or increasing the number of persons tasked with looking over the shoulders of those income earners who are not paid a regular salary where there is weekly withholding so that taxable income does not fall through the cracks.  If those are the options, that suggests a greater not lesser complexity to the tax code in my opinion.  :-)

          ...Former candidate for Congress.

          by Steve Love on Sun Feb 01, 2009 at 12:28:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You think Dean wouldn't be targeted? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean Daschle is considered 10 times more moderate than Dean. Dean is an easy target unfortunately.

  •  I"m trusting Obama on this one... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety

    I love Dean, and would support him for this or any of several other positions, but I'm deferring to Obama. The President is apparently convinced that Dashle's demonstrated ability to massage the legislative process is needed to advance his agenda. I'm good with that.

  •  Oh gods not another one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety

    Look there is NOTHING wrong with Dascle so would you stop trying to help his foes?

    And for that matter Dean would be a TERRIBLE Sec Health precisely because the man doesn't know how to work with the Senate (as he's never had to).

    Obama knows what he's doing, I wish you and those like you would stop trying to back seat drive.

  •  Who cares? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety

    Apparently tax-cheat Geithner was okay as SECRETARY OF THE FREAKING TREASURY, so what's wrong with Daschle as HHS?

    Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid.

    by arcticshadow on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 11:26:25 AM PST

  •  Dean uses the subway, not a car and driver (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    and flies coach when he travels by air.  He should have been named HHS Secretary in the first placce.

    Equal "rites" for ALL Americans!

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:41:49 PM PST

  •  Daschle was a mistake (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    He and his wife have been cozy with lobbyists for a long time.  Now, he's taken money to speak before health care organizations on top of his tax problem.  He needs to withdraw.  Dean would be a good replacement.

    "Our resolution reflects the will of the State of Israel." Harry Reid. 1/8/09

    by Paleo on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:55:40 PM PST

    •  Link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      "Our resolution reflects the will of the State of Israel." Harry Reid. 1/8/09

      by Paleo on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:59:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Politico? (0+ / 0-)

        Really? I don't know what that article says but I'm not about to go to a right leaning site about this. You should know better.

        •  Politico (0+ / 0-)

          Whether it leans right or not, the facts are there.  Daschle and his his wife have always been cavaliar about mixing lobbying and policy.  We should be better than this.

          "Our resolution reflects the will of the State of Israel." Harry Reid. 1/8/09

          by Paleo on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 01:31:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And (0+ / 0-)

          Since you don't want to link to it, here's the highlights:

          Daschle made nearly $5.3 million in the last two years, records released Friday show, including $220,000 he received for giving speeches, many of them to outfits that stand to gain or lose millions of dollars from the work he would do once confirmed as secretary of Health and Human Services.

          For instance, the Health Industry Distributors Association plunked down $14,000 to land the former Senate Democratic leader in March 2008. The association, which represents medical products distributors, boasts on its website that Daschle met with it after he was nominated to discuss "the impact an Obama administration will have on the industry."

          This week, the group began openly lobbying him, sending him a letter urging him to rescind a rule requiring competitive bidding of Medicare contracts.

          Another organization, America’s Health Insurance Plans, paid $20,000 for a Daschle speaking appearance in February 2007. It represents health insurance companies, which under Obama’s plan would be barred from denying coverage on the basis of health or age.

          There was a $12,000 talk to GE Healthcare in August, a $20,000 lecture in January to Premier, Inc., a health care consulting firm, and a pair of $18,000 speeches this year to different hospital systems, among other paid appearances before health care groups.

          "Our resolution reflects the will of the State of Israel." Harry Reid. 1/8/09

          by Paleo on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 01:37:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Facebook your diary next time (0+ / 0-)

    So I can recommend it!

    (Unless you did post it to facebook and I missed it; if so, I should be embarrassed)

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