Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Art of Vetting and Paying Taxes

Oops, and another one bites the dust. So now Tom Daschle has had to withdraw from his nomination to the Health and Human Services head position. He is the third nominee who has erred on his income taxes. To me, this brings up two questions about people who work in the Washington arena. Is the vetting process poorly designed? Why are so many of these people having trouble with income taxes?

Most of us have been "vetted" when we apply for jobs. Some of us have been quizzed and investigated extensively in order to get some jobs. When I went to work years ago at NHIC (Texas Medicaid), I was interviewed by several different people and had references checked. Later I worked at an independent medical lab. Again I was screened. When my ex-husband and I were married, he had to go through an extensive background and job check. To this day, I don't know how the screening board found out some of their information. What is wrong with the vetting process for top government posts. I know they have to answer a long list of questions regarding background, finances and information on their spouses and family do. To accept an offer from the President of the United States and not know things like tax issues, to me, just nuts. Anyone who fills out tax forms knows how hard it is. Many of these people make a lot of money, but "forget" to report things.With the amount of money they make, do they not have access to accountants or CPAs? This is not just a Democratic or Republican issue, it is an embarrassment to the Office of the President of the United States. It could be said, President Obama made bad choices. To his credit, he said "I screwed up". To me, maybe someone should take a hard look at the vetting process. Maybe it needs to be changed.

Tim Geithner, Obama's choice to head the Treasury Department brings the tax issue to the front. He didn't pay his taxes right but has since corrected that. Most of the powers of Washington are willing to forgive and forget. According to them he is smart and well qualified for the job of Secretary of the Treasury. If he can make mistakes on his taxes who are we to think ours are right? Maybe we should all write Mr.Geithner and suggest that, once again, we think the tax system stinks and needs to be changed.

It does seem a little funny that the guy in charge of the Treasury did not pay his taxes right. Now I don't feel so bad when I complain about paying mine. Then again, I'm not in Washington.


Dr.John said...

No matter how hard you look you can't find perfect people. SAo you take the best you can get.

dmarks said...

The Secretary of Labor nominee has a similar problem, except it is her husband who is the tax cheat, not her. And she also has problem where she is a lobbyist for an anti-worker-rights initiative. But Obama has broken his promise not to hire lobbyists so many times already, so that won't be much of a problem, I guess.

At least Hillary Clinton believes in paying her taxes.

cube said...

I think this problem is endemic among DC politicians. They believe they are elites who don't have to bother with the laws that the little people need to heed.

I would propose a statue of Leona Helmsly to be commissioned for these fatuous jerks.