Former Senator Tom Daschle is sorry about all the fuss he has caused about not paying his taxes. Tom Daschle has sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee saying so. Most think that will be sufficient to save Daschle’s nomination as HHS Secretary.
Tom Daschle’s letter said, in part, “I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns…. I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them.” The “errors” in question, have to do with a car and driver given to Daschle for his personal use as well as failure to report other income. Tom Daschle also neglected to mention this oversight during the vetting process for his nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Tom Daschle’s tax liability came to about $140,000.
Nevertheless, this sort of behavior, which should not only derail Tom Daschle’s nomination, if not place him in jeopardy of his liberty, is somewhat less important than two overriding facts. The first fact is that Tom Daschle was an early supporter of Barack Obama and, according to the political custom of Illinois politics, political supporters are rewarded no matter what ethical challenges they might have. The second fact is that Tom Daschle used to be a United States Senator and has a lot of friends still in the Senate. The Senate hardly ever fails to confirm one of their own for appointed office. The last time that happened was John Tower, who had been nominated as Secretary of Defense by George Bush 41, but had the bad luck of having then Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sam Nunn as an enemy.
Barack Obama has confirmed his full support for his nominee. Various Senators suggest that the tax “glitch” will not derail Tom Daschle’s nomination. The only discordant note was offered by Senator John Kyl, who mused about what would have happened if Tom Daschle had been a Republican appointed by a Republican President.
The fact that Tom Daschle is getting preferential treatment was no better illustrated by a quote, culled from the Congressional Record, from ten years ago. Tom Daschle used to have quite a different perspective on the tax laws than he does now. He said, back in 1998, “Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.”
One couldn’t agree more. And if the Senate does its Constitutional duty of advise and consent, it will follow the advice Tom Daschle himself gave when considering the nomination of Tom Daschle.
Source: Daschle: I’m Sorry, Ed Morrissey, Hotair.com, February 2nd, 2009