Tom Daschle Could Have Saved Himself $140,000 Just By Saying "No" To Obama's Health Secretary Job

2-3-09

“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.

So long Tom Daschle, you tax cheating bum!

What in the world was Mr. Obama thinking when he offered up Tom Daschle as his Health and Human Services secretary? Did he not tell the world that he would demand anyone working in his administration satisfactorily fill out his 63 question background inspection? This section of the questionnaire could not have been more clear that there would be some major problems if Daschle answered them honestly.

job-app-obambi-admin

This part of the application comes well past the section asking about any lobbyist connections and Daschle certainly had his issues with this little bugaboo. Daschle is a special policy adviser for the lobbying law firm Alston & Bird. And in his three years there, the firm has earned more than $16 million representing some of the health care industry’s most powerful interests before the very department he had been in line to lead. Is this why so many of his buddies in the Senate are bemoaning the fact that he bailed out of consideration? This is his so called extensive expertise?

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“It really sets us back a step,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “Because he was such a talent. I mean he understood Congress, serving in the House and Senate he certainly had the confidence of the president.”

“I was a little stunned. I thought he was going to get confirmed,” said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the panel that would have voted on Daschle’s nomination. “It’s regrettable. He’s a very good man.”

Now how many of us in the real world could simply not pay $128,000 to the government, which is about to put the next five generations into debt up to their eyeballs, and have a president of the United States call it “a mistake?”

“Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged,” Obama said. “He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake and this decision cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country.”

This was no mistake. This guy thought he was above the law and more than likely had no intention of paying these back taxes and probably wouldn’t have had he not been nominated for the HHS secretary.

That said this man is nothing but a pure partisan hack whose Congressional career was spent doing everything he could to trip up Republicans and more specifically George W. Bush. When Republicans hold up Democratic presidential nominees they are called obstructionists. When the Democrats in Congress refuse to move confirmations through the process they claim they are concerned about the Constitution. Daschle was famous for his obstructionism.

When Sen. Tom Daschle returns to work after Christmas, he might find some nominees he’s obstructed decorating their offices.
Though President Bush has been in office nearly a year, he still hasn’t been able to fill out his administration. More than 150 nominees who require Senate approval remained unconfirmed.

The primary hurdle has been Daschle, the Senate majority leader.

Leading the list of the shunned are Eugene Scalia, picked to be the top lawyer at the Labor Department, and Otto Reich, Bush’s choice for secretary of Western Hemisphere affairs. Though Scalia was approved in committee, and likely has 54 votes in the Senate, Daschle is blocking a floor vote. He says Scalia needs 60 votes – enough to end a filibuster – for confirmation because he’s controversial. And just why is he controversial? Because Daschle says he is.

It’s the same for Reich. The Reagan diplomat, it seems, was too chummy with the Contras and too hostile to Nicaraguan communist dictator Daniel Ortega in the 1980s for some Democrats’ taste.

After months of Daschle’s stonewall, Bush is now thinking about making recess appointments that can last through the end of 2003 without Senate confirmation. But Daschle may block that route as well. He plans to adjourn the Senate subject to the call of the chair. That lets lawmakers return quickly if they need to pass wartime legislation; it also prevents recess appointments because it leaves the Senate technically in session.

Bush has to get tough with the soft-spoken South Dakotan. It starts with making sure the public knows exactly what Daschle is up to. That may not be the high road Bush wants, but it’s the one he has to take.

I would say there was a good chance Daschle could be criminally investigated for his “$140,000 mistake” but I doubt that would work out too well considering Obama’s Treasury Secretary, overlooking the IRS, is a tax cheat in his own right.

This entry was posted in Obama And His Administration.

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