His nominees to oversee the Treasury (Timothy Geithner) and Health and Human Services (Tom Daschle) were both forced to pay back taxes before their nominations could move forward. His pick of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to head the Commerce Department was stopped in its tracks because of an ethics investigation.
President Obama has stepped forward to face the firing line as to why these nominees have problems the rest of us as Americans dread each April 15th, but somehow find a way to pay Uncle Sam the money we owe.
It is ironic that Congress is bemoaning the fact that companies and the wealthy have been avoiding paying taxes, but it is their own who are just as guilty. Former Representative and Senator Daschle was “forced” to pay more than $130,000 in back taxes when he learned he was going to be President Obama’s selection for the Health and Human Services post.
One has to wonder if Daschle was not up for the position, would he have stepped forward and done the right thing? And why didn’t the IRS aggressively go after Daschle just like they would go after everyday citizens? If the local garbage man or carpenter would have failed to pay taxes, the IRS would have come with its full arsenal to collect the owed taxes or worse. Like the Monopoly Chance card reads, “Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go and do not collect $200.”
The sad news is this problem is not a Democratic or a Republican problem, this is an American problem. The country is going through difficult times financially and the last thing we need to see is another one of the politicians who are supposed to guide us through the storm, charting their own course and not leading by example.
Unfortunately, while these problems are not all of President Obama’s doing, he does end up being tainted by the scandal. The American public looked to him to breathe fresh life into Washington and be more transparent.
For the candidate who has promised “Change” and “Hope,” he is beginning to understand in his short period of time in the nation’s capital, neither of these things will come easily.