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More Change You Can Believe In

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Our president said he would bring change. Specifically there would not be the same old Washington insiders and their ways. But that is exactly what we are getting.


And yes, Lisa, neophytes with spotless records might be a wonderful thing, real change! I'm tired of those same old insiders who "get things done". A big part of the problem is the way in which they "get things done". It's called "pork".


And speaking of neophytes, wasn't that how Mr. Obama sold himself to us? As not being a Washington "insider"?



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Tax cheats? Get real. What these guys did was clearly a tax mistake, not a cheat. They have far too much to lose to try to actively deceive the IRS for this amount of money. They made mistakes, they paid their dues.


I sold a truck for $24,000 through a consignment broker once. After the sale, he sent me a 1099 for the sale price. I ignored it, didn't know what it was. I did my own taxes. 2 years later I get a notice from the IRS on unclaimed income of $24,000. They wanted back taxes and penalties for $7,000. Was I a tax cheat? I didn't think so, it was a tax mistake. I had to file ammended returns to show the sale price was less than my purchase price, and still had to pay the penalties. This is exactly what Daschle did, just on a smaller scale. He failed to show income that he thought he didn't receive.


As for the vetting process, if they didn't know they had a tax problem, how would Obama's team know about it? Not until the media started sifting through their stuff did this even surface. I looked at the application that Obama required each candidate to fill out, looked pretty comprehensive. None of these problems would have been uncovered on it, unless the candidate knowing hid it from Obama. I now know with my previous tax issue, I'm not qualified to meet the standards.

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To paraphrase President Obama, I reject as false the choice between selecting qualified / experienced and law abiding when we fill government positions.


I also reject the idea that these were "honest mistakes" made on tax returns. These folks arent "johnny six-pack". They are supposed to be the best and brightest and I hold them to that standard they should have known better.

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Yah, da shrill partisan stuff really gets old. I think most hardworkin' Americans are sick of it.


It is my understanding that neither Geithner nor Daeschle paid any penalties, just interest. If someone has better information on that point, please provide it.


The sources outside the right wingnut uneducated blogs are pretty clear, eh? Daschle paid full penalties as well as interest. IRS waived penalties on Geithner because it was an obscure error and it was his accountant's mistake.


Point one - character counts. Neither Geithner nor Daeschle exhibited much of this since they both cheated and both put off dealing with their problems until they believed it was likely they would be appointed to something.


False for Geithner, perhaps true for Daschle. Geithner wasn't even aware of da errors until they were caught by Obama's vetting team.


Of course, character also counts when makin' accusations. Most of us view it as sinful to bear false witness against thy neighbor. A sad fact that many folks who claim to be fellow Christians forget when they get into a partisan lather. :(


Point two - the laxity and/or incompetence in the vetting. These were self inflicted wounds by the nascent Obama administration. These errors cannot be laid at the feet of the evil republicans, the vast right wing conspiracy, or Fox news.


Obama's team caught Geithner's issues, and asked him to pay back taxes from 7 years ago on closed returns which he was under no legal obligation to pay. They didn't catch Daschle's entanglement. But let's also remember that transition teams have very limited budgets and resources, and quite a bit on their plate. Given da state of the nation, I can imagine lookin' into whether Daschle was inappropriately usin' a limo for personal rather than business use was a fair ways down on the list.


Daschle deserved the treatment he got, and it was right for him to withdraw. The other two are being pilloried for ordinary errors which they dutifully corrected. I reckon da just penalty for anybody who calls 'em tax cheats is to make 'em endure an endoscopic audit for da last 20 years of the same sort.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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There is one good thing about having Geithner as "boss" of the IRS. If any of us ordinary people make income tax mistakes, then we can just point out that the IRS' boss made mistakes without penalty, and we expect the same treatment.

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"Geithner wasn't even aware of da errors until they were caught by Obama's vetting team. "


This statement is an out and out lie Mr Geithner signed an affidavit sworn statement each and every quarter that he worked for the IMF that he was about to receive a check from the IMF for his self employment taxes which he was required to pay. Which taxes he willfully proceeded not to pay. He should be in prison not heading the treasury.

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Link to an article that describes the errors Geithner made.




Excerpts from the article:


Geithner filed amended tax returns for 2001 and 2002 after Barack Obama nominated him. Earlier he did so for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 after an IRS audit in 2006. He did his own taxes in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2005.


Q: Aren't there some other mistakes, too?


A: One of the more egregious errors was that Geithner, over three different tax years, claimed that expenses for the summer camps he'd sent his children to qualified for the child and dependent-care tax credit. This credit is for working parents with children younger than 13 who send them to preschool or after-school care. IRS documents and commercially available tax software clearly define what qualifies.


"That's one anyone who has kids and has filled out that form knows that it's wrong. That's really odd," said Paul Caron, a prominent tax-law expert and associate dean at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.


Documents that the Senate Finance Committee released suggest that Geithner also failed to pay a penalty tax for withdrawing money early from a federal retirement account.


There's a 10 percent penalty for doing that, and it's advertised up front for tax-deferred retirement accounts. This is as basic as it gets in the world of personal finance.


"I don't understand how the 10 percent withdrawal penalty could have fallen through the cracks. That's just a red flag," said Peter Sepp, spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union, a group that lobbies for simplifying the U.S. tax code.




There is no evidence in this article that Obama's team caught these errors, as Beavah claims. It says after he was nominated he amended returns for 2001 and 2002.

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