Saturday, January 31, 2009
The New York Times' Robert Pear discusses some of Tom Daschle's tax issues that might disrupt plans for his confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services. He writes,
President Obama’s pick for secretary of health and human services, Tom Daschle, filed amended tax returns and paid more than $100,000 in back taxes on Jan. 2, administration officials said on Friday. (Related news article.) Mr. Daschle concluded that he owed the taxes for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by Leo Hindery Jr., the founder of a private equity firm known as InterMedia Advisors, the officials said.
Mr. Daschle was chairman of the firm’s advisory board. In a financial disclosure statement filed this month with the Office of Government Ethics, Mr. Daschle reported that he had received large amounts of income from InterMedia, including more than $2 million for consulting and $182,520 in the form of “company-provided transportation.” The belated tax payments help explain delays in the confirmation of Mr. Daschle, a former Senate Democratic leader who had been expected to win swift approval from the Senate. . . .
The official said that Mr. Daschle’s failure to pay the taxes was “a stupid mistake,” but should not derail the nomination. The confirmation of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner was held up only briefly following the disclosure that he had failed to pay more than $34,000 in taxes owed to the federal government. . . .