I applaud President Obama's decision to throw former nominee for Health and Human Services Tom Daschle under the bus. Despite protestations to the contrary by his pals in the Senate, Tom "Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter" Daschle was the rankest of hypocrites, calling for relentless enforcement of the Byzantine tax code he helped create against the less connected, but flouting those laws (and until now, escaping without penalty) in his personal life.
But Daschle cheated on a known and (to lawyers like Daschle and his wife) obvious tax requirement, to the tune of over a hundred thousand dollars. That's big money even in high-roller circles.
For an example of the ridiculous in the extent to which Daschle (and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner) have embarrassed the new administration, consider the case of Nancy Killefer. Ms. Killefer, nominated to serve as Chief Performance Officer, a new position for oversight of federal efficiency, also was forced to withdraw from the administration.
Her sin? A tax lien of $946.69. For failing to pay unemployment insurance, over a brief period, for a nanny. (A "legal" nanny by the way).
Would Tom Daschle have been thrown under the bus for $946 and change? I think not.
As a man, I must admit I tend to view allegations of sexism with skepticism, perhaps more than I should. But I fully agree with Malika Saada Saar that this would never have happened to a man in Killefer's shoes. A nanny is arguably an independent contractor (for whom one need not pay such taxes), and as for the lien, it seems Ms. Killefer didn't know about it until it was brought to her attention.
Where is the outrage? Where is Melissa McEwan when you need her?