Questions about tax issues have now clouded three nominations. (PHOTO CREDIT: JIM WATSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama says he "screwed up” when it came to the nomination of Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services Secretary. No kidding.
Daschle dropped out after days of questioning about more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes. President Obama says it's important for his administration to send a message that there aren't two sets of rules when it comes to paying taxes - for prominent people and for ordinary folks. That might prompt one to ask, "Then why do you keep nominating people who haven't paid their taxes for high ranking positions in your administration?"
Questions about tax issues have now clouded three nominations. Besides Daschle, another top appointee, Nancy Killefer, pulled her name from consideration as chief White House Performance officer – because of unpaid taxes for a household employee. And then, of course, there was Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. He was eventually confirmed by the Senate – but only after days of scrutiny and numerous public apologies. The man who will now oversee the IRS failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes himself.
None of this is good news for the Obama administration. It opens up the White House to a lot of criticism from Republicans and on newspaper editorial pages. They say President Obama preaches one thing – ethics, responsibility, etc. – but practices another. It also raises serious questions about the administration's vetting process. Who keeps submitting the names of tax cheats for high-powered jobs in Obama's administration?
Here’s my question to you: How does nominating three people who didn't pay their taxes affect President Obama's credibility?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Ann from South Carolina writes:
Pres. Obama knows those three nominations put his credibility in danger. When he was campaigning he said that when he made a mistake, he would admit it. Saying "I screwed up" admits the mistake, he takes responsibility for it, so that takes the wind out of the sails of those who want to make a big issue out of tax issues of these three nominees. It is time for the media to let go of it.
Seems like a deeper issue when a former party leader in the U.S. Senate and the former head of the Federal Reserve Bank of N.Y. are the tax cheats in question. Hitting three folks with tax issues in the relatively small statistical sample of Obama nominees makes one wonder if it isn’t just the tip of the iceberg. Shows how pervasive the problem is ... more than an Obama issue.
Although he can not be responsible for the entire vetting process, it makes him look like he did not do his homework.
Cynthia from Michigan writes:
President Obama's credibility is not hurt one bit by Daschle’s tax scandal. In fact, the vetting process is doing exactly what it's supposed to do: weed out the ones who continue to go forward in the nomination process hoping their darkness doesn't come to light. Did President Obama make a mistake? He did. Once Daschle’s tax issue was found was the time for President Obama to check Daschle off. What keeps President Obama's credibility in tact is that he took responsibility (immediately) for his screw-up. I can live with that.
Ray from Danville, Virginia writes:
It shows that there isn't really any change in the Obama administration. He still has the same old Democrats who have been in the system in Washington for years.
Jack, It's beginning to give me the impression that nobody in Washington pays their taxes.