Saturday, April 4, 2009

before you can take up the carpet...

time's karen tumulty reports on the "onerous and unreasonable flyspecking" of candidates for vacant obama administration posts. in the case of kansas governor kathleen sebelius, obama's choice for secretary of health and human services, the embarrassment is a whopping $7,918 discrepancy in unpaid back taxes and interest.

a prominent tax attorney, familiar with the confirmation process, suggests –
"In the past, if something like that happened, an amended return would show up a couple of days later, and that would be it. It wouldn't be the public torture that is going on today."
in relative terms, $7,900 is not an exorbitant amount for a tax delinquency. to someone whose tax return could serve as a booster seat in a broadway theater, it's a bit onerous and unreasonable to fuss about. needing of correction? yes. worth fussing about? no.

certainly geithner's and dashle's debts were more substantial, but we are often given no context in which to judge them, and provided little information to allow any means of comparison. besides, using phrases like "tax evader" and "unpaid back taxes" without getting into annoying detail is so much easier, and both certainly sound really bad, don't they?

then again, so does "nancy pelosi's salt marsh mouse."


  1. Or that silly old "volcano monitoring"

  2. you're all right - and you're wrong. no - money wasn't set aside specifically for the marsh mouse. money WAS set aside for restoring the wetland areas around San Fran, including San Fran county and 4 counties that surround the San Fran Bay. around $22 million. that money can be used for whatever purpose - and my guess is that the marsh mouse WILL receive some money. look for a future blog post on the subject.

    it's double-talk. Pelosi has been an advocate of restoring the habitat of the marsh mouse. San Fran County was given monies set aside in the stimulus bill for wetland conservancy. if you don't think the marsh mouse will see money, you're all a tad naive.

  3. to address the delinquent tax issue, the issue, for me, isn't the delinquent taxes, but the number of Obama nominees that have had tax issues. you would think the Obama's administration would have cleaned up their screening process so this wouldn't happen again. how many nominees have been scrutinized...5, 6? Geezuz Christ - it's about making the effort NOT to call attention to yourself and NOT give your opponents and naysayers amunition to throw back at you.

    you would think that Obama's administration would have learned after the first bunch of nominee dropped out 'cause of tax questions.

  4. the mouse:

    and would anyone care to discuss what restoring marshlands in the bay area entails? oh wait, someone already did:

    a day late and a month of disappointed

    and what you've just said there, jeff, is TOTALLY different than just "dropping in" the idea that we're sending 22 mil for a mouse. one deals with fact.


    did it ever occur to you that perhaps it is to the obama administrations credit that this is happening? the quote included in the post makes the point. perhaps it is because the vetting process is so harsh and thorough that we're finding all of this. but no, couldn't be...


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