Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Nancy Killefer is out.

Timothy Geithner is in.

Tom Daschle is still on the way.  (Or not.  See UPDATE below.)

But something is wrong with this picture.  All three of these Obama nominees had problems paying their taxes (not problems like "they couldn't" but problems like "they didn't") but only one of them - Killefer - is being kept out of the new administration.  She's "withdrawn her candidacy" for the position of "chief performance officer" (whatever that is) but Geithner has already been confirmed as Treasury secretary and Daschle seems on the way to confirmation as secretary of Health and Human Services.

Why the disparate treatment?  Killefer must be the worst offender, right?  Nope.  Daschle is.  He failed to pay $128,203 that he owed the IRS.  And Geithner is next.  He failed to pay $34,000 in income taxes.

So what did Killefer do?  She failed to pay a whopping $946.69 in unemployment compensation taxes on her household help.  $946.69!  And she paid that off in 2005.

Now, don't get me wrong.  What Killefer did was wrong.  But if she's out for less than $1,000, why aren't Geithner and Daschle out too?  

Because they're big fish, that's why.  And Killefer isn't.  She's just the scapegoat who is being shown the door in a calculated effort to take the pressure off the other miscreants in the cabinet.  Let's hope the effort fails and Daschle boards the next plane back to South Dakota.

UPDATE:  DASCHLE'S BOUGHT HIS TICKET!  As I was typing, this story hit.  Who says SLC has no impact?

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