I thought President Obama wasn’t going to invite lobbyists into his government. Well maybe he meant except for Tom Daschle.
Slate’s Glenn Greenwald describes Daschle, as the typical Non-Lobbyist–Lobbyist that Obama seems to be filling his administration with:
The release of the financial statement [Daschle] submitted to the Office of Government Ethics details for the first time exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington.
Daschle’s expertise and insights, gleaned over 26 years in Congress, earned him more than $5 million over the past two years, including $220,000 from the health-care industry, and perks such as a chauffeured Cadillac, according to the documents.
The Worst hypocrisy of the Daschle nomination is his “non-payment” of taxes. It’s more than not buying his “mea culpa.” It is the fact that one of his favorite activities when a member of the senate was raising taxes. Here is A Look at Daschle’s Voting Record on Taxes:
· In 2004, Daschle voted against keeping the Internet free of all sales taxes.
· In 2003, Daschle voted against reducing the capital gains and dividend rates to 15%.
· In 2003, Daschle voted against permanently killing the Death Tax.
· In 2002, Daschle voted against permanently killing the Death Tax.
· In 2001, Daschle voted against cutting income tax rates for all taxpayers, ending the marriage penalty, doubling the child tax credit, and killing the Death Tax.
· In 2000, Daschle voted against ending the marriage penalty, killing the Death Tax, and a gas tax cut for consumers.
· In 1999 Daschle voted against expanding Medical Savings Accounts despite endorsing the concept less than a decade earlier.
· In 1999 Daschle voted against an across-the-board 10% income tax cut, a capital gains tax cut, and killing the Death Tax.
· In 1998, Daschle voted against ending the marriage penalty and against tax-free education savings accounts for children.
· In 1997, Daschle voted against the creation of the Roth IRA.
· In 1995, Daschle voted against a constitutional amendment that would have required a supermajority to raise taxes.
· In 1993, Daschle voted for the Clinton income tax increase.
But it goes way beyond Daschle. The Democratic Party is overflowing with scandal. Not one person in the mainstream media is connecting the dots and proving that the party of change is actually the party of ethics problems, so let me give it a shot:
The Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee (Chris Dodd) took “funky” loans from one of the banks his committee is supposedly regulation. The Chairman of the House Banking Committee (Barney Frank) refused regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until it was much too late. This may or may not have to do with the fact that his former lover (and still close friend) was a high ranking executive at Fannie. Congressman Charlie Rangel is the head of the House Ways and Means Committee (they write tax law) had a problem paying taxes.
Now let’s take a look at the cabinet. Tim Geithner, who was picked to be Treasury Secretary (and new boss of the IRS) “forgot” to pay $34,000 in taxes.
Now former Senator and “non lobbyist-lobbyist” Tom Daschle was designated to run the Department of Health and Human Services got a private car and driver and didn’t know he was supposed to pay $100,000 dollars in taxes on it. He paid that off last week, but without penalties. If any real people were audited on that, they’d have to fork over about $25,000 bucks in penalties. Now we find out he’s going to cut another check for $6,000 because he didn’t know he had to pay Medicare for the driver. Daschle is the guy who is going to run Medicare!
And don’t forget, Tom Daschle enjoyed voting for taxes when he was a senator. At least he wasn’t a lobbyist (sort of).
The truth of it all is if these guys were Republicans, instead of Democrats the press would be saying the party was wracked with scandal. But this is the Democratic Party, the most favored party of the media, so it will never happen.