Palin & Daschle: The Hypocrisy of Tax Problems

I am tired of the hypocrisy game in the world of politics. I know I shouldn’t be but I can’t help it.

The latest in the growing list is the announcement that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is required to pay back-taxes dating back to her days living is Wasilla. I am aware that people of both parties fail to pay taxes but the hypocrisy that exists with how the parties deal with it drives me nuts. (Okay, I’m already a little nuts, but there’s nothing I can really do about that either.)

Palin, the former Republican Vice presidential nominee in 2008 is also a leading contender to win the party’s nomination for president in 2012. I’m sure the fact that she owes back taxes will not even be raised as an issue. In fact, I’m sure that it will be completely ignored during the 2 year campaign.

Meanwhile, former Senator Tom Daschle was forced to resign his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services over his own tax issue. He is passionate about health care reform and losing his voice and vision will be irreplaceable.

Nancy Kellifer also withdrew her nomination over a tax issue.

So why doesn’t Palin resign?

One could argue that President Barack Obama said that he was going to run an open and clean administration so the standard is higher than it would be for others.

Then again, George W. Bush said his campaign would restore honor to the White House. The only area where I will concede that point to Bush is the suit and tie rule in the White House. He did bring formality back to the White House. Bill Clinton was ran a more casual WH. [Insert your own joke here.]

For those who claim that there were no sex scandals during the Bush administration, I would like to direct your attention to Jeff Gannon (aka James Guckert) who served as a White House reporter from 2003 to 2005. He also was a homosexual male escort who had many visits to the White House when no press conferences occurred.

I’ve already discussed the hypocrisy of marriage infidelity in the world of politics. [Read: The Edwards Affair: The Hypocrisy of Political Infidelity]

Democrat John Edwards is in seclusion yet Republican John McCain has served many years in the Senate and even ran for president. And Republican David Vitter still serves after evidence surfaced that he was involved with a prostitute yet Democrat Eliot Spitzer resigned as Governor of New York.

Personally, I would come down very strong on marriage infidelity – in my life. I don’t feel it is appropriate for me to judge others. It’s not my place.

Failure to pay taxes is a criminal offense. If one attempts to make good on that neglect, I am forgiving and with payment and penalty fees, so is the IRS. Daschle was attempting to make good and I believe Kellifer was as well. If Palin pays her delinquent taxes, then I will not hold it against her. [I have a long list of other things that are worse on my list. Can anyone say Trooper-Gate?]

Finally, Edwards has vanished from the political scene and will not be a part of Obama’s administration – nor will Daschle.

I think these voices must be heard in these difficult times. I don’t expect everyone to forgive them but if only the pure could serve in our government, there would be no one to serve.

They mustn’t be punished solely because of the ‘D’ after their name – especially if the ‘R’s go unpunished.


10 responses to “Palin & Daschle: The Hypocrisy of Tax Problems

  1. As someone who works (as a contractor) for the federal government, if i didn’t pay my taxes or had a tax bill over a year old, I would lose my job. It should be no different for an elected official.

    But it is a hoax to pretend, that just because the democrats are up front about it and resign when they are caught, it somehow makes them less honorable. Both parties have problems with this issue. I would further say, if someone who is clearly qualified to run the department of Treasury can’t even file his taxes correctly it say a lot about how messed up the tax codes are.

  2. Vitter is worse only because he is such a hypocrite. He was not only involved with a prostitute in DC but also in his home state of LA. In fact several of them. He has also been one of the loudest voices in calling for the resignation of anyone who is involved in any type of scandal, yet when his came out he and he was asked to step down, he refused and just made his wife stand next to him and said he was sorry.

    He is still a loud voice yelling at everyone when he gets a chance to question or take a stand for any kind of virtue as he sees it.

    He is usually always a dissenting vote against democratic candidates but for all republicans no matter what.

  3. Annette,
    You have described the greatest political hypocrisy of all: The guilty politician who screams and points his finger calling for the resignation of someone who committed the same indiscretion.
    Vitter is one, Newt Gingrich is another.

  4. 314,
    Sadly, I know a number of people who either failed to file tax returns or filed incorrect returns. None of these people lost their jobs or were arrested. As long as they worked with the IRS to begin paying the back taxes plus penalties they were forgiven.

    Like I said in my post, as long as Daschle (didn’t claim benefits of a car and driver on his return), Palin (didn’t claim per diem for meals on her return) and Kellifer (didn’t submit payroll taxes for household employee) make good and pay their rightly owed taxes, I am fine.

    Most people do make errors on their returns either erroneously or through neglect. We can not hold it against everyone.
    The purpose of my post is to try to understand why we hold these things against Democrats (Daschle and Kellifer withdrew their nominations as a result) and not Republicans (Palin will remain Alaska governor and most likely run for president in 2012).

    And I agree that the complexity of our tax codes has a great deal to do with the problems and they must be addressed.

  5. As I understand it, Sarah Palin herself requested a review of the tax position regarding per diem payments. Following that, it has only just been determined that she and a number of other state employees should have been paying tax on their per diem payments. So this is a revised tax schedule; it’s not as if any of these people have been avoiding paying their taxes. Incidentally, Sarah Palin claims 80% less in per diem payments than her predecessor. Why on earth should one of the nation’s most responsible governors need to resign? Respectful advice to you – do more research.

  6. Do some research on the pay per diem issue.90-something year old mansion was greatly in need of repairs in order to make it serviceable as a chief executive’s home (i.e., able to function as a venue for hosting dinners, receptions, etc., as well as be habitable for a family with children).
    With all of these renovations underway, the governor could have forced the state to pay for her lodging (in a hotel or an apartment) in Juneau or in Anchorage. Instead she lived in her house in Wasilla and saved the state thousands of dollars by only requesting meal per diems. That’s right. She asked for meal per diems, not lodging per diems. And she didn’t claim any per diems for her kids or her husband, though she was legally entitled to. obots are clueless.
    The ADN’s Alaska Ear column also noted the extensive renovations going on at the governor’s mansion just before the Christmas open house last December:

    When the Palins moved in there were all of a sudden lots of leaks and stuff cause a real family was living there.
    The open house has been a tradition for 93 years, with two years off during World War II, said Erica Fagerstrom, the residence manager.
    She was happy the home was in shape for the thousands of guests. The mansion has undergone extensive plumbing renovations.
    “This place was a construction zone three weeks ago,” she said.
    In October 2007, the Juneau Empire ran a photo story on the renovation work:

    Workers are replacing the 95-year-old building’s antiquated plumbing system and are generating lots of dust as they remove old pipes. The first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed in December. The second phase will be done next year.
    So, there you have it, folks. Case closed.

    BOTTEM LINE Palin’s gubernatorial expenses are 80% below those of her predecessors

    PALIN 2012

  7. This is not back taxes. It is revised taxes. The media fails to report that because all they care about is making palin look bad.

    First of all, the headlines are a distortion. Palin never claimed per diem “for nights at home” – she’s never claimed any reimbursement for lodging when she stayed in Wasilla. She only ever requested per diem for meals when working away from her official duty station in Juneau.

    The article also omits a key fact in this story – it was Governor Palin herself who ordered the review of the tax policy. This fact was even admitted by the Anchorage Daily News’ top Trig Truth researcher, Lisa Demer, in the ADN’s article on this story:

    “At the Governor’s request, we reviewed the situation to determine whether we were in full compliance with the pertinent Internal Revenue Service regulations,” [state administration commissioner Annette] Kreitzer wrote. “As a result of this review, we determined that per diem needs to be treated as income, requiring a revision of W-2 forms for any affected employees.” (emphasis added)

    Palin never avoided ANY taxes.

  8. Thank you both (Christy and iac) I did some additional research. In other words, I’ve contacted an accountant. Actually, I’ve contacted 3 – 1 has responded and 2 others should get my email Monday.

    ‘Revised taxes’ – You have already filed your tax return and you wish to make some adjustments.

    In this case, Palin apparently filed her returns but failed to declare the per diem. If she is revising her return that was just submitted for 2008, then no harm – no foul. But you may wish to check the dates. This had gone back longer, therefore it was an ‘oversight’. If you actually read my post, I don’t have an issue with anyone who attempts to make good on an incorrectly submitted tax return. That remains consistent with Palin as well as Daschle.

    Christy – you are incorrect. Palin did receive per diem for nights spent in Wasilla. And for the Republican presidential nominee – my preference would be Crist.

  9. Your 2 bucks worth isn’t worth more than 2 cents. Since the bulk of the Palin’s per diem was paid in 2008, taxes on it isn’t due until April 15, 2009, therefore, there are no back taxes involved. The per diem was not included on her W2 form, which is not her fault. She was the one who requested the review in the first place. She did receive some per diem in 2007, which again, was not included on her W2. Since this ruling regarding the per diem was not made until this year, the matter of correcting 2007’s W2 is up to the State of Alaska.

    So, you’re frantically trying to point to “back taxes” is nothing more than cheap theatrics as a way to make it looks like everyone cheats on the taxes, when in fact they don’t. Why don’t you point your finger at Rohm Emmanuel who has lived rent free in DC for the last several years, and somehow failed to report that little side benefit as part of his income?

    As for Trooper Gate, what a laugh. It’s interesting that the only cop the left has ever cared about is Trooper Wooten, the guy who drank on duty, Tasared his 11 yo step son, and shot a moose illegally. In most cases this is exactly the type of cop the left would demand be fired. Usually, the left only goes to bat for cop killers.

  10. Greg,
    Personal insults. Just like a person with an empty argument. Coming to my site and insulting me is the same as going to a person’s house and insulting the host.

    Add to the fact that you strayed so far from topic. Rahm Emanuel? Really? Then I’d have to counter with Rove and Libby.

    Trooper Wooten is a pig but that doesn’t justify the behavior of Palin in the matter.

    Deflection is another technique when your position lacks merit.

    If you would have read my comment just above yours, I stated that revising your taxes from 2008 would not be an issue. But you’re tossing the 2007 taxes aside as if it is nothing and that simply is not honest.

    If you say that tax rules have changed, then I’d point out that they aren’t changed retroactively.

    I love the spin you all are putting on this story. I can understand the confusion since you obviously limit your information to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News and Joe the Plumber.