Tax troubles

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on February 3, 2009

Three of President Barack Obama's high-level nominees have had tax troubles jump up and bite them of late. The first, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, was confirmed. As mentioned below, HHS Secretary-designate Tom Daschle withdrew his name from consideration by the Senate today. Nancy Killefer, the woman Obama selected to be his "chief performance officer," and deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, also withdrew after it was announced that she too had failed to pay taxes she owed.

Unlike Geithner and Daschle, who only came clean with the IRS after it became apparent they would be in line for cushy government jobs, Killefer's tax problems occurred nearly four years ago.

The AP reported that on March 7, 2005, the D.C. Department of Employment Services slapped a tax lien on her home in the tony Wesley Heights neighborhood. The local government alleged that just three years after she left the high-powered Treasury post she began to fail to pay unemployment compensation tax for a household employee. And she failed to make the required quarterly payments for a year and half, whereupon a lien for $946.69 was placed on her home.

That sum included $298 in unpaid taxes, $48.69 in interest and $600 in penalties. The lien was filed March 7, 2005, but Killefer didn't get the lien extinguished for almost five months, not until July 29.

So, we have Geithner dodging $40k in taxes. Daschle dodging $140k. Killefer failed to pay less than $1k four years ago and she's thrown under the bus.

Killefer got a raw deal.

If this is the new standard for serving in government, then we'll be lucky to get anyone willing to serve in the future.

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