UPDATE: Daschle asks Obama to withdraw nomination.
Are Tom Daschle’s tax problems merely a speed bump, or will they derail his nomination as health and human services secretary?
“President Obama’s pick for health and human services secretary, Tom Daschle, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes, partly for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by a prominent businessman and Democratic fund-raiser, administration officials said Friday. Mr. Daschle, concluding that he owed the taxes, filed amended returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest on Jan. 2, the officials said…An administration official said Mr. Daschle’s failure to pay the taxes was ‘a stupid mistake.’ But, the official said, Mr. Daschle should not be penalized because he had discovered the tax liability himself, paid up and brought it to the committee’s attention. The committee report said, ‘Senator Daschle filed the amended returns voluntarily after Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate the senator to be the secretary of health and human services.’ The committee report said Mr. Daschle had told the committee staff that ‘in June 2008, something made him think that the car service might be taxable, and he disclosed the arrangement to his accountant.'”
The NYT today recommended Daschle should go.