How Washington works: pay your dues as a Senator, then your rich friends get you a consulting gig and free car service! Then you forget to pay your taxes and it complicates your cabinet nomination.
That is the story of Tom Daschle, the former Senator and Obama's pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services. He is the guy who will fix health care, once his embarrassing tax issues are dealt with. All because a rich friend of his gave him millions of dollars to sit on the board of his media company that, oddly, had no business with the government. And also his friend let him use his Cadillac and driver for free, whenever he was out of town, and Daschle didn't pay taxes on that, because who knew?
And so Daschle's accountant finally told him that he owed $150 grand in taxes, on that car, but he can afford it because his rich friend's investment firm gave Daschle $2 million to raise money and sit on the board, with other former lawmakers and random notable political types.
Oh, and Daschle also worked for a Washington law firm that had as clients lots of groups doing government business, but Daschle didn't lobby, he just, you know, advised. And then a student loan company sent him to the Bahamas! That is what they're doing with our money! Christ! If it weren't for the fact that Tom Daschle is going to fix health care, we'd be really upset with him.
And so a couple Republican Senators attempting to tarnish Obama's "ethical and open" image, and his lobbyist ban, will stall Daschle's nomination for a little while, because he is a former Senator, and former Senators are rich people, and rich people don't pay taxes.