Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bailout - Dogwalk Style

I listened to the White House press briefing this morning and of course the majority of the questions surrounded the withdrawal of Tom Daschle and Nancy Kellifer, the Performance Officer nominee. Interesting point about Ms. Kellifer is that she once actually worked for the IRS!

Some of the questions revolved around the vetting process. The answer was always, "The President believes in the process." Then came praise for how these tax evaders have served their country so ably.

That being the case, I've got the solution. Greed has been discussed as part of the housing crisis. Lenders lending to those who couldn't afford the payback. Buyers buying above their means. Now think about this. Maybe it hasn't been your experience but any time Hub and I applied for a new mortgage or to re-finance one, we've had to submit our tax returns as proof of income. Of course in Daschle's case he'd have had to actually report the income on which he neglected to pay taxes.

The vetters should take a page from the mortgage application book and demand tax returns for all potential administration hires and appointees. This could deter future embarrassment assuming, unlike Daschle, actual income was reported.

Over and above that have each and every appointed official and elected member of Congress undergo an IRS audit. My guess is that would make raising taxes to help restock the treasury unnecessary. Just collect them!

I can remember when my Mom was audited after my dad died because of a discrepency. She had inherited some stock from her father back in the '50s but could not provide the cost basis to provide the value of the gains. We searched everywhere knowing my Dad was a meticulous record keeper but they were no where to be found. That exercise cost her somewhere around $8,000 she could ill afford. This was a 79 year old widow.

The point of the story is the Tax Man can dig, if so motivated, until it hurts. No documentation, pay up plus penalty. Maybe the Tax Men should remember they too pay taxes and in turn are contributing to all these bailouts brought about by greed. Not oversight. Greed.

What I'd now like to hear from our new President, one who I strongly supported, is that he withdrew the nominations. Not that he regrets them. What he should regret is not knowing in the first place, if he actually did not. I hope he gets it right before I start regretting my support.

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