The Corner

HHS Nominee Sebelius Amends Tax Returns

Who said Democrats enjoy paying the taxes they want to impose on the rest of us? Not me.

According to this morning’s Wall Street Journal:

Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius amended three years’ worth of tax returns to correct “unintentional errors,” paying back taxes and interest totaling just under $8,000.

She is the fifth nominee to run into tax problems, though Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) said in a statement that the errors were “minor [and] unintentional” and expressed strong support for her confirmation.

I have a question for those of you who were around when President Bush took office in 2001: Did his nominees have the same tax issues? And why doesn’t anyone seem to care?

According to the Journal: “In Ms. Sebelius’s case, an administration official said that the White House vetting process turned up some minor tax issues, but officials determined they were too insignificant to prevent her nomination.”

$8,000 is insignificant? I guess it’s good to know. Especially in the height of tax season.

That being said, either these nominees are cheating on their taxes because they are dishonest, and we should not want to have them in office, or the large number of nominees with tax issues is the reflection that the tax code is too complicated and needs to be reformed.

Here is a short term alternative to tax reform offered in the comment section of the Wall Street Journal article:

I am beginning to wonder if the deficit “inherited” by [Barack Obama] was actually caused by [Barack Obama] tax dodging appointees. I say we just let [Barack Obama] continue to bring appointees in until we balance the entire budget.

Veronique de Rugy — Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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