Blog Entry

Screwed Again

Posted on: February 2, 2009 1:41 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2009 1:46 pm
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I filed my taxes this weekend. I paid over $30K in federal taxes and another $11K in state taxes in 2008. Sucks to be single. I captured the huge interest and dividends on my Schedule B (Not!!). I itemized my mortgage, state and local taxes, and my charitable donations. I donated $14,000 to my foundation to a local University's Engineering Department to be used as scholarship for 1 student of need. That is near and dear to my heart so I do it every year. I will attend another graduation ceremony this spring for a newly minted engineer as a result! I have been paying taxes since I was 16 years old (my first job was in a movie theater - a dorky uniform, but a fun job) and I have never been auditted. In fact I have never made an error. Only once did I pay an accountant to do my taxes when I moved twice in one year for work which made for an ugly set of returns. The point is I never made a mistake because I was brought up to do the right thing, perhaps it is fear of an audit or worse, or maybe they just aren't that hard to do it right. Maybe I am just really smart. Maybe other people are having trouble with theirs and I should temper my opinion. Surely our government officials have not made taxes so difficult or complex to compute that super smart people screw it up. People like Presidential Administration Department Secretaries, surely they are able to decipher the tax code and get it right.

Apparently not so. Timothy Geithner, confirmed Treasury Secretary, and now Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Daschle have both made gross tax errors in their past. The good news is they have paid their restitution to the IRS. But the question is, why now? Did they dread waking up to a new day feeling the guilt of cheating their country out of funds needed for the betterment of their country. Perhaps they attended confession and the Good Father required them to pay up to absolve them of their sins. Let's be honest shall we? They got caught years after the deeds were committed. They did not plan on coming clean until they got a call from Obama to self serve the country, the esteemed man of great ethics.

Tell me how this is better than those horrible Bush people.

For completeness I submit:

From AP:

Daschle wrote a letter to the top leaders of the Finance Committee. The letter, released Monday, sought to explain how he overlooked taxes on additional income for consulting work and the use of a car service. He also deducted more in charitable contributions than he should have. Daschle recently filed amended tax returns for 2005-07 to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest. "I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns," said Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader. "I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them."

In the letter dated Feb. 1, Daschle provided a timeline for when the errors were discovered and tax payments made. Uncertain is whether the tax issue will stall or derail Daschle's nomination. Daschle was an early supporter of Obama's presidential bid and several of Daschle's former Capitol Hill staffers went to work for Obama after Daschle, then a South Dakota senator, lost his re-election bid in 2004.

Daschle filed the amended returns after Obama announced he intended to nominate him as secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle explained in his apology letter that the presidential transition 

 team flagged charitable contributions they concluded were deducted in error. When his accountant realized amended tax returns would need to be filed, he suggested addressing another matter that Daschle raised with him earlier in the year: whether the use of a car service provided by a close friend and business associate, Leo Hindery, should be reported as income. The unreported income for that car service totaled more than $250,000 over three years.

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Comments

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2009 3:11 pm
 

Screwed Again

Why do all these Democrats who want to raise my taxes not pay their own?  Isn't it the patriotic thing to do? 


Glad to see you are on top of things.  Getting you taxes filed by February 1st is an achievement in itself.  In reading your tax dilemma I could not help but compare my self to you, as it makes a perfect example of how wrong our tax code is.  You and I, two people, I am guessing roughly the same age (I am probably a bit younger, LOL), based on your taxes similar enough salary for comparison (you a bit more, not laughing).  I am married, have three kids.  I pay far less than you in taxes.  Why?  There is no logical reason for it.  By filing jointly (my wife works 12 hour a week and thus makes pocket money only) I dodge a higher bracket.  I get three federal deductions and two state for my kids (which I chose to have).  These are all choices/life decisions I made, and effect my tax status why?  It is the Federal government deciding I need my money more than you need yours. 


Here in Massachusetts, our lovely Democrat Governor, facing a 2.5 billion dollar shortfall, during a recession, has just announced $587,000,000 in new state taxes.  All of the money is allocated to pay for new government programs.  On our State returns there is an optional box one can check to pay a higher state income tax rate.  If one is for higher taxes, you would think one would naturally start by practicing what they preach, right?  In 2008, Kerry, Kennedy, and Deval Patrick did not pay the higher state income tax rate.


On a personal note, that scholarship donation was mighty kind on your part.  When I left the academic world, I never looked back.  I viewed it as a business transaction.  I paid them for a service, they provided it, our relationship was over.  I had good experiences in college as a student, but as not like minded with the academic community as a whole.  Something that did not always serve my best interests, being my outspoken nature.  My feelings towards the academic community have only solidified over the years. 



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