Honoré Daumier. Les Joueurs d’échecs, c. 1863-1867. Oil on panel. Musée du Petit Palais, Paris
According to the latest Rasmussen Poll, public support for the democrat party’s so-called Stimulus Package is now in the minority, having declined to 37%.
Like the Daschle nomination, the Stimulus Package is visibly in serious trouble, and it appears very likely that the Obama Administration will soon demonstrate all over again the hasty retreat which is already becoming recognizable as this administration’s favorite, and most relied upon, political strategy.
Barack Obama made his way upwards to the Senate, his party’s nomination, and the Presidency by a combining an attractive image with studious avoidance of commitment to any controversial position which might expose him to attack.
It was easy to carry water for the democrat party’s ultra-liberal base and special interests, as well as for the Daley machine, while keeping one’s head down, and voting “Present!” on the hottest issues back in the Illinois State Senate. It was even easier to vote with the democrat majority some of the time, and be away campaigning, in the US Senate, when decisions which might cost something needed to be made.
Barack Obama is, as time goes by, going to find it harder to hide in the White House.
He won’t always be able to backtrack quickly, and issue a mildly rueful “I screwed up” press statement to dodge the bullet and get off the hook. In the end, he is going to wind up forced to commit himself one way or another on the big decisions that matter to America and the world. And, when he produces a national or international disaster, humiliation, or defeat, he is not simply going to be able to take it back or smile apologetically to an indulgent press corps, say: “I screwed up,” and get a free pass.
Character counts in leadership, and Barack Obama has made himself a political career by substituting charm for character. The Obama magic mirror, in which admirers can see whatever they want to project upon it, was a great way to get elected, but it is never going to protect its owner for four years.
Jonah Goldberg admires the gaping chasm between democrats’ expressed enthusiam for paying taxes and their actual personal behavior in some recent examples in the news.
During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden insisted that paying your taxes is a patriotic duty. No, scratch that. He said that supporting a tax hike was the American thing to do. “It’s time to be patriotic,” he told America’s putative tax slackers. When asked whether he might be questioning the patriotism of people who don’t want higher taxes, Biden, as is his wont, took things to the next rhetorical level. Forget patriotism, insisted Joe, paying higher taxes is a religious obligation.
The man who gave an average of $369 a year to charity over the previous decade fulfills his religious obligations by cutting a tax check—a check he’s required to cut by law.
Now it’s always perilous to take Biden’s statements too seriously, but it does seem eminently fair to say that his comments reflect a common, if not universal, attitude among Democrats. Taxes aren’t a “necessary evil” so much as a joyous affirmation of the possibilities of government and the lifeblood of a more hopeful society. “Taxes are what you pay to be an American”—like “membership fees,” says Democratic language guru George Lakoff.
The Wall Street Journal admires the democrat part double-standard that worked for Tim Geithner and which also seems to be working for Tom Daschle.
So Tom Daschle, the erstwhile prairie populist and scourge of multiple Presidential nominees, failed to disclose and pay taxes on hundreds of thousands of dollars of income. He also waited months to pay up and told the Obama transition team about his tax oversights only days before his Senate confirmation hearing to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.
This one is going to be fascinating to watch, less for what it says about Mr. Daschle than what it will reveal about Democratic standards. Every Republican in America knows that if Mr. Daschle were a Reagan or Bush nominee he’d now be headed back to private life faster than you can say John Tower. That’s the way Democrats have treated GOP nominees who were accused of far lesser transgressions than Mr. Daschle’s tax, er, avoidance. ...
Mr. Daschle failed to report some $255,000 in income from 2005 through 2007 for a car and driver supplied to him for personal use. The chauffeur service was provided by Leo Hindery, a big Democratic donor who also made Mr. Daschle a bundle by making him a limited partner in InterMedia Partners, a private equity shop.
As a legal tax matter, this isn’t even a close call. Mr. Daschle says he used the car service about 80% for personal use, and 20% for business. But his spokeswoman says it only dawned on the Senator last June that this might be taxable income. Mr. Daschle’s excuse? According to a Journal report Friday, “he told committee staff he had grown used to having a car and driver as majority leader and did not think to report the perk on his taxes, according to staff members.” How’s that for a Leona Helmsley moment: Doesn’t everyone have a car and chauffeur, dear?
Tom Daschle, Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is also intended to become Czar in Charge of Nationalizing America’s Health Care, has decided it would be prudent to pay some overdue back taxes.
Former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle paid $140,000 in back taxes and interest in recent weeks – much of it due to a car and driver loaned to him for free by a friend and Democratic fundraiser.
That back-tax bill on Friday threw a stumbling block in front of his nomination as Barack Obama’s health and human services secretary.
Daschle used the Cadillac and driver around Washington while working as a consultant to a New York City private equity firm, InterMedia Advisors. He used the limo 80 percent for personal use – resulting in unreported income of more than $255,000 for the three years, Senate Finance Committee documents show.
InterMedia paid Daschle consulting fees at a rate of $1 million a year – or $83,333 a month. Daschle’s financial disclosure forms put his income from InterMedia at more than $2 million since 2005.
He can afford it, after all, having made $5.3 million in propitiatory payments over the last two years from his intended victims.
Tom Daschle, under fire for not paying taxes, made nearly $5.3 million in the last two years, records released Friday show.
Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader who President Obama has tapped to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, was paid $220,000 to give speeches to outfits that have a vested interest in the result the work he would do once confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Among the companies and groups paying thousands of dollars a pop to book Daschle were some that stand to gain or lose the most depending on the results of Obama’s efforts to enact universal health.
Socialized medicine is just like heroin: it creates a dependency that’s very difficult to give up. James Pethokoukis explains that Tom Daschle and the democrat party want to be your connection.
As Norman Markowitz in Political Affairs, a journal of “Marxist thought,” puts it: “After the Labor Party established the National Health Service after World War II, supposedly conservative workers and low-income people under religious and other influences who tended to support the Conservatives were much more likely to vote for the Labor Party when health care, social welfare, education and pro-working class policies were enacted by labor-supported governments.”
Passing Obamacare would be like performing exactly the opposite function of turning people into investors. Whereas the Investor Class is more conservative than the rest of America, creating the Obamacare Class would pull America to the left. Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute, who first found that wonderful Markowitz quote, puts it succinctly in a recent blog post: “Blocking Obama’s health plan is key to the GOP’s survival.”