February 3rd, 2009
12:26 PM ET
9 years ago

New York Times calls for Daschle to withdraw

Daschle met with the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

Daschle met with the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

(CNN) - As Tom Daschle makes his case to remain President Obama's choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, the nation's leading liberal editorial page is calling for the former Senate Majority Leader to withdraw his nomination.

In Tuesday's lead New York Times editorial, the paper's editors write Daschle's failure to pay close to $130,000 in taxes for a car and driver service over three years is too big a mistake for Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee to overlook as they consider his nomination.

The paper's editorial board particularly takes issue with the fact that Daschle has said he identified the unpaid taxes last June, but did not pay them until he was nominated for the top post at the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Only after the Obama transition team flagged unrelated tax issues that would require filing amended returns did Mr. Daschle and his accountant address the need to report the personal use value of the car service — more than $255,000 over three years — as income," the board writes.

Earlier: Daschle 'deeply embarrassed' over tax issues

The editorial also criticizes Daschle for generating a sizeable income from health-related industries while working in the private sector. The former South Dakota senator has advised UnitedHealth Group, serves as a trustee of the Mayo Clinic, and has been paid "hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to interest groups, including those representing health insurance plans, medical equipment distributors and pharmacy boards," according to the Times.

"Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform," the editorial said.

Watch: Daschle issues an apology

The editorial comes one day after Daschle met privately with members of the Finance Committee, the panel which is slated to on his the nomination next week. The committee's chairman, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, issued a statement of support for Daschle after the 75-minute closed-door meeting.

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs also said Monday President Obama continues to stand behind his HHS nominee.

"I think the Senate will lay a serious, but corrected, mistake against that three-decade career in public service," Gibbs said.

Watch: Daschle's tax troubles

Filed under: Tom Daschle
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. 1/20/13

    I thought tax cuts for the rich put us in this mess to begin with according to Pelozi…..What would she say when her liberal friends dont even pay taxes, add on Frank and Dodd and we now know why we are in this financial mess

    Another "Unpatriotic American"

    February 3, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. nate

    This Obama supporter and mod Dem says NO to Daschle.

    February 3, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. jm

    He should withdraw, or Obama should correct himself and say he will pick someone else. Why is there NO accountability, NO responsibility and all of this back peddling. You don't pay your taxes, you don't get a cabinet position. Period. (This should be a no brainer that if you don't pay your taxes, you don't get to run the IRS, but hey, I guess rules are different for Dems.)

    This is not a partisan issue. To those of you who are trying to make it one, tell me this, how would you react if it were the Repubs doing it? (AND just because you believe the Repubs already did it doesn't make it ok for Obama to do it).

    We are getting too caught up in Obama-mania. THese are BAD BAD choices for cabinet positions. We should not stand behind them just for the sake of it. Obama is human, and apparently, he's made some mistakes.

    February 3, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Tom

    For once the New York Times is right!

    February 3, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Come again!

    If he doesn't withdraw and P. Obama still wants him....he is not going anywhere. They all had their objections against all or most of the picks so far and they are all confirmed now! I think that all senators and congress people should be audited by the IRS, cus it is so ironic that these people have tax issues, I guarantee you that's its not just them....we are finding out only because they are being vetted. Trust....this has been happening for years from both sides of the isle. I think they should all be AUDITED!

    February 3, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. RDS

    Seriously, what is with all these people not paying their taxes, but constantly writing laws to dictate how they will spend the money WE already paid in taxes.

    February 3, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Franky

    "Check out the list the GOP says is 'waste' in the stimulus bill. Then decide if the list is:"

    You see guys, I told you we have no idea what the heck is going on, LOL!! My goodness, those numbers are more fluke than Donald's Trump hair...

    I say let's all take a shot, we'll answer much better, LOL!!

    As for Dashle, he's in a tough position, I don't blame him, plus, he don't wanna be portrayed as the victim and remember guys, he's been an ardent supporter of my boy since the beginning, my boy will remember that, he's been looking out for him especially. And let's face it, he wanted to work with this administration, he's probably gotten more attention now than when he ran for re-election, he's a good man, he's just in a tough plight...

    February 3, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. TCM

    I think they should keep him, and hope he does not withdraw, and if he can stand the pressure for a few days, he can weather the storm..
    We need him to fix the health care system in this country, especailly when he's knows more about it, than anyone else !!!

    February 3, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Doug

    They are starting to eat their own already-LOL This is the fastest in lib history.

    The lib Democrat party is founded upon and stands for hypocrasy and double standards, hence they are Hypocrats!!!

    We don't have to pay our taxes but you do.
    We can have our white senators use the n work on national tv but your senator can't give a speech praising a guy at his birthday party.
    We can throw oreo cookies at Micheal Steele, but if you did the same thing to Obama you would be a racist who should be charged with a hate crime.
    When we said Iraq had WMDs it was fact but when you said the same thing you were lying.

    Seriously, what does it say about you if you support them?

    February 3, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Mike Dallas

    The dittohead crowd always calls the NYT a liberal biased rag and dismisses all the editorials against repubs.

    So, now it is a neo-conservative biased rag and Dems should dismiss this editorial against a democrat.

    See how that works repubs when you do not like an editorial you just come up with a conservative MSM conspiracy!

    February 3, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. ken

    Why are we putting people in power that don't pay the government. We're going to have a trillion dollar deficit soon and the same people who are spending our money aren't paying taxes. Am I missing something here?

    February 3, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Ron M

    This isn't President Obama fault any more than former President Bush or any other previous president. However, it is amazing the number of senior Washington insiders that fail to pay their taxes. While I applaud the Obama Selection Team for flagging these "mistakes", it is simply amazing that so many pay so little in taxes and yet never seem to get caught.

    I have personally been audited (randomly) once several years ago and no mistakes were found. While I am just a regular tax payer and these folks have complicated, multiple returns, where are the CPAs that do these people's taxes. If I owed $130,000 to the government I would be beyond broke – no house, no car, or even a way to feed myself.

    February 3, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Jack

    ABC News say the senate don't want to raise the car and driver tax issue loadly, because many of them are doing the same thing. ...

    February 3, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. NYT is the boss, alright

    as they are the bastion of the AIPAC thieves, LOL!

    February 3, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. Don in Albuquerque

    Agreed. He should at this time withdraw.

    February 3, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. David

    Two sets of laws! One for the government, the rest for us ordinary common folk. What a disgrace.

    February 3, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. Axel

    I agree with the NYT, however qualified Daschle may be for leading change in our education system, politics as usual cannot be allowed. I hope Obama does the right thing and sticks to his promise to run an ethical government.

    February 3, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Mostly everyone have tax problem, if the IRS look hard at the New York Times they have tax problem.

    February 3, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. greenfish

    He should go. It's not just the little people who should pay taxes. We all must if there is any hope....

    February 3, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Carl Justus

    I like Tom Daschle and think he would make a good cabinet member, but under the circumstances I think if would be better for him to voluntary withdraw for the good of the country.

    No one is indispensable and neither is he, there are other people who would make a great secretary of the heath and human services

    February 3, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. crystalm

    This is so stupid, he paid how many of us owe taxes, how many powerful men in the Bush admin owes back taxes? We are in a crisis, he paid move on. People are hurting, why waste the time with this. Why didn't you take the time to look at Bush admin, before the American had endure this mess here. Media find the balls to report real news, stop wasting the people's time with these smoke screens.

    February 3, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Tracy

    Since the Times says he should withdraw his name, I say CONFIRM him!!!! There MUST be an angle in that somewhere.

    I go against ANYTHING the Times says, period!

    February 3, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Jim Maury

    I'm not surprised of the hyprocrisy of Obama's nominees: and their arrogance.
    I am surprised that not more is made of Daschle overstating his charitable contributions. Not only is he a tax cheat, he represents that he is more charitable than reality. HOW SAD.

    February 3, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. jeane

    wow, this is going too far now....The media is starting to tell an administration what to do and drugging them down?

    February 3, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Dee

    There seems to be a theme here...

    February 3, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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