Wed, 04 Feb 2009 14:16:09 +0000 – President Obama says he screwed up with the Senator Tom Daschle's nomination. The issue is not his screw up or Senator Daschle's but what this really means.
[caption id="attachment_6721" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (AP file photo)"][/caption]
Senator Daschle had decades of public service and this yelping by the conservatives shows their hypocrisy. -- Theirs are the first voices that call out to simplify the tax code yet anyone could make the kind of mistake that was made here.
Reforming the tax law is not a conservative or liberal issue.Senator Daschle's car service and driver is considered "imputed" income and something that he did not recognize as such. It was not as if he earned income and then concealed it. This entire "imputed" income category is an IRS construction, something made within the rule books of that giant bureaucracy. OK, he did not handle this well by telling the Obama transition team about it in a timely fashion. He can be faulted for that.
But what about the millions of homeowners who are going to have mortgages reduced or forgiven? That is "imputed" income and how many of them are going to list that on their tax forms? How many are going to know that they must pay tax on it?
This IRS set of laws eats everyone. It is wrong to have to pay accountants to keep ordinary people from not breaking the law. Reforming the tax law is not a conservative or liberal issue. Senator Daschle is deserving of public service he did not deserve this public hanging.
Ellen Ratner joined FOX News Channel as a contributor in October 1997.