Was Tom Daschle a Patsy For America's Screwy Tax Code?
President Obama performed his first major mea culpa yesterday when he acknowledged "screwing up" in reaffirming his support of Tom Daschle for Secretary of health and Health and Human Services in the face of his admittedly "embarrassing" tax errors, just hours before Daschle withdrew his nomination. Daschle's departure was punctuated when Nancy Killefer, who was up for the new post of Chief Performance Officer, submitted her withdrawal on similar grounds.
While contrition is refreshing, it will only work for so long, as its novelty wears off and makes Obama look weak and indecisive, especially given that almost every person of means has exploited a loophole—or ten—in America's byzantine tax code. What's more, in these resignations, the country has lost two promising and effective advocates of reform--indeed, Daschle is arguably the person best suited to lead the thorny, highly political and economically vital healthcare reform effort.
So, what to do? Blame the tax man and reform the tax code. As Republicans have long said, the tax system is fraught with misincentives, inefficiencies and bureaucratic waste that offer short-term advantage to the rich and connected, while disadvantaging the entire systerm in the long-term. By signaling such a proactive response to these very public missterps, Obama could go on the offensive in a way that would advance his coaltion building, in a way that amounts to serving them more than just milk and cookies.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
- Math teacher Lauren Miranda was fired from her Long Island school when a topless selfie surfaced.
- She's suing the school for $3 million as well as getting her job back, citing gender discrimination.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.