Daschle Waited to Tell Obama About Tax Glitch

HHS nominee knew his taxes needed fixing; didn't know how much
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 1, 2009 11:04 AM CST
Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle, center, poses with Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee members on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Health secretary-designate Tom Daschle didn’t tell the Obama administration that he owed years of back taxes until a month after he’d been nominated, the Washington Post reports. He paid $140,000 in taxes January 2 and told government leaders about it two days later. He had known his taxes needed fixing but didn’t know the “jaw-dropping” amount owed and thought his accountant was dealing with it, a rep said.

“The president believes nobody's perfect but that nobody's hiding anything,” said Obama’s press secretary. Meanwhile, a report Daschle submitted to officials shows how without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made $5 million giving speeches and advice to various industries, including $220,000 from health care, prompting concerns that he’s the kind of Washington insider Obama has railed against.