Rich Galen

Remember the guy who is now our Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner? In spite of being a senior official at the International Monetary Fund and the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, didn't understand that if you are an independent contractor you have to pay both your share of FICA and the employer's share - because you ARE your employer.

Tom Daschle didn't pay all of his taxes, either. In fact, according to ABC News and the LA Times, Daschle failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes starting in 2005 when he was making over $1 million a year as a consultant.

Mullpal Jenny Backus, who is acting as Daschle's spokesman in this deal, said the "tax errors were the result of simple mistakes."

Most of the thing has to do with paying taxes on a limo service that his client provided but didn't bill him for. Private use is taxable as income. Daschle also is paying about $6,000 additional taxes for charitable deductions he claimed but which - assuming he actually paid the money - were not to a tax-exempt organization.

We were told the Senate HAD to confirm Geithner because he was the only guy who understood how to help unravel the problems that the lying, cheating, bonus-paying dopes who run Wall Street had gotten us all into.

Bill Krystal said on Fox News Sunday yesterday that Geithner might have been the only person available to take over Treasury, but it is hard to see why the United States Senate should turn a blind eye on Daschle's tax dodging.

A lot of people could run HHS. Or, no one could run HHS and the United States would be none the worse for the vacancy.

This is exactly why people who live outside the 49 square miles which is Washington, DC distrust everyone who works within the District: They operate on the theory that the rules are for everyone else, not for those who are, or have been, a Member of the Club.

So, the two new faces in the news last week. One, a very good one for Republicans. The other, a tired, business-as-usual face for the Democrats.

The GOP wins the week.

Note on the Superbowl. At one point in the game Al Michaels said that the Cardinals (who had gone to a no-huddle offense) were "playing with Alacrity" as if Alacrity had just shown up at the stadium. I never did find out what position he played.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at