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Obama's Tax Hypocrisy

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The Obama Administration’s call for greater taxes and “shared sacrifice” is hollow and morally bankrupt. President Obama wants to convince the nation that many Americans, most of them small business owners, must pay more tax as “their fair share” of huge, annual deficits. What Mr. Obama never mentions is that he has surrounded himself with key advisors and selected key members of his Administration that are tax cheats. Never before has an Administration been so wholly composed of senior officials that push so stridently for increasing taxes on Americans, while they avoid any personal responsibility for paying their own personal taxes. Seemingly, if you are a member of the Obama Administration, your “fair share” of the national tax burden is zero. Instead, taxes are an instrument of “shared sacrifice” to be loaded onto someone else.


First some numbers. Some 41 different Senior Obama Administration Officials have been identified as tax cheats, owing over $840 million in back taxes. Many of Obama’s key officials that are responsible for the economy and have been given wide powers in tax policy are themselves, tax cheats and tax avoiders. The most notable of these is Timmy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury and nominal head of the IRS, who utilized the “INTUIT TurboTax-is-not intuitive-I didn’t-realize-I was-supposed-to-pay-taxes” defense. Once exposed, Obama dismissed Geithner’s tax cheating, and had no problem with him heading the Treasury/IRS. In fact, Mr. Obama continued to stock his Administration with tax cheats and tax avoiders, seeing no contradiction in a advocating policies that call for ever greater taxes on other Americans, while so many of his own cabinet and key economic advisors have failed to pay.

Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, used the “I’m-just-a-wife-how-can-I-be-held-responsible-for-knowing-what-my-husband-is-doing” defense, and after paying back taxes on the few years for which they were fingered, now heads the team shaping Obama’s labor taxes policies. Ron Kirk, Obama’s Trade representative, had tax problems, as did Kathleen Sibelius, current HHS Secretary, who leads the push for the Obamacare atrocity, and unabashedly calls for greater taxes and burdens on honest Americans to fund the dodgy scheme.


There are also tax problems with the appointees at levels below the cabinet, such as Capricia Marshall (Chief of Protocol), with the “post-office-ate-my-tax return” defense or Lael Brainerd (Treasury Undersecretary). In addition to the individual tax cheats currently serving in the Obama administration, there have been a startling number of nominees who have withdrawn their nomination after being publicly exposed as having tax and other issues. A quick review includes Tom Daschle (HHS Nominee), Nancy Killefer (OMB nominee), Bill Richardson, and Caroline Atkinson (Treasury-International Affairs), just to name a few.

Some of the Obama appointees’ tax problems may not have been as despicable as others, but just look at the number of them. Has any previous Administration been so infested with tax cheats? Nor does President Obama seem to think tax cheating and tax avoidance are detriments to public service for he continues to select nominees that are similarly “tax challenged”.

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric was selected by Obama to lead his Counsel on Jobs and Competitiveness this past January. Immelt has boasted of GE’s staggering $14.2 billion in profits and that it paid no taxes. Yet, Immelt feels right at home pushing the Obama line that other Americans need to pay more in taxes to fund the bloated government that Obama has added.

The Obama Administration seems to be filled with so many tax cheats and tax avoiders that it has surrendered any credibility on the issue of increasing taxes. President Obama remains undeterred by the poor example set by his own Administration and brazenly announced that “we are beginning to crack down on Americans who are bending or breaking the rules, and we're helping to ensure that all Americans are contributing their fair share—and not let some citizens and businesses dodge their tax responsibility, while ordinary Americans pick up the slack.”


Fine words, but what the President did not mention is that his Administration sets a terrible example and is most in need of a “crack down”. Indeed, recent reports estimate the full amount of taxes owed by all members of the Obama Administration is over $3 billion.

Americans are saddled with the sad example of a President that seems to feel no reluctance in calling on others to pay more taxes, even as his own Administration is increasingly composed of tax cheats. Nor is the President deterred in the use of increasingly hostile rhetoric used to describe honest opponents (most of whom do pay their annual taxes), questioning their patriotism, fairness, and compassion.

Obama’s tax policy seems aimed at protecting his own loyalists and pushing responsibility for taxes onto others. One thing is clear: Obama can always count on folks who don’t pay their taxes to support higher taxes for others because it sure seems they know they won’t have to pay. If Obama wants to restore his credibility in the debate on taxes, he should first get rid of the many close advisors that have cheated on their taxes, and require all those serving in his Administration to pay what they owe.

Until he does so, the strange and tortured logic that President Obama uses to push for other Americans to pay “their fair share” must be rejected. Put simply, the Obama Administration has no credibility to talk about tax policy, much less make any moral argument about who should be paying more.


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