The former US senator and prospective CEO of the overhaul of the US health industry, Tom Daschle, apparently did not know that his free use of a car and driver constituted taxable income. I don’t believe it for an instant, and I doubt that many Orchard Health Care members do, either. Every corporate exec or highly compensated individual knows, or should know, that personal use of a car for commuting and such, for anything other than a documentable business purpose, is reportable taxable income.
Even though he now paying the amounts due, I find this behavior highly upsetting. I don’t see how tax avoidance, really evasion until discovered, is compatible with the enormous role Obama has designated him for. Daschle should withdraw. There are other experienced leaders with detailed knowledge of health care, appropriate political skills, and clean records.
Physicians are certainly expected to pay their taxes. Our licenses depend on it. And I would expect the confidence and trust of my patients would suffer if I were dishonest. Should we again accept a lower standard for a public chief executive?