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41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes -- and they're not alone

Democrat president Barack Obama addresses his staff in the Oval Office-file

Over the years a lot of suspicion has built up across the country about Washington and its population of opportunistic transients coming to see themselves as a special kind of person, somehow above average working Americans who don't labor down in that monument-strewn former swamp.

Well, finally, an end to all those undocumented doubts. Thanks to some diligent digging by the Washington Post, those suspicions can at last be put to rest.

They're correct. Accurate. Dead-on. Laser-guided. On target. Bingo-bango. As clear as it's always seemed to those Americans who don't feel special entitlements and do meet their government obligations.

We now know that federal employees across the nation owe fully $1 billion in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

As in, 1,000 times one million dollars. All this political jabber about giving middle-class ...

... Americans a tax cut. Thousands of feds have been giving themselves one all along -- unofficially. And these tax scofflaws include more than three dozen folks who work for the president with that newly decorated Oval Office.

The Post's T.W. Farnum did some research and found that out of the total sum, just 638 workers on Capitol Hill owe the IRS $9.3 million in back taxes. As in, overdue. The IRS gets stiffed by the legislative body that controls its budget. How Washington works.

Now, back taxes have been a problem for the Obama-Biden administration. You may recall early on that Tom Daschle was the president's top pick to run the Health and Human Services Department. But it turned out the former Democratic senator, who was un-elected from South Dakota in 2004, owed something like $120,000 to the IRS for things from his subsequent benefactor that he just forgot to pay taxes on. You know how that is. $120G's here or there. So he dropped out.

And then we learned this guy Timothy Geithner owed something like $42,000 in back taxes and penalties to the IRS, which is one of the agencies that he'd be in charge of as secretary of the Treasury. The fine fellow who's supposed to know about handling everyone else's money. In the end this was excused by Washington's bipartisan CYA culture as one of those inadvertent accidental oversights that somehow never seem to happen on the side of paying too much taxes.

And under Geithner's expert guidance the U.S. economy has been, well, wow! Just look at it.

Privacy laws prevent release of individual tax delinquents' names. But we do know that as of the end of 2009, 41 people inside Obama's very own White House owe the government they're allegedly running a total of $831,055 in back taxes. That would cover a lot of special chocolate desserts in the White House Mess.

In the House of Representatives, 421 people owe a total $6,524,892. In the Senate, 217 owe $2,774,836. In the IRS' parent department, Treasury, 1,204 owe $7,670,814. At the Labor Department, where Secretary Hilda Solis' husband had some back-tax problems before her confirmation, 463 owe $7,481,463. Eighty-one workers for the Federal Reserve System's board of governors owe $1,076,733.

Over at the Justice Department, which is so busy enforcing other laws and suing Arizona, 1,971 employees still owe $14,350,152 in overdue taxes.

Then, we come to the Department of Homeland Security, which is run by Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona who preferred to call terrorist acts "man-caused disasters." Homeland Security is keeping all of us safe by ensuring that a brave Dutch tourist is aboard every inbound international flight to thwart any would-be bomber with explosives in his underpants.

Within that department, there reside 4,856 people who owe the tax agency a whopping total of $37,012,174.

And they're checking our pockets for metal and coins?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Pete Souza / White House

 
Comments () | Archives (221)

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C an you explain how Washington insiders not paying their full share of taxes is news? I would have thought they had some double secret Washington Insider loophole setup like every other powerful group and paid almost NO taxes.

I will take this as another story about incompetency, since when it comes to paying taxes, nobody important pays anyway. The real action is getting a subsidy, like the oil, coal and agriculture big shots do.

Well, Andrew... you're on the list, now. Are all YOUR tax records in order?

Suprise, suprise. They don't pay their taxes but they want to raise your taxes. It is sooo liberal of them.

Good article, and shows once again how we get the government we settle for.

Wow, that's incredibly ridiculous. I'm sure ALL of them just forgot, didn't they?

I commute into DC every day from Virginia, which has high personal property tax rates (the "car tax"), and there are TONS of Illinois plates commuting with me, every day. Even though Virginia law requires residents to immediately register their cars in Virginia and pay their car tax, not one of Obama's folks appears to have bothered to do so. It's funny, it's like it is an Obama Administration policy to ignore their taxes and leave it up to us little people to pick up the tab.

LOL. Spot on.

Do as I say not as I do. That's the motto for the Democraps.

Taxes are for the little people, people.

Any surprise here? More "let them eat cake" mentality of the far left. Great at having other people sacrifice. Great at spending other peoples money. They should be fired on the spot.

If one adds up all the back taxes owed by federal workers and retirees who lived off the taxpayers hard work, it is nearly 3 BILLION dollars. Enough!

This is an incredibly pathetic condition, although I am at a loss to comprehend why it is headlined as a deficiency in the Obama WH. Undoubtedly this is NOT a partisan issue, and is inexcusable by either party or by any law-abiding taxpayer.
If these people aren't paying their taxes, then they should be pursued and their assets attached, regardless of party affiliation or any other reason. Will it happen?? Unlikely until Americans start registering to vote and speaking up at the ballot box. Ralph L. Seifer, Long Beach.

You will not find a more dedicated group of public servants than all these
loyal democrats who for the most part put in 100 hour weeks to help our
valiant president clean up the swamp inherited from Bush.Most of these tax
amounts are probably manufactured errors by some republican IRS hacks
working for the republican's dirty tricks dept.Just another witch hunt like
the persecution of such honourable and selfless public figures as Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel.

But, you know, they mean well.

Taxes are just for the little people apparently......You liberal Californians voted in droves for Obama and these tax scofflaws by proxy. Congratulations and Thank You so much. Maybe next time you sit at home on election day if you can't pay attention and don't know what you're doing?

This is your proof of entitlement in the beltway? That people that work in the White House owe back taxes like millions of others Americans across the country. Wow. Go write a real story.

Just another example of do as I say, not as I do.

Just another demonstration of the ''bicephalous'' nature of democrats. One
head representing the poor misguided leftist rable-rousers and the other
composed of unscrupulous calculating managers of schoking vice.The first
represented by the Dennis Kucinich type and the other by the present chief of
staff at the white house.

This is why all Americans must stand-up and VOTE everyone of these idiots out of Washington. I don't care DINO or RINO, it's time for new blood. If it's good enough for Americans it's good enough for Washington.

Of course these federal employees feel above the law, they're DC insiders, and DC insiders think they run the country.

Think about it. In private businesses, don't the managers often get more special considerations from the business owners than the line workers do? Perks like company credit cards, stock options, earlier vesting in retirement accounts? Sure they do!

Well, government employees think they are the managers of the nation. They laugh at the idea they are public servants... they see that as hopelessly "olde fashioned"; surely a "modern" nation needs a highly paid and well-perked management class to oversee everything. And they're just the folks to run things! So all those higher-than-private-sector paychecks, gold plated benefits and retirement accounts, and wink-n-nudge exceptions from everyday rules are just the normal perks accorded to the really "important people"... just business as usual.

No, seriously now, these people are completely blind. They think today's citizen vs. government relationship is better than the old way, their degrees in Poli-Sci and Government Management are deep and meaningful, and they're worth their bloated paychecks. They'll have looks of stunned incomprehension on their faces when the knacker hammer comes down. It'll hit them out of the blue.

I am pretty sure this does NOT include gov employees who owe payment on federal-backed student loans.

Bingo-bango? Is someone channeling Mickey Redmond?

Sorry to disappoint all you folks who think this is somehow a Democratic thing. It has been true in every administration that White House staff and Federal employees in every agency owe back taxes. THis is a report that is issued every year. Those of us who work at the IRS can be fired for it but it's not a firing offense in the rest of the government.

Obama got into Columbia despite admitted bad grades and a drug habit. Why? Think that Mr. Geithner's father being on the board of Columbia at the time and a close associate with Obama's mother had anything to do with that? Then lo and behold Obama finds a place for Mr. Geithner, the son of the man who was on the board of Columbia, and a close friend of his mothers, at the time he was admitted to a prestigious school when he was an admitted drug user and slacker.

Staunch Liberal....

Cmon, even a staunch liberal wouldn't believe your post relating to this article. Are you a provocative conservative in drag? LOL

" Undoubtedly this is NOT a partisan issue, and is inexcusable by either party or by any law-abiding taxpayer."

Right, if the Dems caught someone owing back taxes he had evaded they'd give him or her a Cabinet post immediately... how awful they are punishing these people with cushy high paying jobs.

And the Reps? "If you're on the federal payroll and you're not paying your taxes, you should be fired," Chaffetz (R - Utah) Hey you're right, the Republicans don't want to punish them with jobs at all, they want to give them unpaid vacations... look at those silly republicans.

Oh, that wasn't your point? Um, could you make it again?

They're reading this thinking we're not the ones you should look at let's only pay attention to the little people. Nwe are the government and can do anything we want.

"This is your proof of entitlement in the beltway? That people that work in the White House owe back taxes like millions of others Americans across the country. Wow. Go write a real story."
- - - - -

I don't owe any back taxes. None of my relatives owe back taxes. I'm not aware of any friends of mine that owe back taxes. My business owes no back taxes. My wife's employer is current in its tax payments. Amongst my clients, I've no indication that overdue tax payments are an issue.

As far as I am aware, the condition of being delinquent in the payment of tax obligations remains outside of acceptable cultural norms in this country. If you simply have no money, then you've exercised poor judgment in incurring the tax obligation. If you do still have funds, or if you spent those funds on other things knowing that you had outstanding tax liabilities, then you are acting as a thief, making the rest of us give up our funds to pay for your share of taxes.

What may have changed is the willingness of tax deadbeats to loudly and proudly proclaim the absence of any moral dimension to their decision to stick the rest of us with their obligations.

They're wrong, but they tend to be loud in their claim of victimhood, which leads to an impression of imbalance somehow, and people hesitate to get in the face of the unbalanced. So, if no one seems to be objecting to your "this ain't no real story, everybody does it" assertion, please don't take it to mean we agree. We just tend to avoid arguing with loud cranks.

All I have to say is...hahahahahahahahahhahahahaha. Obama is a pathetic excuse of a leader and a man.

If they owe it pay it, get it all and damages(interest) then boot the slughead. If he/she can't function in the society and pay their bills then they should not be in a position in government that depends on people paying their debts. No special privilidges for any one. If you owe it pay it and fight for its return later like the make John Q. Citizen.

41 Obama owe back taxes?
It figures----they would
contribute to the budget
deficit---HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Contempt of Congress should be a CIVIC DUTY, not a federal offense!

Where has this kind of reporting gone? We needed this in-depth reporting since 2007, investigating why the recession happened and a host of other topics such as the 740 miilion dollar campaign of Obama and where did all this money come from. I comment L.A. Times for this. Please give us some more of this great work, on all politicians and those who are suppose to be our public servants.

(AM responds: Glad you and so many others are finding us. Hope you keep returning. Thanks again.)

They can all hire Rangels attorney

They'll all be arrested or threatened with arrest and penalties will be assessed as they would be for you an I, right?

Do as I say, not as I do. Gee, how surprising.

Where is the list of names? Any active elected official should be GONE.

We the 'little' People - just try it. Interest, fines, jail.
These are the people who write the laws we are to obey - and we pay their salaries. Laugh or cry - today I'll take cry.

Is anyone suprised they owe back taxes. Look at the treasury sect. as a role model

During the econmoic downturn, I had to use 401K money to pay my mortgage. Ithink I ended up owing about $7k in taxes and penalties.
The IRS and State Agencies were relentless! They took tax returns, bank account liens, salay garnishments until it was paid.
How are these people getting a free ride? Charles Rangel, Geitner and many others. They don't even pay interset and penalties....what the hell is that!
Now I work "off the books", collect Unemployment and don't pay a dime to this damn government! I will scam them like they scammed me, until my dieing day....Bastards!

Find them.....Give them all 48 hours to Pay......and then Fire anyone that stills owes..........This is Flat Out unacceptable......

Wow, I'm surprised to see a liberal rag like the LA Times post an article like this. Are you sure the editors approved this before it was posted?

(AM responds: You shouldn't be. We've been here on LATimes.com for more than 3 years. Glad you joined us with so many others. Hope to see you often now.)

Well written, unfortunately not suprising to read about documented hypocracy displayed by our trusted governmental officials.

Another commentor rightly pointed out that this is a problem with all parties in power. However, never have we been subjected to more moral posturing than with this administration. Remember "Most ethical Congress in history?!" Remember - "we are the ones we have been waiting for"!? The rising oceans will start to fall soon, right? etc. The elitism of this administration is stunning. Have any of them ever had a paycheck that wasn't signed by someone else? Yet they know better, right? It makes me sick to watch them play this game with America every day.

Hey Obama and rest of you Dem Losers..........Na Na NA Naaaa, Na Na NA Naaaa, Hey Heeeeaaay, GOODBYE............ and good riddance.....

They can track Wesley Snipes down in Africa for back taxes, put him on trial and not blink twice about it.
They all need to be dragged through the same process as Snipes!!

In my next life I want to come back as a liberal . . . it's oh so much easier . . . I won't have to pay my fair share. . . I can send my bills to the respopnsible conservatives and, when things go wrong, I can blame somebody else. Why didn't I think of this before?

Staunch Liberal: Do the attendants know you are out alone? I don't know what planet you live on, but it certainly isn't planet earth. What you should have said was, " I don't know a more dedicated bunch of liars, tax cheats, dead beats and criminals than Obumbler democRats. They work over 100 hours a week bilking the unsuspecting public". I hope you were being sarcastic about maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel.

217 Senators? Do the extra 117 come from Obamas' 51st - 57th states?

The laws are for us not for them.

To all of you people who voted for the democrat party, thanks for bankrupting our country. When your children grow up and ask you what it was like to live in a free country be sure to tell them that you sold their future for a promise of hope and change made by a Chicago gangster.

Of course these people don't pay their taxes. They're the special people. The rules don't apply to them just to those of us who work in the real world for real companies that produce real products and services that real people are willing to pay for of their own free will.

Washington DC is a cesspool of corruption and villainy populated with evil, lying, thieving, criminal minded enemies of humanity. They are the problem with the world.

publish the names and the amount owed.


(AM responds: Read the item again. It's against federal law to publish anyone's tax records, yours included. However, such publicity could help.)

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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