The Bad Optics Of Killefer's Withdrawal

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THE PLANK FEBRUARY 3, 2009

The Bad Optics Of Killefer's Withdrawal

I can understand why Nancy Killefer's failure to pay employment taxes on her household help for 18 months led to her withdrawing her candidacy to be the Obama administration's chief performance officer. Unlike Geithner and Daschle's tax snafus--which involved the somewhat more esoteric tax problems that arise from working for the IMF and having the use of a personal car and driver, respectively--paying unemployment taxes for your nanny is one of those things that, post-Zoe Baird, anyone hoping to serve in government pretty much has to do. That said, I don't think you have to be much of a raging feminist to think it's a little unfair that unpaid taxes related to a woman's nanny apparently makes her unfit to serve in the Obama administration, but unpaid taxes related to a man's chauffeur service don't.

--Jason Zengerle

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