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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9370/ethics-upheld/

“Ethics” Upheld

February 3, 2009 by

Tom Daschle, Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, failed to pay approximately $140,000 in back taxes. Conservative and liberal pundits alike expressed outrage. Daschle withdrew his nomination today, saving the Republic from further “ethical” misconduct.

Lost in all the self-congratulatory Beltway hoopla: Obama will eventually nominate an HHS secretary who paid her taxes on time — and that person will preside over a bureaucracy that spends more than $730 billion annually, an amount that will expand exponentially as the new regime completes the socialization of health care.

So to recap, it’s perfectly ethical to confiscate $730 billion to finance various intervention schemes that undermine the market for health care, but it’s completely unethical for Tom Daschle to withhold .000019% of that $730 billion from the state’s machinery.


ehmoran February 3, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Remember these immortal WORDS?

“If loyal ministers, though guiltless, still face peril and death, then good officials will go into hiding; and if evil ministers, though without merit, enjoy safety and profit, then corrupt officials will come to the fore. This is the beginning of downfall” (Han Fei Tzu).

DJF February 4, 2009 at 6:59 am

People often get fixated on the small crimes they can understand and ignore the big ones they don’t.

The same with Geithner, people are more upset that he did not pay tax then they are over the fact that he was President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and first helped created the problems and then ignored and denied the problems with Wall Street banks and then has put forward numerous failed rescue schemes which have not fixed anything.

prettyskin February 4, 2009 at 7:12 am

Well said DJF.

Bruce Koerber February 4, 2009 at 10:56 am

Which of these ethics were upheld?

#1. Humans carry their thoughts into the realm of action.

#2. Being a seeker after truth is part of the human operating system.

#3. The definition of praxeology used in the divine economy theory is ‘purposeful action by spiritual beings’ and it is interwoven with ethics.

#4. Every human being decides what is best for himself (herself) and this decision is referred to as ‘subjective’ rather than as ‘selfish’ (a term which has too many biases associated with it).

#5. What catches the attention of human beings is the appearance of the names and attributes of God.

#6. The content of our actions is the conveyance of the names and attributes of God.

#7. Humans are interested in the science and the art of existence.

#8. Our human limit is the point where a higher kingdom is reached, one that is incomprehensible to the lower kingdom.

#9. The Word of God extends our knowledge of spiritual concepts.

#10. The first and foremost ethic for the divine economy is trust in God.

#11. The ethics between the macro and the micro level is seamless.

#12. Acquisition of virtues constitutes private property.

#13. Human rights are property rights and property rights are human rights.

#14. Production is a human creation, emulating God, the Creator.

#15. Pure entrepreneurship is the discovery of something from nothing.

pat67 February 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Does anyone know the details as to why Daschle had to withdraw and Geithner was allowed to continue with the confirmation? Was Daschle’s tax error worse than Geithner’s?

DJF February 5, 2009 at 8:07 am

I don’t think it had anything to do with what tax laws were broken. I do think it had to do with how much support each had.

Daschle was going to lead “Health Care Reform” which has a lot of powerful enemies in the Health Care industry since it might cost them money. So the industry was not that much of a hurry to push Daschle through.

Geithner was going to lead “Financial System Reform” and he has given them trillions and wants to give them more. So Geithner had enough support from the industry to push him through

Remember the regulated often has lots of power over who becomes the regulator and Geithner was obviously the industries guy and moving policy in their direction. Daschle was not going to push the industry in the direction they wanted.

DouglasG February 5, 2009 at 11:12 am

I just find it hypocritical. Here we have members belonging to a political party that generally wants to raise everyone’s taxes and extols the virtues of paying taxes, yet its leaders and spokesmen dodge tax payments. Little wonder that raising taxes should not bother them.

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