Sebeliuses show their integrity

Now it’s Gov. Kathleen Sebelius with tax trouble — or is it?
Wednesday she said she had hired an accountant to “scrub” her tax returns for the last three years and that she and her husband filed amended returns and paid an additional $7,040 in back taxes and $878 in interest to cover the errors found.
Here are the mistakes made as reported by the Associated Press:
— Charitable contributions over $250 are supposed to include an acknowledgment letter from the charity in order for a deduction to be taken. Out of 49 charitable contributions made, three letters couldn’t be found.
— Sebelius and her husband took deductions for mortgage interest that they weren’t entitled to. The couple sold their home in 2006 for less than what they owed on the mortgage. They continued to make payments on the balance, including interest. But since they no longer owned the home they weren’t entitled to take deductions for the interest. The same thing happened with a home improvement loan. Sebelius said they “mistakenly believed” the interest payments were still deductible.
— Insufficient documentation was found for some business expense deductions.

AS A KANSAN, I may be prejudiced, but nothing in this list raises an eyebrow. Fact is, she and her husband probably paid taxes they didn’t owe to err on the side of safety.
So she couldn’t find three letters thanking her for gifts. That doesn’t mean that deductible contributions weren’t made. Ditto for the business expense deductions. And perhaps she should have known interest on the money she still owed on the house they sold wasn’t deductible, but since it had been throughout their ownership a pattern was set for her, her husband and their accountant. That they continued that pattern is understandable.
The decision the governor and her husband made to bend over backward to be squeaky clean can be seen as yet another demonstration of their integrity. President Obama chose well.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.