I don't think it plausible that guys with the fortunes of Tom Daschle and Tim Geithner and the ambitions of Tom Daschle and Tim Geithner sat down one night and decided to crudely defraud the government of somewhere between $40,000 and $130,000 in tax revenues at the potential cost of their future Senate confirmations. Indeed, I doubt that they spend a lot of time on their taxes at all (though Geithner apparently keeps records in Turbotax). Both have enormously complex income streams with various employers, consulting gigs, speaking fees, and who knows what else. Maybe, in Japan, Geithner endorses cereal. For that reason, both have said that they use accountants. But from afar, it sort of looks like their accountants are doing the thing where they help their clients pay the least money rather than the thing where they shore up their future political viability. What affluent future political appointees need is not accountants who eke out some savings but auditors who make sure they pay something close to the maximum. As the saying goes, the question isn't whether they can afford to do that. As we're seeing, it's whether they can afford not to.
I'm still not ready to give these jackasses a pass. Especially Daschle, who as a former Senate Majority Leader should be a savvy enough politician to make sure this shit is straight. Accountant or no, it's your return and your responsibility.
If you are still an active politico (even post-office) with the potential to be appointed to a cabinet post (or a judicial slot, etc.) you should keep your ass clean. Period. That means no affairs, no tax crap and no undocumented housekeepers. It might not be directly relevant to your future appointment, but it's sloppy and shows poor judgement—and you deserve to be called on it—if not disqualified for it.
UPDATE: This is fucking awesome*. You can't stop YouTube, you can only hope to contain it...
*For those not following this stuff closely, Daschle is in hot water for failing to pay taxes on $255,000 worth of being driven around in a private car paid for by someone else.