Popular Syndrome

New York governor David Paterson’s top aide, Charles J. O’Byrne, has been forced to resign after revelations that he failed to pay his federal and state income taxes for five years. He owed some $300,000.

His attorney, Richard Kestenbaum, explained that O’Byrne suffered from “non-filer syndrome,” which “causes them not to be able to file their tax returns.” A spokesman for the governor, however, said he has not actually been diagnosed with what she called “late-filers syndrome.”

We often note that you could have read it in Cato Institute publications before it hit the mainstream media. In this case, we hate to think that O’Byrne and his lawyer might have gotten the idea from us. But in fact you can find it in law journals as far back as 1994.

If this syndrome ever gets listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it’s going to be more popular than ADD.