WHEN a police officer gives you a warning instead of ticket, it's a strong suggestion that you slow down. When the Oklahoma Tax Commission gives you a warning, it's a prelude to a jail term. Five Oklahoma lawmakers, including the House speaker, have been warned about negligence in filing tax returns. The public's take on this is understandably harsh. If they have to play by the rules, shouldn't those who make the rules be at the head of the compliance line? Speaker Lance Cargill keeps making mistakes or showing lapses in judgment that give his political enemies more fodder to shoot down his ideas and attack his leadership. "I'm human. I made a mistake,” Cargill told The Oklahoman's Nolan Clay and Randy Ellis in attempting to explain why he failed to file income tax returns for the past two years. To say that Cargill failed to pay his taxes is wrong. What he failed to do is comply with the law on submitting the paperwork. State Reps. Don Armes, Ryan McMullen and Jabar Shumate, along with state Sen. Connie Johnson, were also fingered in this Taxgate scandal. Cargill and Armes are Republicans; McMullen, Shumate and Johnson are Democrats. Regardless of party, lawmakers have an especial obligation to comply with the law; that's particularly true of the leadership. Cargill's oversight adds to the weight of disappointment amassed against him, a weight that includes the baggage of ethical lapses involving campaign contributions. Cargill, an attorney, is a busy man with a busy life. Many taxpayers fit that mold, but most manage to keep their tax filings current and don't, as Cargill did, blame miscommunications with an accountant. When that police officer stops you for speeding, he's not interested in hearing about your busy life or communication problems. He wants you to stop speeding or get out of the driver's seat.