Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Geithner Should Not be Confirmed

Timothy Geithner is on path to be Treasury Secretary of the United States, with among other duties oversight of the IRS.

On his own failure to pay the employer portion of Social Security tax on his IMF earnings: "As I look back at all the documents that I provided the committee . . . both in the initial documents the IMF staff gave me to explain the way the IMF system works, in the quarterly statements I received from the IMF, in the annual tax forms I received -- in all those documents, looking back, it was very clear," Geithner said.

Yes, it is actually one of the simpler parts of our terrible personal income tax code.

And on his failure to pay the taxes owed for mistakes in 2001, 2002 when the IRS only audited 2003 and 2004:

"Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) asked Geithner pointedly whether he choose not to pay the earlier taxes because they were beyond the IRS's three-year statute of limitations.

Geithner replied that he simply did not think about the issue.

"If I thought about it more at the time, I would have asked a lot more questions. I would have handled it differently and I regret not having done so," Geithner said. "This is my mistake, and it's my responsibility."

He simply did not think about the issue. Social Security, one of the burning issues of our time, for a Treasury Secretary to worry about -- and he simply did not think about the issue of paying his own fair share??

Sorry, but this is definitely an exclusionary mistake. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Worse than not paying taxes on a nanny, which has disqualified certain female nominees. There are two critical issues: One, he was actually paid by the IMF for the taxes that he was supposed to pay; and two, he did not 'fess up and pay the early year taxes after caught for the later mistakes. If that does not disqualify you for the post of Treasury Secretary, then we are in trouble.

I have already heard from people who feel that they do not need to pay their credit card bills since some banks are not paying their creditors, and since the Treasury nominee does not pay his taxes. Where is the tipping point, where the vast majority stop being law-abiding because they feel like suckers?

Where are the Republican backbenchers on this one?

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