The White House has tapped quite a winner to lead debt/fiscal cliff negotiations on behalf of President Obama. Drum roll please.....Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. More from the Wall Street Journal:
The White House has tapped the Treasury secretary as its lead negotiator in deficit-reduction talks with Congress, giving Mr. Geithner about a month to help cut a deal before $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts begin in January—and before his long-planned departure from the administration.
It is a sharp change in role for the 51-year-old, who has been preoccupied largely with the U.S. financial crisis, banking policy and Europe's debt crisis in the past four years.
So what does Geithner's four year record look like? Let's take a look. First, we'll start with Geithner's $42,000 tax dodge, or should I say, "Turbo Tax Tim."
The US senate finance committee has voted for a tax evader to become Treasury secretary. He is likely to be confirmed by a vote on the senate floor soon.
Be in no doubt that is what Tim Geithner is. I'm not sure what is more amazing about this case: the virtually free pass he has been given by the media, the toothless opposition of the Republicans or the magnitude of Obama's first betrayal of his ideals.
In 2006 the Internal Revenue Service discovered that Geithner had not paid he had failed to pay taxes in 2003 and 2004 because he had incorrectly believed they were deducted at source by the IMF, where he had moved after serving the treasury in the Clinton administration. He duly paid about $17,230 in back taxes and interest.
After he was selected to lead the treasury in November, it was discovered as part of his vetting that he owed a further $25,970 for 2001 and 2002 as well. That was the point Obama should have dropped Geithner, instead he has championed him as the only man fit for this major job in dire times.
It is just possible that Geithner, as he claimed, made an honest mistake. But he has yet to provide a proper explanation of why when the IRS told him he was due for 2003 and 2004 he did not then realize that he owed taxes in the two earlier years. At his confirmation hearing, none of the senators asked the question forcefully. Geithner blamed the first mistake on the $30 Turbo Tax software programme he used to file his returns himself, and the second on his accountant.
Under Geithner, we've seen the National Debt climb to $16,000,000,000,000+.
The United States credit rating was downgraded for the first time under Geithner's leadership.
Standard & Poor’s announced Friday night that it has downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time, dealing a symbolic blow to the world’s economic superpower in what was a sharply worded critique of the American political system.
Lowering the nation’s rating to one notch below AAA, the credit rating company said “political brinkmanship” in the debate over the debt had made the U.S. government’s ability to manage its finances “less stable, less effective and less predictable.” It said the bipartisan agreement reached this week to find at least $2.1 trillion in budget savings “fell short” of what was necessary to tame the nation’s debt over time and predicted that leaders would not be likely to achieve more savings in the future.
And how could we forget the ongoing European debt crisis Geithner has failed to slow down.
The biggest threat to the U.S. economy is Europe, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Wednesday.
"The economic recession in Europe is hurting economic growth around the world, and the ongoing financial stress is causing a general tightening of financial conditions, exacerbating the global slowdown," Geithner said in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.
Geithner's testimony comes as part of his role as chief of a regulatory group called the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
But the European debt crisis remains a substantial threat to U.S. and worldwide growth, according to the Treasury chief.
"A severe crisis in Europe would necessarily have very substantial, adverse effects on the United States," Geithner said.
Conclusion? The guy who bailed on his taxes wants job creators to pay more taxes and the guy who failed to prevent the fiscal cliff, is now in charge of stopping it on behalf of the White House.