Geithner's Tax Problems

Posted: Jan 15, 2009 9:33 AM
With all due respect,  I vehemently disagree with Hugh's post below saying Tim Geithner should be confirmed to become Treasury Secretary despite his tax problems.

There is a fundamental problem here. We're supposed to believe the Wall Street's Golden Boy Tim Geithner, who wants to run the IRS,  just forgot to pay his Social Security and Medicare taxes. That is was just an honest mistake. An oversight.


Hugh writes: "He was paid in an unusual way by the IMF and his accountant gave him bad advice.  When the IRS caught the error, Geithner did not apply that lesson to earlier years.  He has now paid the money owed."

Well, so what if it was an honest mistake? Do we really want someone running the IRS that can't properly oversee his OWN finances? Who HIRES people who give him terrible advice?

Geithner's tax problems are more offensive than a mere oversight. The "unusual way" Geithner was paid was in a manner in which Geithner was in fact, OVERPAID so that he could pay taxes himself. Instead, he pocketed the difference. I'm no tax lawyer or internationally-educated economist,  but think I would certainly notice the spike in income if I didn't pay any of these taxes for a few years. Don't you?

And, I find it a little bit convenient Geithner didn't pick up on any of these omissions until he was vetted by Obama's team for the top Treasury slot. He had to cough up $25,970 LAST MONTH in back taxes just to bring his accounts up to date.

That wasn't the first time, either. He was audited in 2006 and the IRS found out that he owed $17,230. So that's twice this has happened. The IRS gives lots of notice before they audit someone, too. It's not like they want to audit people. That means he was sent lots and lots of notices and, obviously, ignored them.

My biggest complaint about this whole thing isn't Hugh's defense or Geithner's inability to complete his tax forms correctly. It's this liberal excuse that we're in such dire economic straits that Geitner's transgressions shouldn't matter. That he's somehow "too big to fail."

He's not.