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Geithner Rant (or, Am I a Sucker?)

January 14th, 2009 at 08:42 pm

Be Warned: Completely non-productive, ranting post ahead.

Normally I wouldn't do a random commentary on a national news story, but two things happened today and the coincidental combination of the 2 just got under my skin. Excuse me while I vent.

1. First Thing = Read an Article in Today's WSJ on Geithner (page A2). When I first heard that Barack Obama had picked Timothy Geithner to be the new Treasury secretary, I was very impressed by the fact that he had also been on McCain's short list. I thought, "Hey - This is a guy who has impressed both of the parties candidates, so he must be a pretty good choice." When I heard the first news about his tax problem, I thought "Oh hey, probably just an honest mistake." Well ..... Then I read today's article and it filled in some details that I found quite disturbing. To briefly summarize, when he worked for the IMF he was supposed to have paid self-employment (SS & Medicare) taxes, but he did not. In 2006, he was audited by the IRS for the 2003 & 2004 tax years, they found out that he hadn't paid the taxes, and so he did, with interest. [So far, nothing to get to excited about, right?] However, when the Obama team vetted him for the position, they found out that he also had not paid the same taxes for 2001 & 2002; he proceeded to pay them, with interest.
Excuse me????? Once the audit was conducted, the dude KNEW!!! He knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that he was supposed to have been paying those taxes. You've gotta assume the guy figured he had gotten away with not paying the taxes for 2001 & 2002 because of the statute of limitations on audits, and so that is why he did not pay them (until he was being considered for a Cabinet position). Yes, I know there are plenty of other people out there who try to get away with not paying all of their taxes (and I'm none to fond of them either), but this is the guy being considered for the freakin' Treasury Secretary position. We're not talking about a White House chef ... We're talking about the guy who would be in charge of the IRS ... and it sure sounds like he's a tax cheat! This IS a big deal. I really hope there is a more-qualified candidate out there who is willing to take the job, because I don't think that fox should be in charge of guarding the hen house.

2. Second Thing = I mailed off my 4th estimated tax payment for 2008 today. As always, unless I unknowingly made a LEGITIMATE mistake, I paid each and every dollar I am required by law to pay. It was a lot of money. I don't enjoy sending off a big check to the U.S. Treasury 4 times a year, but I know it is part of the price I pay to live in this wonderful country and enjoy its benefits. Just plain old-fashioned civic duty. But as I have commented before, I know that my tax burden would be less if everyone paid what they were supposed to. And the thought that the guy who could be in charge of things might be someone who somehow believed he was justified in not paying his share just chafes. Gee ... Am I a big sucker for having paid all my taxes all of these years?

This morning I sat down for my morning coffee with the paper and my stack of priority tasks for the day ... Top of the stack, staring at me as I read about Geithner, was my 1040-ES Payment Voucher. So hopefully my grumpiness is understandable.

Thanks for "listening" to me vent. I'll try to be more cheerful on my next post.

12 Responses to “Geithner Rant (or, Am I a Sucker?)”

  1. baselle Says:

    What gets me is that the Obama vetters did the math, and didn't immediately think, "wait a minute, we're better at tax math than the putative Treasury Secretary," and move on... Is the talent pool that thin?

    Too bad Paul Volcker is not in the best of health.

  2. cptacek Says:

    scfr, I thought the exact same thing. What has happened to integrity in this country?

  3. gamecock43 Says:

    Regarding #1...I just find it ironic. And somewhat amusing. I really wish people ambitious enough to run/be appointed to offices would dot every i and cross every t like you would expect them to. Instead they want those positions so they can be in a position to accept bribes/ handouts ect. My friend's husband wants to get into politics and she is always obsessing about her and the families actions thinking someone will someday try and dig up dirt on her or the family. She holds herself and the family to very high standards because of the husbands someday job. I wish other people would look at it that way.

  4. LuxLiving Says:

    Rant ON!! Saves me the trouble...

  5. mooshocker Says:

    May I ride your rant too? God bless.

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Wow. So what good did the long application do for the vetting of this guy? Wasn't one of the questions on there something about 'Have you done anything that could be politically embarrassing?'

  7. mjrube94 Says:

    Great post!

    It pains me to do my taxes each year because we always pay/owe a ton of money, but I feel the same way as you. Taxes aren't bad - they pay for a lot of necessary services. It's the misuse of funds that drive me nuts!

  8. monkeymama Says:

    In college I was self-employed, and so my taxes were pretty LARGE. Since I was paying self-employment tax. It was a struggle but of course I paid it. People who don't pay their fair share of taxes are my pet peeve, indeed.

  9. scfr Says:

    Thanks guys - I was afraid I may have come off as an anti-government nutcase (which I'm not), but reading your comments this morning has made me feel much better. Nice to know I'm not alone and my feelings are understandable.

  10. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    related anecdote:
    my husband is employed on a DOD base and yesterday got paperwork to report all MY investments (including stocks, bonds, pensions, etc). Pretty detailed request. I will NOT let him show my account numbers nor values.

    Did Dick Cheney have to do this?

  11. Amber Says:

    Regarding our lovely government and other CEOs we need some one to watch them and another to watch the person who is watching them and some one else to watch those people and so on...you get what I'm saying.

  12. PRICEPLUS Says:

    Funny, if I forget to pay my taxes they really get nsty with me and threaten me with fines, penalties, and possibly incarceration! I guess some citizens are more equal than others.

    A pox on politicians and Wall Street types to whom the law does not apply!Mad

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