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Obama’s Treasury Pick Didn’t Pay Taxes

From an understanding Associated Press:

In this Jan. 5, 2009 file photo, Treasury Secretary-designate ...

In this Jan. 5, 2009 file photo, Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner looks on at left as President-elect Barack Obama meets with members of his economic team at his transition office in Washington.

Geithner tax and housekeeper problems jolt Obama


WASHINGTON (AP) — At the end of a nearly seamless transition, President-elect Barack Obama has been buffeted by a string of embarrassing jolts within the space of two weeks.

The disclosure Tuesday that his choice for treasury secretary, New York Federal Reserve chief Timothy Geithner, failed to pay $34,000 in taxes and employed a housekeeper without proper immigration papers was another jarring distraction just days before Obama’s inauguration — and raises fresh questions about his team’s judgment, vetting procedures and political sensitivities.

It follows New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s sudden withdrawal on Jan. 4 from consideration as commerce secretary, citing a federal investigation into how his political donors landed a lucrative transportation contract.

Senate Democratic leaders and Obama transition officials immediately voiced confidence in Geithner and called for his quick confirmation once Obama is sworn in and is able to formally nominate him — citing the important role Geithner will play in dealing with one of the nation’s severest recessions in decades…

At issue is Geithner’s failure to pay appropriate Social Security and Medicare taxes when he worked for the International Monetary Fund between 2001 and 2003. He had paid some of the back taxes in 2006 after the IRS sent him a bill. When the Obama transition team discovered he owed even more back taxes, Geithner paid those additional taxes days before Obama announced his choice in November, according to the Senate Finance Committee considering his nomination.

Obama’s staff told senators about the tax issues on Dec. 5.

Geithner also didn’t realize a housekeeper he paid in 2004 and 2005 did not have current employment documentation as an immigrant for the final three months she worked for him, according to the materials released by the committee.

As a result of the new controversy, Geithner won’t be able to be confirmed in time to take office next Tuesday, when Obama will be sworn in, as Democratic leaders and Obama aides had hoped. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., on Wednesday rescheduled a confirmation hearing to next Wednesday after a GOP objection was lodged to his plans to hold it this Friday…

Incoming White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called Geithner’s missteps "honest mistakes, which, upon learning of them, he quickly addressed." But serious issues were raised about the performance of Obama’s team in vetting Geithner that are not likely to go away soon.

Geithner may have one thing going for him: The public may be more far more concerned about the economy at this point than over the would-be treasury secretary’s past mistakes.

Isn’t irony ironic? But of course only the little people pay taxes.

Geithner may have one thing going for him: The public may be more far more concerned about the economy at this point than over the would-be treasury secretary’s past mistakes.

If Mr. Geithner were a Republican this would read:

Geithner has one more thing going against him: The public, being so concerned about the economy at this point, will not be too forgiving about a would-be treasury secretary who doesn’t pay his taxes.

And would the headlines be like this one from the UK’s Guardian:

US treasury secretary nominee made ‘honest mistake’, say supporters

Daniel Nasaw in Washington

January 14, 2009

Indeed, an environmentally irresponsible search of Google News reveals that most of the articles about Mr. Geithner manage to mention that it was an “honest mistake”:

(Click to enlarge)

By the way, does anyone remember, way back a hundred years ago, when just having an illegal alien nanny was enough to queer a nomination?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Obama’s Treasury Pick Didn’t Pay Taxes”

  1. proreason says:

    The $34K is hiding 10 or a 100 times more.

    The press tut-tuts, no other questions are asked, and he walks away with probably millioins in tax cheating.

  2. pdsand says:

    Aside from the whole honest mistake about not paying the whole taxes thing that we can easily understand, because wink wink and all.
    What in the world is that supposed to mean, “did not have current employment documentation as an immigrant”? Isn’t that french for “was an illegal immigrant”?

  3. caligirl9 says:

    But it’s okay, a liberal made those mistakes and all should be forgiven. *barf* You know, people are fallible. As long as they are liberals. *more barf*

    Conservatives get no such slack.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Clinton double speak spoken here.
    He wants to be “OVERLORD” of the IRS!! Son of a Bitch……..I want a illegal nanny for my own. Tax free and beautifully ILLEGAL for my wants and needs!!
    Next I want to forget to pay my taxes for years on end without penalty. I have relatives in Ireland, I need them flown over for a weeks stay on the governments blank check policy with a stop off at the local ABC Store. Again I cant be paying for their habit outta my pocket.
    Some body hold my magazines……..

  5. pdsand says:

    Why didn’t they go one euphimism step further, and say that his housekeeper was a bank of america accountholder?

  6. Odie44 says:

    Americans are far too dumb to care or do anything about a moral, ethical issue.

    We have jumped the shark as a country. The glaring difference between how Dems and Reps are treated, led by the media, is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Obama’s lack of a resume, results, leadership, honesty, etc combined with Rangel’s “gee the dumb wife takes care of tax issues and business dealings, not me”, Geithner’s tax bill/illegal worker have nothing on the doe-eyed idiots among us in America.

    Most American’s dont care – and its not just an ideological issue, being most so-called “ideologues” dont even have a clue of the basic tenants of said ideology.

    Its about American ignorance, laziness, apathy and entitlement. Liberals appeal to those who want to perceive life, whereas conservatives appeal to those living in a real life.

    Buckle up for the next 4 years fun, dumb ride…

  7. curvyred says:

    But, but, but Joey Hairplugs said it is patriotic to pay high taxes – looks like the Treasury pick disagrees.

    I wonder if they go back further then 2001 what they would find?

  8. Helena says:

    The nominee for head of the TREASURY doesn’t pay his taxes?????!!!!! That’s too rich. This is a skit.

  9. proreason says:

    Turns out this stooge has a long history of tax issues, back to 96 at least.

    He failed to pay FICA taxes on himself when he worked at the IMF in 2001 and 2002, and then let the statute of limitations “expire” before he came into the public eye, and “caught up”. Turns out he paid a good bit quite recently. Sweet heh?

    The person who will have oversight authority over the IRS is a serial tax cheat.

    On the other hand, he fits right in with the hopey-changey administration.

    But don’t YOU try to cheat. Nosiree bob. Most audits you know are targeted at people making 50-150K. People like that can’t afford those pesky lawyers. The super-rich are rarely audited, of course, since they are so honest. Geithner was, but then his name was probably on post-its stuck to thousands of IRS agents walls.

  10. Perdido says:

    He hasn’t been paying taxes? Good for him.

    Patriots aren’t.
    …our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor…

  11. Grassy Knoll says:

    Let’s see …. a Democrat fails to pay $34,000 in taxes and it is an oversight. If a Republican does the same thing it is a part of the Culture of Corruption. Why is that?

  12. pdsand says:

    He could just say that he was using all these little tax schemes to avoid paying the portion of his taxes that might be used to fund the defense department and any Republican’s salaries, and the press would laud him for making a profound statement in protest.

  13. Confucius says:

    At least He didn’t tell us “This is not the Geithner I used to know.”

    I’m soooooooo not into recycling.

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