Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Contrite tax-cheat, Timothy Geithner, confirmed as Treasury Secretary

By a vote of 60-34, Timothy Geithner was confirmed by the Senate.

The vote broke down this way:

Here's the thing: I'm trying to give President Obama an open mind. But when such a double standard exists between the treatment given to average citizens and to the "privileged" as well as what is acceptable in a Republican administration and in a Democrat administration, it's hard not to speak out.

Geithner was negligent on his Federal taxes for four separate years, despite numerous reminders and notices. To make things worse, he was actually given the money by his employer (the IMF) to pay those taxes -- and he didn't. When the IRS discovered two of these years, he paid the back taxes for only those years, knowing full well he was in default on the other two. Does that sound like an honest mistake?

Geithner did pay the remaining taxes due -- without penalty or interest -- the exact day before he was nominated as Secretary of Treasury. Now he has been confirmed after apologizing. Would any average citizen get the same non-penalty courtesy from the IRS? Would this same Senate confirm a Republican under the same circumstances?

Perhaps under the new administration, the IRS will waive all penalties and interest to anyone if a simple IR475-A apology form is filled out and corroborating tears are enclosed.

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