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The Gaffe Machine processes another tax return

By Brian | January 15, 2009 | Share on Facebook

John Hinderaker, over at Powerline¬†Blog, has a well-written (and most non-partisan) look at Tim Geithner’s tax problems. Some sample quotes:


Some have gone overboard by calling Geithner a “tax cheat.” It is inconceivable that the error was intentional. Others have used the occasion to call for tax simplification. I am all in favor of tax simplification, but the issue at hand isn’t all that complicated: payment of self-employment taxes is elementary, and the fact that an IMF employee is “self-employed” for this purpose, while obscure to the general public, ought to be known to IMF’s employees.I don’t draw any conclusion from this episode other than that Geithner is a busy guy who, like many others, hasn’t paid enough attention to his personal tax and financial matters.

UPDATE: Additional facts have come to light that make this situation much more serious. Byron York reports that IMF employees received additional compensation that was earmarked for their portion of FICA taxes. Their incomes were, as the IMF put it, “grossed up.” Thus, Geithner accepted “reimbursement” from the IMF for taxes that he didn’t pay. Not only that, he certified that he would pay the taxes.


I’m still sure it’s carelessness, not fraud, but if Byron’s description is correct (and I’m confident it is), it represents a level of carelessness that is not going to be tolerated in a Treasury Secretary at this moment in history. I expect Obama to withdraw Geithner’s nomination.


I tend to agree with Mr. Hinderaker that this is not a big deal, and certainly a distraction when we should be talking about Geithner’s role as head of the New York Fed during a major Wall Street Financial Crisis(TM).

Most in the media seem to be giving Geithner the pass he deserves. That said, I do feel the need to point out that Geithner’s mistakes total more than $43,000 in unpaid taxes. Back in October, though, Joe the Plumber‘s credibility was lambasted when he dared ask Barack Obama a question about his tax plan while owing the state of Ohio less than $1,200.

Maybe the media ought to give plumbers the same consideration it’s willing to give Fed-Chiefs-Turned-Treasury-Secretary-Elects…

Topics: News and/or Media, Political Rantings | 1 Comment »

One Response to “The Gaffe Machine processes another tax return”

  1. The Gaffe Machine processes another tax return | forexintraday.com says at January 15th, 2009 at 8:49 pm :
    [...] The Gaffe Machine processes another tax return [...]

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