Geithner anxiety

The Geitner tax thing has me worried. What the press will eventually turn to is that $34,000 or thereabouts for a guy who has been in public service his whole career, and thus isn't rich, is a lot of money, which will raise questions about how "accidental" his "oversights" may have been. I hope I'm wrong but I fear this is where the story may be headed. If it was a Paul O'Neill type -- already wealthy from a dozen years as Alcoa CEO - you'd say $30-40,000 in missed tax payments wasn't about the money. If any Republicans force further delays, the press will dig deeper on this, so here's hoping Geithner has explanations that can withstand a few more rounds of scrutiny.


Blogger Bill Karwin said...


About 13:45 minutes into that video, Graham voices support for Tim Geithner. He says, "...I don't see any desire on the part of the Republican Party to play gotcha..."

January 15, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I know it took him a while to pay back these taxes he neglected to pay, but I suspect it was BECAUSE he isn't rich. The oversight could have been accidental, and then paying it back could have taken time because it was a lot of money to pay back for a man committed to public service and thus without much income.

January 19, 2009 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

"...a guy who has been in public service his whole career, and thus isn't rich..."

Bloomberg News reports that Geithner's salary at the Fed was nearly $400,000. By President Obama's standard of $250,000 and up Geithner is rich. Even at treasury, his salary would have been ES-III, $158,500 (2008 dollars). That would put him somewhere near the 95th percentile of American households.
That the man generally regarded as the premier public finance expert in the United States cannot properly file his taxes just doesn't make sense. The tax code is far too complicated, but someone with his background and skills should be able to navigate it.

What I would have like to have heard at the hearings was "I thought I could get away with not paying the back taxes. I cheated the government of $42,000 and that is inexcusable. As Treasury Secretary I will make every effort to ensure that taxes are paid and that delinquencies are vigorously enforced so that everyone pays a fair share."

January 22, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

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