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  • Is This a Joke?

    The AP reports: “President Barack Obama’s Treasury secretary says the administration will unveil a series of rules and measures in the coming months to limit the ability of international companies to avoid U.S. taxes.

    We only ask because:

    • January 7, 2009: “But even an experienced financial expert like [Nancy] Killefer is susceptible to tax errors: Four years ago, the District of Columbia slapped a $946 tax lien on her home for a few months until she paid back unemployment compensation tax for her personal employees.
    • January 30, 2009: “Former Sen. Tom Daschle, tapped by President Obama to lead his healthcare reform campaign, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes in the three years before Obama nominated him in December to head the Department of Health and Human Services.”
    • February 6, 2009: “Hilda Solis, Labor nominee, faces tax questions. A Senate committee’s vote on her confirmation is delayed after it learns her husband had $6,400 in unresolved tax liens filed against his business.”
    • March 3, 2009: “The Senate Finance Committee announced Monday that Ron Kirk, nominee for trade representative, owes roughly $10,000 in taxes from 2005, 2006 and 2007.”

    And of course the granddaddy of them all, chief tax collector, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner:

    According to Mr. Geithner, he initially failed to pay payroll taxes on income he received from the International Monetary Fund in 2001, and then repeated the error in the three subsequent years, despite the help of an accountant. Apologizing to the committee, he took responsibility for what he called “careless” and “avoidable” mistakes while insisting they were unintentional. He acknowledged signing an IMF statement at the time that he understood he had been reimbursed to pay those self-employment taxes, adding that he should have read the statement more carefully. Millions of Americans have said the same thing about the tax code during an IRS audit, earning less forgiveness.

    Perhaps the most embarrassing moment for Mr. Geithner was his attempt to evade the questions by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl on why he had only remedied the error on back taxes for two of the four years. Because the statute of limitations had run out on the 2001-2002 tax payments, Mr. Geithner was not legally required to pay them — and didn’t until a Treasury confirmation hearing seemed possible.

    But instead of fessing up that he had obeyed only the letter of the law, he insisted yesterday that, gee whiz, the earlier tax dodge didn’t even occur to him — an excuse that came off as legalistic and implausible. His replies finally brought Mr. Kyl to insist, “Would you answer my question rather than dancing around it — please?”

    Mr. Geithner replied that “I did not believe I was avoiding my liability,” and that he had worked in government his entire life and “would never put myself in the position where I was deliberately not meeting my obligation as a taxpayer.”

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Is This a Joke?

    1. Brad Northenscold says:

      They learned from the Master-Prevaritacor, Bill Clinton: deny, deny, deny.

    2. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      It seems some people are held to a higher standard, the working poor! Depending on your tax bracket depends on the amount of scrutiny you will get. KEEP VOTING . Use your hearts not your brain. It just keeps getting better and better.

    3. Judith Vriesema mary says:

      How odd that Timothy Geithner seemed to feel it of great importance that his father, head of the ford foundation, had to be present for his confirmation hearings.

      And that his father seemed to be staring down every member of the congressional panel..

      Perhaps more is owed than what one knows..

    4. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Timothy Geithner obviously agrees that the U.S. Constitution's 16th amendment is legalized extortion and needs to be replaced by a Fair Tax. Help to correct a 100 year old wrong Mr. Geithner.

    5. taxed_out, Georgia says:

      Amen. If we had the FairTax none of Obama's nominees would have any of these issues. Seems like he and they would be in a hurry to get onboard. UNtax the poor, let people keep more of their paychecks, reward productivity instead of punish it, encourage investment, bring jobs back to the U.S. – it's a no-brainer.

    6. taxed_out, Georgia says:

      I forgot to mention – add trillions of dollars to the economy without adding one penny to the national debt.

    7. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      In your parade of tax cheats and frauds, you missed Charlie Rangel. He writes the IRS codes! At this rate, can we turn the US Capitol into a penitentiary? I think Washington, DC can easily go into the Guinness Book of Records as the city with the greatest density of crooks per squire mile.

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