Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Geithner: I'm Sorry that I Overlooked Payroll Taxes

Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary appointee, confessed carelessness to the Senate Finance Committee regarding $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes left unpaid during the 2001-04 period. He asserted, however, that the taxes have since been paid and that the mistake, though careless, was honest. Geithner came under some criticism from Republicans Charles Grassley (IA) and Jim Bunning (KY).

In one sense, the payment of taxes, though late, argues for forbearance. On the other hand, the Rangel tax problems and Obama's executive order today regarding ethics and lobbyists leave a sense of disconnect/internal inconsistency regarding the nomination. Best would probably be a step-down by Geithner; elsewise, Senators will have a difficult decision as Geithner, though this issue leaves an ethical problem, does have the technical knowledge for the job.


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