Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More Unbelievable Change You Can Believe In

The man the President-elect has chosen to head the Treasury Dept., Timothy Geithner, didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund, and he employed an immigrant housekeeper who was briefly, technically, illegal. There’s your bombshell for the day from the Barakolypse.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Geithner apparently employed an immigrant housekeeper with expired work papers. Geithner is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for now.

Obamanian aides said they didn't think these issues would present a problem, given what they characterized as the minor nature of the infractions, and the gravity of the role Mr. Geithner has been nominated to take.

Here's the bottom line:He didn’t pay his taxes.
He’s being nominated to head the agency which oversees the IRS.
And the Obamanites didn’t think this would present a problem??

So is this the Change we’re going to be looking forward to in the new Barakivallian Age: the greater the appointment, the more diminished such infractions are perceived to be?

Mr. Geithner's "service should not be tarnished by honest mistakes, which, upon learning of them, he quickly addressed," quoth Obamian press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Well, if that’s the case, why not just keep the current Secretary of the Treasury in place? Why upset the apple cart, kill the momentum, change horses in mid-stream, as we slowly writhe in economic anguish, brought on by a bunch of wise guys who never thought selling houses to people who couldn’t pay for them would “present a problem.”

The Journal reports that the tax issue relates to Mr. Geithner's work for the International Monetary Fund between 2001 and 2004. As an American citizen working for the IMF, Mr. Geithner was technically considered self-employed and was required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for himself as both an employer and an employee.

The IMF and World Bank reimburse employees, including U.S. citizens, for their U.S. income taxes, and make payments on a quarterly basis to cover those liabilities. They don't, however, make contributions toward Social Security and Medicare taxes, which individuals are expected to pay on their own.

In 2006, the IRS audited Mr. Geithner's 2003 and 2004 taxes and concluded he owed taxes and interest totaling $17,230, according to documents released by the Senate Finance Committee. The IRS waived the related penalties.

Geithner also failed to pay the same taxes for 2001 and 2002. Was he sequentially ignorant, or just lazy? "Upon learning of this error on Nov. 21, 2008, Mr. Geithner immediately submitted payment for tax that would have been due in those years, plus interest," a transition aide said. The sum totaled $25,970, according to the Journal story.

The Obama team said that Mr. Geithner's taxes have been paid in full, and that he didn't intend to avoid payment, but made a mistake common for employees of international institutions. That characterization was contested by Senate Finance panel Republicans, who produced IMF documents showing that employees are repeatedly told they are responsible for paying their payroll taxes.

So why didn’t Mr. Geithner pay all his back taxes after the 2006 audit? He was told by his accountant that he had no further liability.

Statute of Limitations.
You’re legally off the hook.
Change you can believe in.

Was this a “character moment” for the man being chosen to head up the IRS’s Mother Agency?

Mr. Geithner also used his child's time at overnight camps in 2001, 2004 and 2005 to calculate certain dependent-care tax deductions.

Guess what, Tim?
Sleepaway camps don't qualify.

Amended tax returns that Geithner filed showed $4,334 in additional taxes, and $1,232 in interest for infractions, such as an early-withdrawal penalty from a retirement plan, an improper small-business deduction, a charitable-contribution deduction for ineligible items, and the expensing of utility costs that went for personal use. Yada yada yada.

Ah, yes, that Home-office Deduction.
IRS will getcha everytime on that, Tim.

You think, maybe, if you make it onto the Obamalite Cabinet, you could do something about all those rules and regs…you know, like the one’s that tripped you up?

Here’s the tacit point to be made by all of this: If the guy the President-elect wants to head up the Treasury Dept., and by extension, the IRS, can’t get his taxes right, for several years in a row, what does that say about our messy Tax Code, and how direly it needs to be scrapped and replaced wholesale?

No comments: