Would it be OK if I stopped paying my taxes until Barack Obama names me to be his secretary of the treasury?
That is a deal I would like to get. That is the deal financial wizard Timothy Geithner got.
He didn’t pay all of his federal taxes for years. Then, after Obama decided to name him treasury secretary, Obama’s vetting team discovered Geithner’s little oversight.
Not paying your taxes is considered serious for some people. But not for Geithner, a Wall Street “wonder boy” — he is 47 — who is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and was instrumental in putting together the recent Wall Street bailout package.
You would think a guy like this would know about paying taxes, but no. Mistakes were made.
Geithner failed to pay the proper self-employment taxes for 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, even though he was sent documents telling him he had to do so.
But in 2006, Geithner got a document he couldn’t ignore. The IRS sent Geithner a notice saying he had not paid his taxes for 2003 and 2004, and Geithner paid up.
But he did not pay up for 2001 and 2002, even though he must have known that he skipped taxes for those years, too.
Catty, yes. Framed in the worst light possible, yes? But they seem like they are fair questions. What would happen to someone if they made the same mistake as Geithner? Since everyone on my tv has told me this is a common mistake (and I believe the “documents” Geithner got were really just standard statements that everyone gets, and if anything this makes the case for simplification of the tax code), it sure would be nice if there were some reporters out there would try to find out if what happened to Geithner is different from anyone else for this sort of mistake. Certainly this has happened to someone else. Did Geithner get special treatment? I’d like to know, because if he did, then there really is something wrong with his pick.
Too bad Roger Simon is more interested in being a hack than being a reporter, because those questions seem to me to be relevant and worth asking. I guess we will just have to hope an actual journalist looks into it before we make our judgment.
*** Update ***
I guess many of you are missing the sarcasm. I just assumed that everyone knew that this was no big deal, and was pointing out that by omitting this, Simon was actually presenting a pretty hacktacular column. Hell, he could read his own damned website.