Thursday, January 22, 2009

Geithner Grilling

Treasury nominee Tim Geithner had a bit of a rough go with the Senate committee charged with providing its "advice and consent" with respect to his nomination. It seems that Geithner engaged in that greatest of American pastimes...tax evasion...while serving as an independent contractor to the IMF earlier this decade. In the process of gussying up his record for the Senate confirmation, he "discovered" his errors and paid the US treasury $43,000.

That a man with his training and his mind made a "mistake" in filing his taxes strains credulity, but that is part of the theater that we call "Washington". Republicans are right to call him on the carpet...and I wish more Democrats would too. I don't think that this evasion is sufficient grounds to vote against him, but there should be more "outrage" (there...I said it, but I mean it to apply to Dems) from Democrats who seek to raise taxes on those at the upper end of the income scale.

This story reminds me of my flight out here to California. I was on a 767 with 2-3-2 seating, and I was on the right aisle of the three seat section. No one was in the middle seat, and in the left seat was a fellow with whom I wound up having a pleasant conversation. He was a recent PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland, and he was on his way out to Cal Berkeley for an interview. He had grown up in Michigan, and had attended the socialist education camps at Ann Arbor, otherwise known as the University of Michigan as an undergrad. After taking in his bio over the course of the conversation, I hazarded the suggestion that it must be hard leaving DC during the weak of the Obama Inaugural. He laughed out loud, then said that he scheduled this interview so that he would not be in DC. It was at this point that he actually revealed his political leanings...and he was a true blue conservative. Our discussions of the present financial crisis were then animated with much head nodding, harumphing, and bully-for-youing as two peas in a pod spent the rest of the flight pleasantly exchanging ideas on how to make things right again.

2 comments:

Goldwater's Ghost said...

And he's interviewing at UC Berkley? He's a brave lad.

Sally said...

Wouldn't that be a true 'red' conservative?

I don't get why if this guy is not confirmed RIGHT NOW, the sky will fall in. Really, is he the only man to do this job? Obama could have scored some major political points (with me, anyway) if he withdrew his nomination as soon as he learned of this issue.
It would be in keeping with his 'ethical, transparent government' preaching.

I'm really disappointed that the Republicans are laying down and dying on this, and on Eric Holder too. There may be a few feeble protests, but no one's exhibited many lusty arguments. Geez, even Carl Levin is questioning the William Lynn nomination on the grounds that he was a recent lobbyist.

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