Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Geithner's taxes

It looks for all the world like Tim Geithner, Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary, is going to get confirmed easily despite recent the recent revelation that he had underpaid his taxes by about $42,000.

I obviously don't have any idea whether the mistake was honest or not, but the "it was an obscure IMF-specific technicality" excuse should be completely off limits to him. If you can't figure out your tax liability, I would think you shouldn't be Treasury Secretary, no matter how complicated the rules may be.

The weird thing about the unpaid taxes is that Geithner seems to have spent his entire professional life in training for this job. You'd think that for an ambitious bank regulator, the cost-benefit analysis of cheating Uncle Sam out of $42k is about as unfavorable as it gets. Then again, he was caught and it's still not going to stop him from getting the job, so maybe it wasn't that unfavorable after all.

In any case I'll be interested to hear about his secret plan to save the banks.

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