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Geithner best argument for simplified tax code
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, January 15, 2009

That doesn't at all mean he should get a pass on his past.

I got a bit nauseated yesterday listening to all the talking heads tell us over and over the obvious talking point that Timothy Geithner made an "honest mistake".

Really? How honest of a mistake is it when you knowingly ignore something your employer went out of its way to ensure you knew?
The IMF did not withhold state and federal income taxes or self-employment taxes — Social Security and Medicare — from its employees’ paychecks. But the IMF took great care to explain to those employees, in detail and frequently, what their tax responsibilities were. First, each employee was given the IMF Employee Tax Manual. Then, employees were given quarterly wage statements for the specific purpose of calculating taxes. Then, they were given year-end wage statements. And then, each IMF employee was required to file what was known as an Annual Tax Allowance Request. Geithner received all those documents.
As usual, I and our politicians have a different view of what constitutes "honest".

Secondly, the non-payment was discovered in 2006. The story is that Geithner "promptly paid" the taxes and fine when discovered. In reality he paid it the day before he was nominated to the Treasury position. Again those pesky facts defeat the talking points.

Last, how about outright fraud? Geithner was paid an allowance by the IMF as restitution for the taxes he paid. Yeah, nice gig if you can get it. But again, he never paid the taxes, so why did he accept the allowance?
The tax allowance has turned out to be a key part of the Geithner situation. This is how it worked. IMF employees were expected to pay their taxes out of their own money. But the IMF then gave them an extra allowance, known as a “gross-up,” to cover those tax payments. This was done in the Annual Tax Allowance Request, in which the employee filled out some basic information — marital status, dependent children, etc. — and the IMF then estimated the amount of taxes the employee would owe and gave the employee a corresponding allowance.

At the end of the tax allowance form were the words, “I hereby certify that all the information contained herein is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I will pay the taxes for which I have received tax allowance payments from the Fund.” Geithner signed the form. He accepted the allowance payment. He didn’t pay the tax. For several years in a row.
No kidding. But that's just a "minor hiccup". No big deal. And of course, the idiots on the right are just as willing to overlook this as those on the left:
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), the second-most senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which is charged with reviewing Geithner's nomination, called him "brilliant" and "honest" and said that, despite his tax errors, "I don't think we can get a better person for this position. . . . He has the kind of background that should be very helpful to us at this time."

Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), a close associate of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said: "If I was a traffic officer, I'd say he may have exceeded the speed limit, but he wasn't weaving out of lanes, he wasn't drunk and he wasn't endangering anybody. He may have some explaining to do, but in the end, I think he's going to be just fine."
These same two boobs are likely to be "shocked, shocked I tell you" at corruption in government, but when you hire crooks and frauds to sit in powerful seats in government, there should be no surprise when they act accordingly. Remember, this is the sort of thing that put Al Capone in the Big House.

Last but not least, on a less serious note, James Taranto comes up with the best lines concerning Geithner:
We're tempted to say America needs a Treasury secretary who is smart enough to figure out his own taxes. But such a cheap shot would be beneath us. Instead, we are going to make a serious point:

America needs a tax code simple enough for the Treasury secretary to figure out.
Heh ...
 
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He knew what he was doing. He got caught. I propose "geithner" become a verb meaning "commit tax fraud without penalty." I’d nominate "rangel" but that’s too close to "wrangle."

Al Capone geithnered, but didn’t get away with it. Why should Tim?
 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
It gets worse for Geithner. He didn’t just ignore the remindings of the IMF...

From Byron York at NRO:
“IMF employees were expected to pay their taxes out of their own money. But the IMF then gave them an extra allowance, known as a “gross-up,” to cover those tax payments. This was done in the Annual Tax Allowance Request, in which the employee filled out some basic information — marital status, dependent children, etc. — and the IMF then estimated the amount of taxes the employee would owe and gave the employee a corresponding allowance.

At the end of the tax allowance form were the words, “I hereby certify that all the information contained herein is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I will pay the taxes for which I have received tax allowance payments from the Fund.” Geithner signed the form. He accepted the allowance payment. He didn’t pay the tax. For several years in a row.

According to an analysis released by the Senate Finance Committee, Geithner “wrote contemporaneous checks to the IRS and the State of Maryland for estimated [income] tax payments” that jibed exactly with his IMF statements. But he didn’t write checks for the self-employment tax allowance. Then, according to the committee analysis, “he filled out, signed and submitted an annual tax allowance request worksheet with the IMF that states, ‘I wish to apply for tax allowance of U.S. Federal and State income taxes and the difference between the “self-employed” and “employed” obligation of the U.S. Social Security tax which I will pay on my Fund income.”
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"We’re tempted to say America needs a Treasury secretary who is smart enough to figure out his own taxes."

Nah. He only has to be smart enough to figure out our taxes. Yessirree Bob, give that boy another trillion or so to play with.

It’s the old Clinton defense, "I ain’t crooked, I’m just stupid". Not as stupid, however, as those who believe it.

It is another reason taxing the rich won’t work; one way or another they just don’t pay taxes.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Tim Tim Tim....course the rich will pay! The evil rich will pay.
The conservative rich will pay, that’s the plan.

Don’t you get it?
It’s not being RICH that’s wrong, it’s being CONSERVATIVE and rich that’s wrong.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I suspect Geithner has an accountant that keeps track of these things. I cannot believe that Geithner considers this an honest mistake. I CAN believe that senators and the media have flocked to his defense.
 
Written By: Mal Gusto
URL: http://
It gets worse for Geithner. He didn’t just ignore the remindings of the IMF...

From Byron York at NRO:
Scott - you did see where my first link goes, right? ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Well that’s a silly question now isn’t it, McQ. :)

And apparently the man DID have a CPA, who said he didn’t have to pay those taxes...

Personally, I think that I would pay more attention to the constant reminders from my employer and the legal form I’d signed saying I would use the bonus to PAY those taxes than I would to the mope with the CPA...

I say this as an accounting student, who thinks the man’s accountant is a moron.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Not to mention the fact that the IMF made it very clear he did have to pay taxes and even paid him a "gross-up" to offset them.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
How is accepting money from the IMF for taxes and not paying them not fraud?

I don’t want to pay taxes and I could sure use the money for other things but I pay them. If there aren’t going to be any consequences, well you guess how long our system of "voluntary" compliance is going to work.

This is monumental stupidity. If you want the system to keep working, you solve the Rangel and Geithner situations, harshly and now.



 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
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Written By: 4
URL: http://atdudqmcnfaf.com/

 
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