23 January, 2009

Geithner's Version Of Economic Stimulus

Soon-to-be Treasury boss understands a thing or two about stretching ones "pre-tax" spending power. Who else could be better equiped to close all those evil tax loopholes we have heard so much about for years? Uniquely qualified.
Tax cheat to oversee the tax collectors - sort of like having a terrorist teach you about punishing terrorists. hmmm.
Real Time Economics : Diminished Geithner Faces Mighty Tasks
He recently had to pay more than $30,000 in back taxes, including Social Security and Medicare taxes he failed to pay as an employee of the International Monetary Fund. Lawmakers, particularly Republicans, grilled Geithner on his failure to amend his 2001 and 2002 returns when an IRS audit uncovered the failure to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on his 2003 and 2004 IMF income.

That led to comedian-fodder revelations from Geithner including that he used TurboTax for his 2001 taxes. And to painful reprimands including this one from Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.), who at one point during Geithner’s confirmation hearing said: “would you answer my question rather than dancing around it, please?”

The committee wound up approving Geithner by an 18-5 vote. But in a hint of potential problems with Congress down the road, the ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) voted no.

Meanwhile, one of the first fires Geithner may have to put out is one of his own making. In written responses to Senate questions Thursday, Geithner wrote that President Barack Obama, “backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists - believes that China is manipulating its currency.” The work “manipulating” carries a lot weight, coming from a potential Treasury secretary who must every six months report to Congress on exchange-rate policies of U.S. trading partners.

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