Just As I Thought

Change v Politics as Usual

Never let it be said that I don’t lambast both sides of the aisle. I’m sure there will be plenty of Republican hypocrisy to write about in the next 4 years, but now that the Dems are back in power, let the bashing begin.
We’ll start with the dashing of our hopes of change. An entire election campaign based on the idea of change, new directions, new blood… and now Obama’s picks are pretty much shaping up to be another Clinton administration with the same ridiculous foibles.

Treasury Secretary-designee Tim Geithner met this afternoon with bipartisan members of the Senate Finance committee to explain why he failed to initially pay self-employment taxes in 2001 and 2002 and why he employed an immigrant as a housekeeper whose working papers had expired shortly before she left her job, The Post’s Lori Montgomery reports.

According to a Democratic aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter has not officially been made public, Geithner made a “common mistake” of failing to file self-employment tax for two of the three years he worked for the International Monetary Fund.

Although they receive W-2 forms, U.S. employees of the IMF are treated on the agency’s books as independent contractors and do not have taxes withheld by their employer.

Geithner’s tax returns were examined as part of the vetting process when Geithner was picked by President-elect Barack Obama in November. Upon learning of the shortfall, Geithner paid $25,970 to cover the two years’ worth of taxes and interest.

Also, in 2006, the IRS told Geithner that he owed $17,230 in self-employment tax and interest for 2003 and 2004, which he paid.

Then, there is the housekeeper issue. Also during the vetting process, it was discovered that Geithner and his wife employed an housekeeper in 2004 and 2005 whose working papers expired during her time with them.

According to the source, Geithner told the senators that he and his wife were unaware that his housekeeper’s documentation had expired three months before she left their employ to have a baby. Nevertheless, Geithner said, she continued to reside legally in the United States as the wife of a citizen and was granted a green card a few months after. [Washington Post]

So, here’s what I can’t help but wonder: did Geithner learn nothing from previous administrations? From the appointees who had the same kinds of problems, and were scandalized by them? I mean, you’d think that anyone in public service would a) have a big accounting firm do their taxes and b) never, EVER hire an immigrant to watch their kids.

And here I was hoping that we’d be seeing some really smart people in the cabinet.

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