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Senate Panel Confirms Geithner


The Senate Finance committee has confirmed Tim Geithner as the next Treasury secretary, set to succeed Hank Paulson, by a vote of 18-5.

Geithner's confirmation now goes to the full Senate for the vote next week.

Geithner has been embarrassed by botched self-prepared taxes in this past. And, yes, Treasury oversees the IRS.

In today's Post, The Ticker (wearing his ink-on-paper hat) wrote: A 2006 IRS audit informed Geithner that he had failed to pay self-employment taxes in '03 and '04, when he directed the International Monetary Fund's policy development and review department. While being vetted for Treasury secretary late last year, he was told he made the same errors on his '01 and '02 returns. He calls them "careless mistakes" that he should have caught and has paid $42,702 in back taxes.

Some senators believe Geithner's tax errors represent more than what he termed "careless mistakes;" they believe the mistakes revealed character flaws. Geithner took especially tough questions from some Republicans, namely, Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Jim Bunning (Ky.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa).

Voting against Geithner today were: Grassley, Kyl, Bunning, Pat Roberts (Kan.) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.), all Republicans.

Grassley said it was Geithner's tax problems that led him to vote against confirmation.

"The nominee’s answers to the committee and during the vetting process give me pause," Grassley said. "The explanations for irregularities have ranged from statements that he should have known, to proclamations that if only his accountants had warned him he would have done the right thing. I received a message yesterday from a constituent in Dubuque expressing concern about this nomination. The constituent wrote, “If the man cannot handle his own finances, how is he going to handle the country’s?”

(What would senators do without those plain-speaking constituents in the Dubuques all over these United States?)

In today's Post, David Cho wrote that Geithner said the government needs to keep its foot on the gas to prevent the financial crisis from getting worse: "The ultimate costs of this crisis will be greater if we do not act with sufficient strength now," Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee during his confirmation hearing. "In a crisis of this magnitude, the most prudent course is the most forceful course." He promised that the Obama administration would offer a "clear plan" but provided few specifics.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner, Paulson, Treasury  
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Next: 'Champagne' John Thain Out at Bank Of America


This is a joke. I'm a Democrat, voted for Obama and a former small business owner. EVERY small business owner knows darn well that you have to pay payroll taxes. It's just common sense. My current girlfriend is a Revenue Officer for the IRS and collects on cheaters like this guy. For him to now oversee the IRS is a hypocritical joke. This is a victory for small business owners that cheat on their taxes and those who hire illegal immigrants.

Posted by: steven09 | January 22, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

An incompetent idiot, or a lieing theif has just been put in charge of Treasury, and was placed there by more of the same from the Democratic Leadership.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | January 22, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of morons. Geithner is quite possibly the worst choice imaginable. He is your typical Wall Street-Washington insider, an empty suit that hasn't got the slightest idea of what is happening with our economy. So, just as with the inbred upper class snots that were appointed General's by the British in World War I and "experimented", getting hundreds of thousands of ordinary soldiers killed, while they got their on-the-job training, we've got a free trade hack that's going to wreck God only knows how much harm while he experiments. Congress, the whole country, is going to pay for Congress' ignorance and incompetence. President Obama. you can do a lot better than this!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 22, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Now be reasonable everyone...."it's not sex democrats" are back!

Posted by: doggit1 | January 22, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Surely the Washington Post will issue an editorial recommending that the full Senate not confirm Mr. Geithner!

Posted by: dturnerc | January 22, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

There is no way that he made an innocent mistake about not having paid his social security/medicare taxes. Normally, I'd say that he was either stupid or he lied. Either way, not an inspiring choice for Treasury Secretary. Appointment letters from the IMF must indicate that employees are considered "self-employed" and are therefore subject to paying social security taxes in their entirety - employer and their own shares. Each quarter, staff receive an accounting of what is due, and each year, staff confirm that the payments have been made. He cannot have been that stupid to have missed paying after so many warnings - my money is on the fact that he lied and simply didn't think he'd get caught. And he doesn't even have to pay a penalty for being late! Very unfair. Remember from years ago the woman who dropped out of consideration when it became known that she didn't pay her nanny's taxes? This guy should go, too.

Posted by: ankla1 | January 22, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Typical Washington: the President is sure that we will forgive him for appointing Little Timmy (isn't this the honeymoon?), and the man he is backing does not have the moral compass to back out of this appointment.

Everyone knows what happens to ordinary people who behave like Little Timmy, but the Senate is full of people who know that the law is just for little people.

Posted by: rusty3 | January 22, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Typical Washington: the President is sure that we will forgive him for appointing Little Timmy (isn't this the honeymoon?), and the man he is backing does not have the moral compass to back out of this appointment.

Everyone knows what happens to ordinary people who behave like Little Timmy, but the Senate is full of people who know that the law is just for little people.

Posted by: rusty3 | January 22, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank god they confirmed Geitner. I now don't have to pay my taxes, until of course I get a nod from the Obama's administration.

Posted by: DemocracyRules | January 22, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

We don't have to pay our taxes?! Wow! Isn't that great?!

Only the rest of us would be thrown in JAIL for this!

This is competent, intelligent man who deserves to be running the US Treasury makes "careless errors" FOUR times on his taxes. Great start to this "change" of politics.

Posted by: HOBE | January 22, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a crook and now he is going to head the IRS! Come on! The Congress is proving spinelss and BO is looking clueless on this one. He needs to withdraw.

Posted by: KBlit | January 22, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Please, oh please don't let this guy through.

He reminds me of Leona Helmsley: "only the little people pay taxes".

We are being set up by the conservatives for a huge pounding if we support someone who deliberately avoided paying taxes - a tremendous dis-service to the country, I might add.

President Obama, transparency is important but character trumps that.

Posted by: asnii | January 22, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

We don't have to pay taxes. That is the CHANGE I can embrace.

Posted by: DemocracyRules | January 22, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

So,that takes care of character,honesty,
and integrity in the Liar in Chief Phony
President Barack Hussein Obama Adminstration,as Sec of Treasury & Serial
Tax Dodger Tim Geithner is definite proof
that Obama will run the White House like
a Chicago Crime Family. Face it people
Obama is no "messiah" just another sleazy
corrupt crooked Chicago politician and real
lying phony. Dump Geithner Or Be Impeached.

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | January 22, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

In the Washington swamp, having a tax cheat like d-crat Rangle head the House Ways & Means Tax Panel is probably considered normal and acceptable politics-as-usual. Rangle's motto is : "You pay taxes so I don't have to."

Now that d-crat slimebag will be joined by yet another tax-cheat who will head the entire Treasury Dept.

It's bad enough that the d-crats waste trillions of taxpayer money on useless bailouts and other garbage. It adds insult to injury to have them hand over responsible finance positions to such tax criminals.

Now that the d-crats have essentially confirmed tax-cheat geithner to join tax-cheat rangle in taxing honest Americans, will everybody be able to get the "Geithner Loophole" and avoid paying $34,000 in taxes until their criminal behavior (aka "innocent mistake" to the loony-left) is exposed by the media?

Posted by: LoonyLeft | January 22, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow. The internet seems to attract the most hyperbolic comments. First, the Treasury Secretary has little to do with how taxes are collected in this country. The IRS is akin to a regulatory agency with little to no connection with the rest of Treasury. Think of it like the OCC or OTS. Second, why would it be anything other than a mistake? Is it worth risking that kind of career for a measely $40k when his financial upside was magnitudes of this figure? Lastly, he paid the taxes WITH interest.

If you want to criticize the guy for his role in TARP then that's fair and it's at least a substantive issue. The tax thing is a distraction for the Republicans and other critics that don't have anything substantive to say on the real challenges the country faces.

Posted by: jeffreybaker | January 22, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Senators such as Levin and Dorgan complain about multinational corporations not paying their fare share of U.S. tax as a result of having subsidiaries in certain countries. However, these Senators also admit that what the corporations are doing are legal under the tax code (and by the way, these corporations are avoiding foreign tax and actually increasing their US tax, but put that aside). Now we are going to confirm a person as Treasury Secretary who didn't pay taxes illegally under the tax code? He clearly never intended to pay his fair share of US tax and only chose to pay back taxes (and not penalties) as a result of a nomination? I find this truly appalling and challenge Senators Levin and Dorgan to first focus on people who truly evade US taxes by lying on their returns before turning to other situations! And ignorance of the law is not an excuse Mr. Geithner. If you had applied for a job at the IRS, you would never have been hired; there should not be a double standard here.

Posted by: mark367b | January 22, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

According to the new administration, we are in the most difficult financial times since the great depression. This man, Geithner, will be in charge of overseeing the IRS, which he personally chose to ignore.

If the complaint against the Bush administration was that they seemed to be "above the law", how does Obama justify starting out like this? Is there no other qualified candidate?

Between Geithner and his tax issues and Hillary/Bill and their foreign money trail, it's a dubious start to the new administration.

Apparently, some people are above the law.

Posted by: jcyr4 | January 22, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

They are putting the proverbial fox in charge of the henhouse. Sorry, but where is the transparency? Where the hell is John McCain? Same old crap, different day. This guy needs to be Treasury Secretary like Hillary needs to be Secretary of State. Why not make Maddoff Trasury Secretary? Because his had more zeros? So much for the honeymoon.....

Posted by: Metazip | January 22, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

A comedy of errors? T'aint funny McGee. The trust fund omission is not a comedy. The omission was not an error. The omission was deliberate. There was a written agreement signed by Geithner concerning the trust fund taxes. Don't blame the tax software.

The incident tells you that there is a double standard. The big kids walk away and the little kids get fraud or negligence penalties.

Posted by: BeanCounter49 | January 22, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe thats why he told congress to act now before its too late and he means to print more and more money to cover for his taxes. this guy dont make any sense and thats no way he said he made a mistake to me he is just another dam liar...

Posted by: plmcfall | January 22, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

A disgrace! This is in one simple word FRAUD. Geithner HAD to know he was evading taxes since the language to pay when he signed the IMF forms were directly above his signature. Further, Geithner is HIGHLY educated and is supposed to be a banker, and has spent his career in the finacial industry---not the movie industry, not the trucking industry, not the ag industry etc. It is just not credible he did not intend to defraud the govt from paying taxes. He knows this so he had to fabricate(ie, lie) that this was careless/innocent etc. And the new President affirms/supports this. This is not CHANGE - this is perpetuation of distrust of our officials in govt, govt that has different levels of the law, and a continual disgust, mistrust and failure of leadership of our govt.
I suggest the President appoint Paul Volcker to an 18 month temporary term to lead us out of the greatest financial crisis that threatens our way of living after which time he can turn the day to day reins over to someone of his optimal choice. Paul volcker saved this country from disaster 20 years ago and can do it again. And Scrap Giethner who obviously has lost all respect of anyone with any good sense.

Posted by: royroy1 | January 22, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 22, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr. President you need to get rid of this guy quick or as you will surely be seen as hypocrite yourself. Honeymoon is over!

Posted by: HP2008 | January 22, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The message is clear. Cheat on your taxes and when caught you will get a real hard talking to, if you have the correct political allies that is.


Posted by: edbyronadams | January 22, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Is this the kind of change we voted for? Putting a tax cheat in charge of the IRS? Maybe it's time we started outsourcing these cabinet jobs if we can't find qualified HONEST citizens to do them.

Posted by: frwilcox | January 22, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I keep hearing about 30,000+ not being paid - but wasn't this just the two years? How much did he originally NOT pay for the entire four years? Since these tax funds were paid directly to him, there must be a record of the amounts he received each year.

I still say have the TurboTax people recreate his tax statements and see if the omission was accidental or deliberate. If deliberate, he should be arrested for tax evasion.

Here is an idea - stop this nonsense about only keeping seven years of tax data. Any competent person should be able to maintain old forms as long as they are alive. I have mine from 1972 and on. ONLY the rich benefit from NOT keeping records. If someone is discovered cheating on their taxes the IRS should audit back as far as possible to enforce the law. Imagine how much money the government could have recovered from Leona Helmsley...

And we absolutely should have a flat tax - avoid the whole mess.

Posted by: Sadler | January 22, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Probably, being a money guy, he should have known better. But smart people do make mistakes on their taxes, he certainly wouldn't be the first. I've always found that the smarter people are, the more apt they are to make stupid mistakes. It seems to be a corollary to Murphys Law. $42K is a lot of money. It works out to a little over $10K a year which is still a lot of money for most of us; but considering the kind of money he was making to begin with, it doesn't seem like it would be worth cheating deliberately. If it wasn't a mistake, at least it can be said that he hasn't tried to get out of paying it back with interest.

Posted by: cb11 | January 22, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Well I thought this was going to be 4 years of misery for me, instead the Obama presidency provides me with daily chuckles of the hyprocrisy. If it wasn't so serious it would almost be laughable. Racists, terrorists, anit-semites, infacide, tax evaders, thugs, crooks, voter fraud...but boy how he can give a speech.

Posted by: scasella99 | January 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I am sooooo glad I did not vote for this dope of a president. Hires all of his crooked friends, jeeeeez sickening

Posted by: rdb2 | January 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse


Barack Obama is the greatest liar in history (no wonder he is an excellent lawyer!) During his campaign, he told lots of hope in future for America if he was elected, but now he warns Americans of oncoming darker economy and not to put too much hope in his promises. He promises a big plan to reduce budget deficit but his inauguration ceremony this January will be the most costly in history (50 millions) while the nation is in deep depression, as well as his presidential campaign (600 millions), which was far more than his opponent John McCain's. He vows to clean up Washington DC, but he failed to first clean up his homestate Illinois, one of the most corrupt state with the scandal of Governor Rod Blagojevich, who greatly helped Obama to win his state senate seat in 1996, 1998, and 2002. And his favorite slogan is "Yes, we CAN", yet he himself CANNOT quit smoking at all !!! (Each year about 1.3 million American smokers quit successfully).

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 22, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong Democrat, supporter, volunteer and contributor to Barack Obama, I am dismayed to see such a transparently dishonest and unwise man as Timothy Geithner become Treas Secy. The Secy will be facing issues that have discredited many formerly esteemed experts. His expertise will also be tested and doubted. Our greatest problem is a lack of confidence, not a lack of experts. We need a Treas Secy we can believe in, who can still consult with Geithner if need be. It does not promote the President's goals for such a man to be in such a lofty position.

Posted by: jrh0 | January 22, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

A caller on a radio station who worked as a self-employed person for IMF said Geithner was being untruthful as the IMF sent her quarterly statements with a notice that she had to pay taxes on these monies. If this is the only guy that can save us in this financial crisis then are we in deep trouble. America has nothing better to offer than this "cheapo"? Or is it that they feel he will send bucks their way. What about Barney Franks bailing out a Mass. bank? As Leona Helmsley said "only the little people pay taxes". What's with these Dems running around saying the rich need to pay more taxes but then they don't. Caroline Kennedy apparently is another one with tax problems. Our entire government is corrupt and they aren't fooling any of us. No wonder we won't get back into the scamming stock market. We're not that stupid as to be burnt again. Where's my 401K bailout monies that I lost?

Posted by: curious3 | January 22, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Pssst. Writing is something we can all do:


Posted by: steven09 | January 22, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

If this is the sort of CHANGE that Obama promised, then I see that he is no different from the lying fool we just got rid of!! This is why I didn't cast a vote for President for the 2nd time in my life. I can no longer trust ANYTHING ANY POLITICIAN SAYS OR DOES.

Posted by: lm1951 | January 22, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Loony Left (great name!) - what a lot of hyperbole. or - my words now - what a bunch of crackpot comments.

he made a mistake, he paid the taxes with interest. I'm guessing that all the critical comments are from people who are perfect and have never made mistakes, right?

he was nominated because he's the best man for the job. he's not been in public service -for his whole career! - because he's trying to get rich, for crying out loud.

Geez. What a lot of misdirected outrage. Why don't you attack the people who took multimillion bonuses for ruining the economy, rather than the brave souls who are trying to fix it?

Posted by: cecilyk | January 22, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

cecilyk......If he was an employee at the IRS at the time, he would have been fired right away. And if he applied for a job at the IRS, he would not be considered. The bottom line is that the employees of the IRS are held to a very high standard, a standard that this person has not met. How is he now qualified to oversee these people? How? If he has not met the standard that even the lowest level secretary at the IRS must meet? How?

Posted by: steven09 | January 22, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

PS.....I do attack the greedy people on Wall Street, that take multi-million dollar bonuses for "ruining the economy." While I don't believe that they single-handedly ruined the economy, they are full of greed and very over paid.

Posted by: steven09 | January 22, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@ dturnerc "Surely the Washington Post will issue an editorial recommending that the full Senate not confirm Mr. Geithner!"

The national media in its entirety will NOT take up positions against confirming this clown. The Fed, according to a 1976 Banking investigation is owned and run, in majority, by the English branch of the Rothschild Family, based in the city of London. [ ] Geithner is a top Rothschild Lieutenant and does not have to be either bright or intelligent, just as long as he follows Rothschild orders to the letter. Here is the first paragraph from the above site address.

"Chart 1 reveals the linear connection between the Rothschilds and the Bank of England, and the London banking houses which ultimately control the Federal Reserve Banks through their stockholdings of bank stock and their subsidiary firms in New York. The two principal Rothschild representatives in New York are J. P. Morgan Co., and Kuhn,Loeb & Co."
"These firms had their principal officers appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Advisory Council in 1914. In 1914 a few families (blood or business related) owning controlling stock in existing banks (such as in New York City) caused those banks to purchase controlling shares in the Federal Reserve regional banks. Examination of the charts and text in the House Banking Committee Staff Report of August, 1976 and the current stockholders list of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks show this same family control. "
(from "The History of the House of Rothschildby" Andrew Hitchcock.....a long historical summary on the internet.)

1921 "The first job of the CFR was to gain control of the press. This task was given to John D. Rockefeller who set up a number of national news magazines such as Life, and Time. He financed Samuel Newhouse to buy up and establish a chain of newspapers all across the country, and Eugene Meyer also who would go on to buy up many publications such as the Washington Post, Newsweek, and The Weekly Magazine.

The CFR also needed to gate control of radio, television and the motion picture industry. This task was split amongst the international bankers from, Kuhn Loeb, Goldman Sachs, the Warburgs, and the Lehmanns.
Eugene Meyer was an ex Federal Reserve Director and purchased the Washington Post in 1930 at a bankruptcy auction. It has been a Rothschild controlled enterprise since. (my note)

Posted by: vcompton1 | January 22, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Our federal government has created nothing more than the world's largest Ponzi scheme, and Americans yet unborn will be paying for it.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | January 22, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

So,once again the New Most Totally Corrupt
President In US History Barack Obama and
his band of Criminals like this Tax Dodger
And Tax Cheat Tim Geithner the Obama Sec
of Treasury,shows like all lying liberal
Democrats and Corrupt Chicago Politicians
is going to keep on thumbing his nose at
the American people and keep acting totally
arrogant and contemptous of the Rule of Law
just like his predessor George W Bush.

So,maybe we should just kept Bush & Cheney
on,and told Obama & Biden & Obama Chicago
Crime Family to go to Hell. Since the damn
corrupt and crooked Democrat Congress will
rubber stamp everything and confirm every
crook and incompetent Messiah Obama orders
them to do so for him. I cannot wait until
2010 and 2012 to vote every scumbag Democrat Obama yes man out of office so
we can get rid of Obama and Biden and their
corrupt losers like Tim Geithner by Impeachment. Tim Geithner must go now.

Posted by: Amy2009 | January 22, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

For all of you that posted comments here, I hope you sent the same to your Senators.

We do get the Govt deserve.
We do not derserve this man.

At best, can't keep track of his finances...
At least, he tried to avoid his taxes...
At worst, he kept money provided for taxes.

Posted by: wide-eyedskeptic | January 23, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Banks Already Failed!
Bad Bank = 0 Value
Toxic Asset Value = 0 or worse.

Please! No Geithner Treasurer. He admitted tax fraud. He went on about "mistakes;" but signed statements that he knew the IMF gave him money to cover his taxes owed. Fraud 4 years in a row. Guilty in any court.


Ask Geithner to account for the $1 Trillion give-away bailout money. Ask to account for the sudden 2 Trillion increase in the US Fed balance sheet 4Q 2008. What did he buy with our $3 Trillion? Geithner, our public servant cost us US taxpayers $3 Trillion dollars.

No Tax Fraud
Geithner Bailout Dreams

No bailouts, period. Bankruptcy is the only place to go for large, bad banks and our auto companies. Our US Congress is not helping GM, Ford (F), Chysler, our bad banks. Giving them dollars will not fix them. Drunken sailors make their way back to their ship sick and broke. Given time and hard work, they heal and become useful again.

Investors paid Benz only $7 billion. Their request equals their purchase price. Don't let them play with our money; they already wasted their $7 dollar investment. Now they are wasting ours.

Chysler is a private company. We can not control them. We don't own them. Let their parent company use its cash.

Ford financed all their assets two years ago. They built a fine factory in Brazil. Let Brazil bail them out. Stop the farce. Ford family owns 3% of Ford stock; however, thkeir family have 40% of the shareholder votes. One hell of a democratic fix. We can not control them either.

GM is financially the worst. Even $100 billion will not fix them. They are investing heavily in Asia and Russia. Let them ask China and Russia for a loan!

With Hank Paulson's $700 Billion TARP sandbox we could have bought all the large banks, and the three USA automakers. We could own 100%. What a waste. Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) Goodwill asset is larger than their market cap by far! J P Morgan also has a very high Goodwill asset. Collectively, their Goodwill is worthless in Bankruptcy court.

Citigroup is the poster child for why none of the big banks should not have gotten bigger.

AIG bailout paid Hank Paulson's friends at the big banks. That is, $150 B settled nothing but bad CDS bets. Bet made by JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, etc.

Our Fed paid off two trillion of bad bet on CDS, CDO, and other worthless, unregulated, and uncontrolled debt obligations. Good bank vs bad bank? You can without a calculator quickly answer: what is a bad bank full of worthless assets worth? Zero! Zero!

They already failed! The fix? Let them merge to get bigger? Ridiculous!

Please, please no more loans to those showing such poor judgment! Bad loans do not get paid!

Posted by: netskinner | January 24, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

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