The Ticket


“I didn’t know I owed the taxes… that’s it, that’s the ticket… I didn’t know!”

Timothy Geithner didn’t pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund, and he employed an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work papers.

You didn’t know you were not paying your taxes and you want to take over the IRS?

Obama aides said they didn’t think these issues would present a problem, given what they characterized as the minor nature of the infractions and the gravity of the role Mr. Geithner has been nominated to take.

Wait a second here. Geithner doesn’t pay taxes for four years, then the IRS notices and calls him on two of the years, and he continues to leave the other two years unpaid AFTER HE KNOWS, and that doesn’t qualify as a problem?

Mr. Geithner’s “service should not be tarnished by honest mistakes, which, upon learning of them, he quickly addressed,” Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Geithner either is lying, or he’s a complete incompetent. Which excuse makes this matter of no consequence?

During the vetting of Mr. Geithner late last year, the Obama transition team discovered the nominee had failed to pay the same taxes for 2001 and 2002. “Upon learning of this error on Nov. 21, 2008, Mr. Geithner immediately submitted payment for tax that would have been due in those years, plus interest,” a transition aide said. The sum totaled $25,970.

That was big of him, wasn’t it?

Other tax issues also surfaced during the vetting, including the fact Mr. Geithner used his child’s time at overnight camps in 2001, 2004 and 2005 to calculate dependent-care tax deductions. Sleepaway camps don’t qualify.

I’m loving him even more now.

The other cloud for Mr. Geithner involved an immigrant housekeeper whose work-authorization papers expired during her tenure working for Mr. Geithner. For three months, until she stopped working for the family to have a baby, the woman was working on the expired papers. An Obama aide said the woman reapplied for the papers and received them, and now resides legally in the U.S.

Barack Obama was elected on a promise of changing the way Washington does business. Good start, eh?

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