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No Double Standards in My Administration

February 4, 2009

“Ultimately it’s important for this administration to send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules.  You know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who pay their taxes.”: President Obama stated on NBC News. This statement was made yesterday after Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services.   Besides Mr. Daschle’s withdrawal Nancy Killefer withdrew herself from consideration as part of the Presidents team, also because of tax problems. Timothy Geithner however got a pass. The President’s statement confuses me, I considered Mr. Geithner a prominent person but I guess Mr. Obama does not.

Mr. Geithner while working for the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2004 failed to pay his Social Security taxes which he had been told was his responsibility.   After an IRS audit in 2006 he paid back taxes for 2003 and 2004. Somehow Mr. Geithner never thought to go back to his 2001 and 2002 returns and correct those.  I guess he figured if the IRS didn’t ask why bother paying.  

There is one other interesting twist to this story and that is the fact that Mr. Geithner was reimbursed by IMF for the Social Security taxes that he hadn’t paid.  Since he had to put in a written request for this reimbursement I wonder why he didn’t think that maybe he should have paid the taxes.  The President and many Senators stated that because of our economic problems we needed this position filled quickly. They told us how Mr. Geithner was the right man for the job because of his intelligence and expertise. I can only see two reasons why he did not pay his taxes both of which should disqualify him for this position. One, he didn’t know any better and is therefore not qualified for the job, or two, he did know and therefore is a crook and should have been charged with tax evasion .  Either way he is not the right man for the job.

President Obama you imply that there will not be a double standard in your administration but from where I stand there as many standards as you have Cabinet Members.

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