Can we finally put to rest this notion of the smoothest transition in history is taking place before our privileged eyes? Bill Richardson had to drop out due to a criminal investigation, Leon Panetta has no intelligence experience for the top international intelligence position, and along with so many other missteps of the Obama Cabinet selections, we learn today that Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, failed to pay taxes during his stint at the International Monetary Fund. He hurriedly paid nearly $26,000 to the IRS after the vetters found out about it. The Obama team waves it off as a “common mistake,” and committee Democrats still hail him as a great nominee and a competent individual, but Republicans aren’t buying it.
Nor should they. It might be a common mistake, but the future manager of America’s purse strings should probably be a tad more cognizant of the rules, especially as he was audited two years before and still didn’t pay up. The notion that a Treasury Secretary and head honcho of the IRS might consider himself above taxes is frustrating to many, especially those regular taxpayers who still owe at the end of the year and whose oversight isn’t shrugged off as a “common mistake.”
The tax issues point out an area of concern for Mr. Geithner, but as Michelle Malkin notes, there is an even more fundamental reason to oppose the confirmation of Mr. Geithner. As current head of the New York Federal Reserve, the recent economic stock collapse happened under his direct gaze, and he has been instrumental in implementing the worst aspects of Bush’s bank bailout fever, including orchestrating the bailout of Bear Stearns and the government takeover of AIG. This is far more worrisome to me than the still-troubling delinquent taxes, as this is the exact opposite of the economic outlook we need at this critical juncture in our economic history.