Patterico's Pontifications

1/22/2009

My Own Geithner Taxblogging Experiment

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am



Jim Lindgren has done some “investigative blogging” replicating Tim Geithner’s experience doing his tax returns using TurboTax. He concludes that it’s possible Geithner wasn’t prompted by the program.

I just tried an experiment of my own, which I think is more relevant. In the experiment, I pretended that I had made an error in my favor on my 2001-2004 tax returns. Then I sent myself a letter which pointed out that I had made errors on my 2003 and 2004 tax returns — the same error I had also made in my 2001 and 2002 returns. I then tried to see whether I could figure out that I owed the money on the earlier returns as well as on the returns for which I had gotten a letter, given that I had made the same mistake on all four returns.

I determined that it was quite easy to know that I’d made the same mistake and owed money. I also determined that it was tempting not to pay the money, because the statute of limitations had passed and I couldn’t be prosecuted.

The results of this experiment revealed that the “me” of my hypothetical should not be trusted with hundreds of billions of dollars.

I think this experiment is much more revealing than Lindgren’s. But maybe that’s just me.

106 Responses to “My Own Geithner Taxblogging Experiment”

  1. The account of Kyle’s questions reveals that Geithner’s answers were not trustworthy. Of course, if trust is a criterion for Obama’s cabinet, it may be a diffcult staffing problem. Are any of them trustworthy? Holder ? Hillary ? Biden ? I think it worthwhile for Republicans to lay down a marker and then let Obama have who he wants. I don’t think I would vote for them but the Democrats don’t need the votes. Some will vote for the usual Republican Stockholm Syndrome that takes over when they are in the minority. Voinovitch being a good example.

    The media will not remind us of the shenanigans that were carried out in 2001 and that resulted in Bush being crippled before 9/11.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  2. Excellent experiment.

    Had Geithner prepared taxes without the use of a program, I would be more likely to believe the explanation that he made a mistake.

    But TurboTax is simpler to use and makes it LESS likely that he made a mistake.

    Anonymous (14c387)

  3. I think the fact that he was supplied by his employer with a a letter outlining the fact that they must pay these taxes does not make him look all that good.

    JD (397a27)

  4. There need be no doubt… The Democrats gave no doubt to anyone with an (R) after their name and called it a Culture of Corruption. They won a huge election in ’06 based on that. We can/should do no less.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  5. “I also determined that it was tempting not to pay the money, because the statute of limitations had passed and I couldn’t be prosecuted.”

    Uhm, no. Tax fraud has no statute of limitations.

    http://www.taxlawcenter.com/g0076000.htm

    F. Fraud Exception to Three-Year Rule.

    1. The three-year rule does not apply to the assessment of taxes (and associated interest and penalties) attributable to a false or fraudulent return. IRC 6501(c)(2).

    2. In 1995 the Tax Court held that IRS could assess tax, penalty, and interest for the years 1964 to 1970 because taxpayer had filed false or fraudulent returns for those years. Levitt v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 1995-464 (1995).

    3. Filing of non-fraudulent amended return does not eliminate fraud exception to three-year rule. Badaracco v. Commissioner, 464 U.S. 386 (1984).

    4. IRS has burden of proving fraud before fraud exception to three-year rule can be applied.

    Not filing any self-employment taxes owed, when in fact you were reimbursed for said taxes, constitutes tax fraud, not a tax ‘mistake’.

    RickZ (472435)

  6. Hilarious, Patterico!

    MayBee (5b642f)

  7. MayBee!!!!!!!!!

    JD (397a27)

  8. Hey JD! How are you feeling?

    MayBee (5b642f)

  9. Who needs a gall bladder or an appendix? I feel great!

    JD (397a27)

  10. Form 2009-BHO — Honest Mistake Deferment

    You are entitled to a lifetime aggregate deferment of $34,000.00 for Honest Mistake. This deferment is not applicable if you have been nominated Secretary of the Treasury. All taxes deferred, plus penalty and interest, must be paid immediately upon your nomination to become Secretary of the Treasury at any time during your life.

    Line 1 Maximum deferrable amount: $34,000.00

    Line 2 Amount you wish to defer in this return: $_______________

    Line 3 Remaining lifetime deferrable amount: (subtract line 2 from line 1) $_____________

    Enter amount from line 2 in line BHO-1 of Schedule A and amount from line 3 in line BHO-2 of Schedule A.

    nk (bf9c84)

  11. Bravo, nk.

    JD (397a27)

  12. I’ve sent an e-mail to TurboTax, telling them that I’m very concerned that their product won’t accurately compute my tax liability, and asking how,that if a smart guy like Geithner can’t use thr program to compute how much he owes, we can trust the program to work for us.

    Diffus (cb9f4f)

  13. Patterico-
    I too did a Turbo Tax experiment. I sent an email to myself (pretending to be my employer) with a statement of Federal, State, and SE taxes that I owed.
    I also sent myself a reimbursement for these taxes, and a form stating I would pay my Federal, State, and SE taxes for which I was being reimbursed. I signed this form.
    I then made myself a W-2, with 0s in every box under taxes withheld.
    I entered these 0’s into Turbo Tax.
    Turbo Tax did NOT tell me to look at the damn email I’d been sent by my employer. Nor did it tell me I must be living in a hole in the ground if I really thought I didn’t have to pay Social Security Taxes.

    Result: Turbo Tax is flawed.

    MayBee (5b642f)

  14. I love how Joe the Plumber is held to a higher standard than the Secretary of the Treasury.

    Joco (4cdfb7)

  15. RickZ,

    Uhm, no. Tax fraud has no statute of limitations.

    That refers to assessing and collecting the taxes and penalties, not to prosecuting the crime. But Geithner has been granted absolution and anointed appointed by The Messiah, so it’s all better than good. It’s perfect. Divine, even.

    Here’s another experiment. Pretend that this is a Bush appointment, rather than an Obama appointment.

    Pablo (99243e)

  16. Result: Turbo Tax is flawed.

    We probably ought not use TurboBailout, then.

    Pablo (99243e)

  17. We probably ought not use TurboBailout, then.

    ha ha ha ha ha!

    MayBee (5b642f)

  18. Pablo, tax crime prosecution is six years, a period of time in which Geithner certainly falls.

    II. Statute of Limitations for Criminal Prosecution

    A. General statute of limitations for criminal offenses arising under Internal Revenue Code is three years. IRC 6531.

    B. A six-year statute of limitations applies to:

    1. Willfully attempting to evade or defeat any tax. IRC 7201.
    2. Willfully failing to pay any tax or file any tax return. IRC 7203.

    3. Filing a false return. IRC 7206(1).

    4. Aiding or abetting the preparation of a false return, claim, or other document. IRC 7206(2).

    5. Submitting false documents. IRC 7207.

    6. Interfering with the administration of the tax laws. IRC 7212(a).

    7. Unlawful acts of IRS employees. IRC 7214(a).

    C. Note – six-year statute of limitations for criminal tax evasion under IRC 7201 begins running on the day the last affirmative act is committed. U.S. v. Beacon Brass Co., Inc., 344 U.S. 43 (1952).

    And if you don’t pay prior tax fraud assessments, you don’t think you’ll end up in jail? When it comes to IRS, we do have debtors’ prisons.

    RickZ (472435)

  19. HEY THERE WE GO. WHAT RETARD SHIT IS HAPPENING ON THE RETARD HALF OF THE RETARD-NET TODAY?

    Levi Juhl from the University of Montana at Missoula (b4e63d)

  20. Pablo, tax crime prosecution is six years, a period of time in which Geithner certainly falls.

    So it does have a statue of limitations? Thing is, the years Geithner would be on the hook for willfully failing to pay would be 01 and 02, given that he took care of the 03 and 04 problems of his own accord. The SOL is expired on those.

    Pablo (99243e)

  21. I love LEVI. Please keep fighting the good fight, LEVI. Never let up.

    JD (397a27)

  22. A couple years ago, a real estate broker and I were chatting, and I said, “This (meaning the real estate bubble) is not going to end well.” He said, “The disaster for banks who invested in these crappy mortgages is going to be of unimaginable magnitude.”

    I therefore would like to nominate myself to the office of Treasury Secretary. My broker friend doesn’t need to work any more but will be available by cell phone for advisement.

    Patricia (89cb84)

  23. TurboTax should add these rules to their product:
    Line 24: Earliest date when you might be nominated for a job requiring Senate Confirmation: __/__/__
    Line 82: Take advantage of statute of limitations? YES / NO

    Wesson (3ab0b8)

  24. I should switch to TurboTax. The software that H&R Block gave me for the past several years didn’t include the “I Forgot” option.

    When Life imitates an old Steve Martin routine, we’re in deep doodoo.

    You.. can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You can be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes! You say.. “Steve.. how can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes?” First.. get a million dollars. Now.. you say, “Steve.. what do I say to the tax man when he comes to my door and says, ‘You.. have never paid taxes’?” Two simple words. Two simple words in the English language: “I forgot!”

    How many times do we let ourselves get into terrible situations because we don’t say “I forgot”? Let’s say you’re on trial for armed robbery. You say to the judge, “I forgot armed robbery was illegal.” Let’s suppose he says back to you, “You have committed a foul crime. you have stolen hundreds and thousands of dollars from people at random, and you say, ‘I forgot’?” Two simple words: Excuuuuuse me!!”

    Techie (6b5d8d)

  25. Pablo, do any of you understand mens rea? Can’t anyone here understand the term “intent”?
    Or, is intent just assumed because he’s a Democrat?

    Failing to file a correct return is the most common filing mistake the IRS deals with. If the taxpayer is attempting to cheat the government, then they prosecute. In the other 95% of cases, hey assign the penalties and the fines and the dude pays up.

    Really? This is your big thing? this?
    I don’t see how you guys can turn this into anything, but, then again, you turned a non-event into an impeachment ten years ago. Go have your fun. The rest of us can probably clean up the mess you made in the last 8 years without your incompetence.

    timb (a83d56)

  26. timb is fine with his IRS Chief unable to do his taxes.

    Think about that for a second. Forget any illegality, just ponder that the guy couldn’t do them correctly for SEVERAL YEARS. And they want him to be the head of the entire Treasury Dept.?

    Techie (6b5d8d)

  27. Intent is assumed because he was informed by his employer that he had to pay taxes on same. Additionally, since he is one of the most brilliant economic minds EVAH!, it is expected that he would understand the basics of his own taxes.

    What “non-event” turned into impeachment? Did President Clinton not lie under oath?

    JD (397a27)

  28. nk: Applause for #10.

    Old Coot (543f9d)

  29. JD, always nice to see your snarling face. Intent happens at the time the “offense” was committed, not several years later.

    thanks for playing.

    As for the final two questions: the Paula Jones lawsuit is my reference, dismissed for failing to state a claim and missing required elements of the tort.

    Second question: yes, he did. Justice Posner’s book also convinced me he attempted to obstruct justice. Like Justice Posner, i remain convinced that while both were blots on his character, neither in context rose to the level of an impeachable offense.

    Judge Posner and I agree on a very small set of issues, but he’s a smart, hard-headed lawyer and a solid conservative. I trust his judgment. In fact, if you would like re-live Newt’s finest hour, then I recommend the book.

    timb (a83d56)

  30. timb, it’s not just the ethical question, which I think it more complex than you imply.

    I think it’s mostly a competence issue. This man is clearly a dumbass or a liar. Our nation is dolling out enormous sums through this guy’s office, and someone has to take responsibility for it… and make sure nothing is overlooked. This guy can’t clean his own room, and he’s being asked to do the extraordinary.

    Joco (4cdfb7)

  31. Timb- have you read the Senate report containing the information the IMF provided Geithner?

    MayBee (5b642f)

  32. But, it was just about sex!

    Everyone lies about sex.

    AD (5bbccc)

  33. “…rose to the level of an impeachable offense…”

    The House Cmte on the Judiciary disagrees, as did the House of Representatives.

    AD (5bbccc)

  34. This guy will make a great cabinet officer like hillary clinton will be great secretary of state since her and her husband have already taken bribes from most of those countries

    Larry T (3c2c54)

  35. He was supplied with a letter from his employer prior to his actions, that specifically informed him that the taxes must be paid on said dollars. Prior.

    President Clinton also paid Paula Jones a shit load of money, no?

    That you impute thoughts and motivations to me is standard fare for you. I made no comments as to whether or not I agreed with the impeachment, or the actions at the time.

    JD (397a27)

  36. Justice Posner’s book also convinced me he attempted to obstruct justice. Like Justice Posner, i remain convinced that while both were blots on his character, neither in context rose to the level of an impeachable offense.

    So, Nixon shouldn’t have been impeached, either? I mean, he only obstructed justice, and it wasn’t even to save himself from a costly lawsuit.

    (I realize that Nixon wasn’t actually impeached, but the House was drawing up Articles of Impeachment, and first on the list was “Obstruction of Justice”. Next was “Making False and Misleading Statements to the American People”.)

    Steverino (69d941)

  37. But, that is different, Steverino. Nixon was evil.

    JD (397a27)

  38. Thanks for attempting to change the subject, but let’s get back to the fact that our perspective SecTreasury is either a tax cheat or he is incompetent.

    You can take your pick.

    Techie (6b5d8d)

  39. Me, I prefer the “incompetent” angle. I’d like to think that if a supposed financial genius can’t figure his taxes correctly, then maybe we should simplify the tax codes a bit.

    I mean, if Geithner can’t figure out the tax code, what chance does John and Jane Q. Public stand?

    Techie (6b5d8d)

  40. I prefer incompetent also. And, significantly poorer for it, because those penalties and that interest is painful.

    in the end, can he be more incompetent than three page, 700 billion dollar Bernake?

    timb (a83d56)

  41. Clearly, this is the man that should be tasked with raising our taxes.

    JD (397a27)

  42. can he be more incompetent than three page, 700 billion dollar Bernake?

    I am sure you will be able to show us how Barack, the House, and the Senate opposed this travesty.

    JD (397a27)

  43. timb, it’s not just the ethical question, which I think it more complex than you imply.

    I think it’s mostly a competence issue. This man is clearly a dumbass or a liar. Our nation is dolling out enormous sums through this guy’s office, and someone has to take responsibility for it… and make sure nothing is overlooked. This guy can’t clean his own room, and he’s being asked to do the extraordinary.

    Joco, I was addressing Pablo’s breathless anticipation of criminal charges, not the careless and, according to you sudden stalwart defenders of the letter of the law, unethical treatment of his filings.

    Again, if you want to make a big deal of an already confirmed Cabinet official, I’m sure some liberal has extra bandwith from his “John Ashcroft must go” website you can use. Didn’t work on Ashcroft, won’t work on Timmy G.

    Still, I admire the willingness to forego hope and change and kick stuff 1990’s style! At long last, the American Spectator will soon be making a comeback! Finally, Ted Olson will have something to do. Ever since Rudy left the stage, I have missed him.

    timb (a83d56)

  44. But, that is different, Steverino. Nixon was evil.

    Had Nixon been President during a surging economy, he wouldn’t have been so evil, would he?

    Steverino (69d941)

  45. So if I am a business man from Iran, can I give BIll CLinton $12,000,000.00 for his foundation today?
    Would that NOT be a conflict of interest for Rodham?
    If not, what would be?

    gus (36e9a7)

  46. Geithner might be Obama’s half-brother. Geithner’s father had some sort of relationship with Obama’s mother through the Ford Foundation.

    Geithner, the son, went to Indonesia in 1997 and dumped a lot of US treasure into the programs that Obama’s mother dedicated her life to. It was from some financial global initiative fund. Much of that money may have went into funding Islamic terrorism.

    We need an investigation into this.

    j curtis (c7fc88)

  47. It is always in good taste to mock someone that lost a spouse on 9/11, isn’t it?

    JD (397a27)

  48. I just tried an experiment of my own

    Did you first sign forms saying that money you were being given was for taxes you were going to not pay?

    Anyhthing said by that nit-wit timb

    Timb, have you read the report concerning the forms and information the IMF supplied Geithner with every year?

    I ask, because ifyou WERE to do so, you would find it amazing that anyone could claim he didn’t know about the taxes.

    For God’s sake, he signed forms to get money to use to pay those taxes. He knew how much he would have to pay, but did not pay them.

    If I did that, I would be prosecuted. Why shouldn’t Geithner? Last time I heard, ignorance wasn’t a valid defense…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  49. It is when you are Sec. Treas for Teh One, Scott.

    JD (397a27)

  50. *GULP* I have to agree :( *sigh*

    Oiram (983921)

  51. What I don’t get, why is this being treated as such a minor issue when illegal alien nannies involving much lower sums have scuttled numerous appointments for both parties? This seems like a much bigger deal, what with the forms that had to be submitted in order to get the money to begin with and the notice given with it.

    Soronel Haetir (cabedb)

  52. Scott

    As someone who has worked for foriegn corporations the taxation of social security is not convered extensively on the CPA exam – nor is it studied in depth at all under several tax courses – because

    1st its considered a special levy against wages not really a tax

    2nd its unclear even in the US code that it can be levied against non citizens working in the states and can it be levied against citizens working for foriegn companies in the USA

    Its a complex issue – being inadvertently simplified by a lack of understanding.

    And tax reimbursement payments are almost always made by foreign corporations to its foreign location employees. Tax equalization payments could also be for the difference in the US Tax bracket vs a national working at the home office

    In other words Tax equalization payments could be – could be regarded as equal pay for equal work incremental payments – not as an admission that social security taxes were due.

    EricPWJohnson (b4458f)

  53. It is always in good taste to mock someone that lost a spouse on 9/11, isn’t it?

    Comment by JD — 1/22/2009 @ 10:51 am

    I agree with you on that. I wonder if Ann Coulter also agrees with us.

    Ed from PA (aed11a)

  54. Eric PW Johnson- have you read the information the IMF gave Geithner?
    The information they gave him is very clear. The information the Senate provided about the situation is very clear.
    There is no reason to stab around in the dark trying to figure out what the IMF might have told Geithner.

    MayBee (5b642f)

  55. Is there not one Democrat available that is qualified to be Secretary of State but hasn’t cheated on his/her taxes?
    What the heck is so special about this guy?

    kaf (16e0b5)

  56. While I agree with the rampant hypocricy by the Dems and the MSM here, I still think the GOP should let him pass confirmation (because his replacement could be far worse), but only after a series of pointed and heated questions about why it appears that the first half of the TARP money’s not being used in the manner intended. Specifically, the banks that received the money did not turn around and begin lending again – instead, they used the money to either shore up their balance sheets and/or went on acquisition sprees, in order to achieve greater market share. This is not the way to gain the public’s trust, you could postulate.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  57. If we must spend trillions on a bailout, apply it to paying down credit cards and mortgages. That would not only improve the finances of consumers, thus giving them more confidence, it would help the lenders.

    I don’t favor any bailout at all, but if we must, this is better than continuing to throw money down a black hole.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (6955c5)

  58. […] out Patterico’s tax experiment.  Michelle Malkin names […]

    Geithner’s + Tax “Mistake”= Call Senators Now! | Right Resolve (6f63f9)

  59. Thanks for the cheap shot at Ted Olson who has been in the government for years and did well in spite of losing his wife, who called him from the plane that was crashed into the Pentagon.

    I don’t understand why Obama just doesn’t drop Geithner and nominate Summers who has been Sec Treas once already and is eminently qualified. You know why ? The feminists would have a fit.

    The Geithner problem could easily be solved by just having him rely on Ways and Means Chair Charlie Rangel for his tax advice.

    Oh.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  60. Dr. K, I’m with you: why the cheap shot at Ted Olson? Classy, huh?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  61. Timmah! is just another Troll, one who occasionally drifts over here now and then from Protein Wisdom and drops a few turds.

    apply it to paying down credit cards and mortgages.

    I would amend Bradley’s post and reiterate another reincarnation of the Resolution Trust Corp. (albeit much bigger, of course), which would enable the Gov’t to take over the bad loans and properties from the ailing banks, which would shore up their balance sheets and encourage them to begin lending again. Hell, Volcker knows that playbook inside and out, might as well put in charge of that again.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  62. “…put him in charge…”

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  63. Maybee

    Umm no it wasn’t the IMF doesnt and never ever has addressed the tax status of its employees

    Seriously, can you imagine the staff needed to equalize the tx structures of the 180 countries around the world? Continously?

    I made a fortune as a college student configuring Peachtree and realworld accounting systems every year when the deductibles, and thresholds changed

    And Most of those clients were professional accounting firms

    WEre blowing smoke where there isn’t any

    Social Security is a special levy not a tax.

    And its levied on the employer’s status not the employee.

    Now is this guy the only one out there? Heck no – In fact I would take just aout anyone who was nor IN banking to put in the job

    EricPWJohnson (b4458f)

  64. Eric, maybe because I don’t like Olson’s politics or legal reasoning? Is there some law which says that people who ran the Arkansas Project for the Spectator are not allowed to be mocked because they served as Solicitor General?

    As for JD, did you admonish Coulter when she mocked 9/11 spouses who criticized Bush? Barring your doing so, I’m not so sure why you object now. How does the tragic loss of Barbara have anything to do with his lack of public persona since Rudy bailed in early 2008?

    Or, more likely, are you just not aware he was a bagman for the money folks who set up the Arkansas Project? Hiding your ignorance behind victimhood? That’s so different from normal. I can see the era of hope and change haven’t affected the paranoid style of your politics.

    timb (a83d56)

  65. I have to agree with EricPWJohnson that gross-ups and tax equalization payments are difficult as hell to understand. Which is why I never, ever would have done my own taxes with freaking TurboTax. What a naive idiot.

    I had Deloitte and Touche do my returns for my time abroad as well as the following year – they do two returns, one showing your income as if you were in the US, then one showing the foreign tax. Then, if you have a sweet expat deal, the company “equalizes” your taxes by paying the difference. They also frequently “gross-up” payments for you to make certain expenses, which seems to be the case here. Sometimes, they even “gross up the gross up” which is hard to follow.

    I would say that he was especially negligent in not immediately amending past returns when his accountant pointed out that certain expenses were not allowable – ‘sleep away camps’ for instance.

    But hey, what do I know, I’m not qualified to run Treasury :)

    carlitos (05e522)

  66. If Geithner doesn’t make and the fems torpedo Summers, there is always Caroline Kennedy. She is available and she is qualified.

    Housekeeper and Taxes Are Said to Derail Kennedy’s Bid

    By DANNY HAKIM and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
    Published: January 22, 2009
    ALBANY — Problems involving taxes and a household employee surfaced during the vetting of Caroline Kennedy and derailed her candidacy for the Senate, a person close to Gov. David A. Paterson said on Thursday, in an account at odds with Ms. Kennedy’s own description of her reasons for withdrawing.

    Yeah, troll. Ted Olson is just another political operative.

    As for the Arkansas Project:

    Ted Olson, who would later represent George W. Bush in Bush v Gore and be named U.S. Solicitor General, was a Board Member of the American Spectator Educational Foundation, and is alleged to have known about or played some role in the Arkansas Project.[citation needed] His firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher provided $14,000 worth of legal services,[citation needed] and he himself wrote or co-authored several articles that were paid for with Project funds.[citation needed] During his confirmation hearing, majority Republicans blocked Senator Leahy’s call for further committee inquiries on the subject.

    Note all the “citation needed” items, troll ? Maybe you could help them out. $14,000 for Gibson, Dunn must have been half their business that year, wouldn’t you say ?

    Creep.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  67. timb being classless? timb exaggerating and slandering without foundation?

    Color me shocked.

    SPQR (72771e)

  68. Hey, SPQR, doesn’t this timb person use several pseudonyms? And wasn’t this a person who was banned for being, well, a troll?

    Apologies if I have that wrong. I’m kind of looking for citations, you see. I sure wouldn’t want to make baseless or partisan accusations.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  69. Eric, I’m not sure so I’ll have to look in my filing system. Which for trolls is on the bottom of my shoe.

    SPQR (72771e)

  70. The Arkansas Project….
    Sort of like a RAID commercial,
    when the lights came on,
    the roaches ran like Hell!

    Gibson Dunn is a global law firm with approximately 950 lawyers in 15 offices across the United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia.”

    That $14K just put them over the top!

    AD (9c1476)

  71. Say, how does that 14K match up against Rangel’s nonsense?

    I’m just sayin’.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  72. did you admonish Coulter when she mocked 9/11 spouses who criticized Bush?

    And yet another strawman from the threadjacker.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  73. I do not know which to be more shocked about, Reich saying the Government has to be sure not to stimulate white male construction workers on infrastructure projects or Geithner giving Wesley Snipes and Richard Hatch hopes about tax evasion.

    I am going with Reich. Reich, I know a homunculus white male who could use a good beating. Need a hint? Get a step ladder and look in the mirror.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  74. Intuit’s boilerplate response:

    Dear ______,

    Thank you for contacting TurboTax Customer Service & Support.

    I understand that you are flustrated witht the product and how it may compute incorectly

    you can follow the following link to see why turbotax should be chosen and is a great choice to do your taxes: http://turbotax.intuit.com/best-tax-software/why-choose-turbotax/

    You may receive a survey from us through e-mail in approximately 24 hours asking you about my performance on today’s contact, as well as comments you may have in regards to the TurboTax product. So we can continue with our promise to provide our customers with the best support available, please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

    Respectfully,

    09_Timothy

    TurboTax Customer Service & Support

    Diffus (cb9f4f)

  75. Darn it! Mike K beat me to it with the Caroline Schlossberg story.

    The Dana who came in second (556f76)

  76. I must have missed something…. since when did Republicans start worrying about competence?

    tamizdat (e8f5ce)

  77. The same time we started noticing Trollish commenters who came here to spout off tired memes that were already seven years past their sell – by date.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  78. […] Taxes, the bane of the common man (unless you are being appointed to the post of treasury sec.) […]

    Chew on this: The Return of the Chew « Chockblock’s blog (565823)

  79. Another first, the first tax cheat as Sec of Treasury. What could go wrong.

    From now on, he should be referred to a “tax cheat Geithner”.

    I assume the Democrats are totally unfazed by how this might look to the public.

    tarpon (26027c)

  80. Pablo, do any of you understand mens rea?

    I know I did, Timmah! But I forgot. A totally innocent mistake, I can assure you. All of me, each and every one of us, simply forgot. You can understand that, can’t you?

    Pablo (99243e)

  81. As for the final two questions: the Paula Jones lawsuit is my reference, dismissed for failing to state a claim and missing required elements of the tort.

    Dismissed? No, Timmah!, it was settled. $800K, IIRC.

    Pablo (99243e)

  82. Joco, I was addressing Pablo’s breathless anticipation of criminal charges my imagination.

    Fixed that for you, Timmah!

    Pablo (99243e)

  83. “Pablo, do any of you understand mens rea?”

    Give timmah a break. He in law school and he’s trying to impress us with the shit he’s learning while beclowning himself.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  84. Things could have been even dicier in our new White House. So instead of selecting Tim Geithner to be Secretary of the Treasury, Obama could have picked, say, Bill Ayers. Maybe even Jeremiah Wright. Better yet, pro-Democrat-Party tycoon and investor Bernard Madoff.

    Mark (411533)

  85. Umm no it wasn’t the IMF doesnt and never ever has addressed the tax status of its employees

    Seriously, can you imagine the staff needed to equalize the tx structures of the 180 countries around the world? Continously?

    Did you read the PDF containing the information the IMF gave Tim Geithner about what HE was supposed to do with HIS taxes?
    It very clearly said he needed to pay SE taxes.

    This has nothing to do with the other countries in the world. I will note, however, that companies manage to guide international employees through thorny tax issues all the time. The IMF is not the only international employer out there. One would hope they can be at least as competent as your average International School.
    Regardless, Geithner’s concern was not about how people from other countries were to pay their taxes.

    Did you read the information the IMF gave Tim Geithner about his own taxes?

    MayBee (5b642f)

  86. I have to agree with EricPWJohnson that gross-ups and tax equalization payments are difficult as hell to understand.

    They are difficult to determine. They are easy to understand. You know why you are getting them, and you know you aren’t getting them because you aren’t responsible for paying taxes.

    MayBee (5b642f)

  87. #Dismissed? No, Timmah!, it was settled. $800K, IIRC.

    Comment by Pablo — 1/22/2009 @ 6:47 pm

    Pablo, you were so CCCLLLOOOOSSSEEEE to being right, so close.

    If you would like the cite, I’m sure I can pull it for you. Jones’s suit was dismissed and her “crack” law team appealed to the 8th Circuit. Clinton settled.

    Ah, legal blackmail, cons hate when it’s the dude on TV, but when done by the Rutherford Institute? Well, that’s democracy

    I know, I was shocked to see that you were wrong again. Not surprised about the wrong thing, but surprised you’re so proud of it. Don’t worry, here amongst the 25% of true believer, you’ll be safe from everyone’s ridicule. Don’t take that outside wingnuttia, though, or you may be laughed off the intertubes.

    timb (a83d56)

  88. If you would like the cite, I’m sure I can pull it for you.

    So why don’t you go ahead and cite it, already? Way past time to put up or shut up.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  89. timb, you are not much closer, as you leaving out the consequences that the judge imposed for Clinton’s lying in deposition.

    SPQR (72771e)

  90. They are difficult to determine. They are easy to understand. You know why you are getting them, and you know you aren’t getting them because you aren’t responsible for paying taxes.

    Comment by MayBee — 1/22/2009 @ 10:12 pm

    Of course you know that you have to pay taxes. However, I would have had no idea what my obligations were to either my home country or host country, let alone FICA, if I didn’t have an accountant telling me what to pay. If I get audited for those years, I’d have no choice but to re-hire the accountants that prepared the returns.

    carlitos (05e522)

  91. If you would like the cite, I’m sure I can pull it for you. Jones’s suit was dismissed and her “crack” law team appealed to the 8th Circuit.

    Which (and IANALS so help me out here) means the case was still active and pending, right?

    Clinton settled.

    Soooo, the resolution of the case was what then? Yes, Clinton settled, which is what I said in the first place. Timmah!, you truly are an idiot. It takes a truly special sort of moron to tell someone they’re wrong while agreeing with what you’re trying to argue against.

    Pablo (99243e)

  92. Of course you know that you have to pay taxes. However, I would have had no idea what my obligations were to either my home country or host country, let alone FICA, if I didn’t have an accountant telling me what to pay. If I get audited for those years, I’d have no choice but to re-hire the accountants that prepared the returns

    I agree with that, and I have been in the same boat for going on 7 tax years now.
    But that isn’t Geithner’s problem. Geithner worked in the US for a company that reimbursed him for the taxes he was expected to pay.
    In doing so, they gave him quarterly and annual statements about his tax obligation. Federal, State, and SE.
    Just as you paid what your accountants told you to pay, Geithner needed to pay what his company told him to pay. It was made clear to him, if only he read the statements.

    So yes, gross ups are complicated. Geithner was not expected to figure it out for himself. As anyone can see if they read the documentation that has been helpfully provided by the Senate.

    MayBee (5b642f)

  93. Geithner is a silk-stockinged tax-cheat,
    and his confirmation as SecTreas will be a new low-point in the history of the United States Senate.

    AD (fbe62c)

  94. Pablo,

    Don’t you know what mens rea means? Mens, from the Latin for month. Rhea, a corruption of Greek rhoe “flow”. I.e., menstruation. Timb needs some Midol.

    nk (bf9c84)

  95. nk, you bloody well shouldn’t have made that comment!

    The Punny Avenger (556f76)

  96. Tim Geithner did not pay his taxes,
    The Left responds with flying faxes,
    But we common people
    Will not be their sheeple
    And our vigilance we won’t relaxes.

    The Limerick Avenger (556f76)

  97. I think that Geithner
    should pay his freaking taxes
    then just go away

    The Haiku Avenger (556f76)

  98. Geithner first act is to start messing with the Chinese over the renmimbi. They’re manipulating their currency he says. Something the Fed and Treasury have never done with the US$, and would never even contemplate.

    Where do these asses come from? The last thing you want to do is piss off one of the major holders of your debt. Especially when your own kettle of currency bashing is just as black, or even blacker.

    Paulson tried the same crap, and quickly shut the hell up when the Chinese quietly mentioned they might not be buying as many Treasury bonds going forward. And just where do these new bureaucrats expect to sell all the new bonds needed to keep this country running AND fund the stimuli and bailouts? It’s bad enough they’re selling debt to get out of debt, but guess how bad it’s going to be when they can’t sell that debt without juicing it with a risk premium…otherwise known as a interest rates.

    I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but after Geithner’s remarks the long bond took a broadside. Nothing beats holding a double short ETF with guys like him at the wheel.

    allan (30bfe7)

  99. I agree Allan, I had no idea what he was doing while he was talking out of his backside.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  100. I will happily answer your childish strawman, timmah and Ed. Coulter was wrong and way over the top in her criticism. Shockingly, you will find many around here that do not like her, or have been openly critical of her. Stay classy, as always.

    JD (5ffaf3)

  101. Dmac wrote:

    I agree Allan, I had no idea what he was doing while he was talking out of his backside.

    What, you didn’t know that he was a Democrat?

    The sarcastic Dana (556f76)

  102. allan got it right:

    And just where do these new bureaucrats expect to sell all the new bonds needed to keep this country running AND fund the stimuli and bailouts? It’s bad enough they’re selling debt to get out of debt, but guess how bad it’s going to be when they can’t sell that debt without juicing it with a risk premium… otherwise known as a interest rates.

    Well, of course. The FY2008 deficit was $455 billion; FY2009 will be somewhere around $1.2 to $1.4 trillion, meaning that we’ll have to sell thrice as many T-Bills as just a year ago.

    Except, of course, that we’ll have to sell more than that. T-Bills have a maturity face value, and the interest rate (a slightly poor term when it comes to T-Bills) is determined by the initial discounted selling price. The lower the initial selling price, the higher the interest rate. But as investors demand a higher rate of return, due to supply and demand, the initial selling price will drop — and that means even more T-Bills will have to be sold to raise the same amount of cash.

    The mathematical genius Dana (556f76)

  103. Undersecretary Kimmit recently went to Saudia ARabia to beg them to buy Treasuries. Sure, they said, with one little condition….Treasury Submits

    Patricia (89cb84)

  104. allan’s comments made me think of this story about one of China’s financial giants.

    People, especially Americans, started believing that they can live on other people’s money. And more and more so. First other people’s money in your own country. And then the savings rate comes down, and you start living on other people’s money from outside. At first it was the Japanese. Now the Chinese and the Middle Easterners.

    We—the Chinese, the Middle Easterners, the Japanese—we can see this too. Okay, we’d love to support you guys—if it’s sustainable. But if it’s not, why should we be doing this? After we are gone, you cannot just go to the moon to get more money. So, forget it. Let’s change the way of living. [By which he meant: less debt, lower rewards for financial wizardry, more attention to the “real economy,” etc.]

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  105. Smile inducing title you’ve created for yourself, Brother Bradley. I thought I’d return to give some heft to my hurried comments above…the numbers below were compiled by Gary Dorsch, a economics writer. I’d say these declining figures pertaining to the financial well-being of former purchasers of US debt indicates a massively empty well ahead. Which means the ‘buyer’ of Treasuries will necessarily have to be the Fed. In effect, the Fed will create new dollars to buy Treasuries which are created by the Treasury Department. Hence, monetizing the debt. I know what I’m doing in defense (and offensively), but I’ll keep it to myself here.

    “…Still, risks remain for buying the Treasury’s debt at historically low interest rates. The two biggest foreign buyers of US Treasuries over the past 15-months have been the Arab oil kingdoms, ($245-billion), and China, ($233-billion). But with dwindling external surpluses, and big economic troubles at home, the Arab oil kingdoms and China’s government could be absent from this year’s Treasury auctions.

    “The Arab world has lost a total of $2.5-trillion in the past four-months, as a result of the global financial crisis,” admitted Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah on Jan 19th. Declines on foreign stock markets accounted for $600-billion of the losses, while Arab investors were also hurt by sharp declines in oil revenues, declining value of property investments, and other repercussions of the global downturn. Ignoring Loeb’s empirical rule of limiting one’s losses to 10%, when they inevitably arise, due to unforeseen events, was an expensive education.

    In the second half of 2008, the OPEC oil reference price plummeted 75% from a record high of $140 /barrel in July, to as low as $34.50 /barrel in December. Persian Gulf property prices also crashed as the credit crisis engulfed the financial markets. Consequently, investor sentiment turned negative and the efforts of Arab Gulf kingdoms to stimulate their economies and boost investor confidence failed. The UAE stock markets absorbed the biggest blow, shedding 72.4%, Saudi Arabia’s TASI lost 56.5%, and Kuwait’s lost 38%, during the past year.

    In the second half of 2008, the OPEC oil reference price plummeted 75% from a record high of $140 /barrel in July, to as low as $34.50 /barrel in December. Persian Gulf property prices also crashed as the credit crisis engulfed the financial markets. Consequently, investor sentiment turned negative and the efforts of Arab Gulf kingdoms to stimulate their economies and boost investor confidence failed. The UAE stock markets absorbed the biggest blow, shedding 72.4%, Saudi Arabia’s TASI lost 56.5%, and Kuwait’s lost 38%, during the past year.

    In a desperate attempt to stop the slide in oil prices, Saudi Arabia removed 1.7-million barrels per day (bpd) of oil from the world market in the second-half of last year, to 8-million bpd, and Saudi oil chief Ali al-Naimi said on January 13th, the kingdom will cut an extra 300,000 bpd of supply in February. But the combination of declining oil prices and production cutbacks is expected to trim OPEC’s oil export revenue to $440-billion this year, down sharply from the $962-billion in 2008, when the OPEC cartel raked-in from oil exports, according to the EIA.

    China’s trade surplus climbed 13% to a record $295-billion last year. But Beijing will spend 4-trillion yuan or ($586 billion) of its surplus cash on domestic stimulus projects this year, to cushion its economy from a hard landing. China’s exports, the key engine of growth for its economy, have plunged from a +22% growth rate a year ago to -2.8% in December. One-third of the 45,000 factories in the major export cities of Dongguan, Shenzhen and Guangzhou have shut-down, idling millions of workers, and forcing Beijing to spend more money to create new jobs.

    allan (1061cd)


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