Patterico's Pontifications

2/4/2009

What About Geithner?

Filed under: General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:27 am



Ed Morrissey asks: Should Geithner go, too?.

If you believe that their departures were a matter of principle, then yes, Geithner should go. If the lesson of Daschle and Killefer is that Obama won’t permit tax cheats in high office, then it would seem odd to have a tax cheat overseeing the IRS.

But it’s not about principle. It’s about politics. I suspect that there were other shoes to drop on Daschle, and that Killefer was collateral damage in the effort to put the entire issue behind them.

This isn’t about principles. It’s about politics. We know this, because Geithner will stay.

65 Responses to “What About Geithner?”

  1. It’s clear why Dems turn to tax increases to solve problem … they don’t think taxes apply to themselves.

    “Leona Helmsley Democrats” indeed

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  2. Marie Antoinnette likes what she’s seeing so far from the Dems.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  3. Yeah, Dmac, the guy is more and more Snobama….so your “Obamarie” term is a keeper.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  4. Well, when even HuffPo is scornful of the selection, I think it’s pretty clear he needs to go. This will always be a big blemish on the administration and they would be wise to try to remain as blemish-free as possible…at least for the first month of office. :)

    Geithner didn’t make one mistake. He committed multiple transgressions over the course of many years. To call them “an innocent mistake” is as insulting as deducting your kid’s expensive summer away camp as a childcare expense, which Geithner tried to do. Furthermore, Geithner paid the majority of his missing taxes and penalties only after he was nominated to be Secretary of the Treasury. His situational ethics are directly at odds with the culture of personal responsibility that Obama has set as his foremost goal.

    Dana (be9504)

  5. Geithner needs to go, but he won’t because the Dem Culture of Corruption is well embeded and it seems to be spreading – just like slime mold.
    Rangel
    Dodd
    Daschle
    Geithner
    Killefer
    And the beat goes on, and the beat goes on!

    GM Roper who wants DRJ back on Patterico's Pontifications (85dcd7)

  6. This could not have come at a worse time, when people are receiving their W-2 forms and gathering tax information. Tim Geithner’s excuse isn’t even an excuse – he got caught blatantly cheating on his taxes.
    Besides, the Obama-Geithner slow-burn bank rescue plan cannot work. As long as billions are donated to the busted banks monthly, Obama will have to micro-manage all the embarrassing behavior that bankers do. The Resolution Trust Corporation used to sell off S&L assets in the 80s was greatly successful and should be used here. So, I don’t buy this claim that Geithner is the smartest guy in the room.

    Wesson (3ab0b8)

  7. Don’t forget that Al Franken had his own tax problems in the state of California. And wasn’t alot of the problem with Reid’s shady land deals that they didn’t match up with tax records?

    Hadlowe (335eeb)

  8. GM Roper, you wrote:

    “..Geithner needs to go, but he won’t because the Dem Culture of Corruption is well embeded and it seems to be spreading – just like slime mold….”

    I denounce your racist insult toward slime molds everywhere! I suspect that, when slime molds insult one another, they say “political hypocrite”!

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  9. Looks like the O administration is heading towards being typical Derepublocrat on quite a few things.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  10. The most dangerous thing for Obama is that this is becoming a subject of jokes. He cannot become a laughing stock this early and expect to survive as The One. I remember this happened with Jimmy Carter, although not quite this early. There used to be a humorist in DC who sang political ditties he had composed and played the piano. Not too long after Carter took office, this fellow, who was a typical Democrat, started a song, “My name is Jimmy Carter and I always tell the truth, ’cause every time I tell a lie, I grow another tooth.” People have forgotten that Carter was always shown in those days with a big grin.

    It was devastating.

    Mike K (8df289)

  11. Chicago Politics. He is in so he is staying. Form a committee if you want to talk more, there are special deals for friends important things to do now and Geithner is Obama man to do them.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  12. Chicago Politics. He is in so he is staying. Form a committee if you want to talk more, there are (special deals for friends–strike out not working) important things to do now and Geithner is Obama man to do them.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  13. Democrats believe rich people should pay taxes. Democrats also believe rich people are Republicans, So no matter how much money a Democrat has he has no reason to pay taxes since he’s not rich.

    Ken Hahn (4212e5)

  14. i find it ironic that the man who made the initial announcement that we need to hold leaders of financial institutions who took government funds accountable for their poor actions. what hypocrites they both are. so much for change you can believe in – more like this, do as i say, not as i do.

    ktr (40579a)

  15. “I suspect that there were other shoes to drop on Daschle, and that Killefer was collateral damage…”

    The whole InterMedia Advisory Committee Chairmanship at a million a year reeks. The WaPo asked some questions about it in an online item (not print). They got evasive answers as to what he Daschle did. Answers like “He was extremely helpful”. It looks like a no show job for a million a year.

    It is likely the tip on Daschle’s tax problems came to light from the IRS itself after Obama was inaugurated. This thing smells like money laundering, but only the IRS and Tom Daschle know.

    Corky Boyd (d04dcd)

  16. I think that y’all have misconstrued what the double standard is. It’s not one set of rules for the elites and another for us peopns, but one set of rules for guys who have already been confirmed, and another for those waiting to be confirmed.

    The annoyed Dana (3e4784)

  17. Geithner should go cause he’s a big liar and everybody knows it. But Geithner should have the sense to leave on his own I think. He should reflect on the fact that everybody knows he’s a big liar and then think about some of the things this little job he’s taking might call on him to say.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  18. Mike K: You may be thinking of Mark Russell.

    Old Coot (who also wants DRJ back) (529757)

  19. While you all are rightly harping on the income tax averse Democrats, here’s a disappointing perspective straight out of the mouth of the Sec of Commerce appointee, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H…this was in today’s reading:

    “…“The lifeblood of the American economy,” he said, without a tinge of irony in his voice, “is easy credit. If we don’t do something now, it will be the worst financial crisis in American history.”

    …[a]t least we know the new Commerce secretary will be “on message” regarding running up government debt during this crisis…”

    So much for a fiscally responsible voice in the Cabinet. Now I understand why he got the Obama nod. Another useful idiot. Cheney outdid him with the famous ‘deficits don’t matter’, but still. Is there anyone remaining in either party’s elites with one iota of fiscal sense?

    allan (9879f4)

  20. It was Mark Russell.

    Gregg is pretty conservative and his statement applies now, not in general. Still, that was not the most eloquent way to put it.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  21. Easy credit is the lifeblood of the American economy. It’s the only way people and companies can keep their other monies profitably invested and still handle stuff what comes up. If you want to rag on Gregg, you can just point out that he’s a spineless dirty socialist collaborator. You don’t have to get all specific.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  22. Somehow, I think your take on the nuance and context will be lost on his intended audience, Mike – so reluctantly I have to agree with Allan here, he’s already in the tank, big – time. He’s quickly positioned himself to be fully inconsequential for the future, since he’s heading up a department he’s previously tried to eliminate, due to it’s ineffectiveness and uselessness.

    So, I don’t buy this claim that Geithner is the smartest guy in the room.

    He most definitely is not – Volcker is; but a funny thing happened after his position in the Obama administration was announced – he’s basically disappeared from this debate. Wonder why? Could it just be that he thinks all of this is a huge pile of crapola, and that his past stewardship of the RTC conflicts greatly with Teh One’s screeching about impending doom? Why is no one asking his learned opinions about all of this nonsense?

    Dmac (49b16c)

  23. What about Geithner? Oh, his okay. Remember, he is the one to fix the economy. Why throw the man away over a small thing as taxes? :)

    Emperor7 who wants DRJ back! (0c8c2c)

  24. I have to decide Emp was not using sarcasm because I said I would never say anything in support of Emp. Sigh, plausible deniability is hard.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  25. Yes, Geithner should go. But I think you’re dead wrong: this is about standards. Notice how Daschle was screened out? This is a good result, indicating that the new administration is serious about standards.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t recall posts complaining about horse show judges running FEMA.

    fishbane (c2c773)

  26. I think they know they need someone who didn’t cheat on their taxes to be the point man for socializing medicine and taxing taxing taxing for real Americans so they can get their substandard rationed care is all, Mr. fishbane. You can’t say it’s about standards when Joe Biden is your Vice President and when you and your woman gave thousands of dollars to a hateful church that spread anti-American propaganda. Standards. Oh please.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  27. fishbane, the administration wasn’t serious about standards until they got called on their lack of them.

    SPQR (72771e)

  28. Comment by SPQR — 2/4/2009 @ 2:44 pm

    The Obama admin still isn’t serious about standards. It is serious about making their inconsistencies so transparent they become invisible. Oh, and shouting down dissent. And stonewalling research.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  29. Happyfeet: WTF?

    Do you deny that Daschle was screened out?

    I agree that Geithner should go.

    “Me and my woman”? What are you talking about? I thought we were talking about appointments, not some lame talking point about pastors.

    I assume you’re talking about our president and first lady, and not about “me and my woman”. But I still fail to see what that has to do with appointments.

    As I think I heard here a while ago, elections have consequences. If you dislike Biden (not that I’m a fan, myself), you’ve got 2012.In the mean time, I take heart in noting that we aren’t appointing horse show judges to run FEMA.

    fishbane (c2c773)

  30. Fishbane, who screened out Daschle? It was not the Obama Nation. It was people on the right and right-center. Those on the left saw a lost cause and switched sides at the very end (see Italy, 1944). The Obama Nation had to finally succumb to the overwhelming pressure.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  31. Daschle wasn’t screened out cause he has poor character, he was screened out cause he was going to be the “honest broker” who would explain to the American people that they needed to pay higher taxes and cede their health care decisions to a benevolent dirty socialist state. Even Baracky’s media couldn’t work with that. But don’t ever make the mistake of thinking Baracky is about standards. If he had standards he would have already done adjudged himself woefully inadequate to this job what him and his woman lusted after.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  32. If it had been Obama’s standards that screened out Daschle, would he have ever been named as an appointee?

    Rob Crawford (6c262f)

  33. I could be wrong, but I don’t recall posts complaining about horse show judges running FEMA.

    Probably because there’s nothing illegal about judging horse shows, and there’s plenty illegal about tax evasion.

    Are you seriously arguing that a possibly unqualified appointee is on the same level of moral turpitude as someone who deliberately underpays his taxes by tens of thousands of dollars?

    Steverino (b12c49)

  34. Are you seriously arguing…

    No, he’s not. He’s just trying to distract us from the incredibly large number of people named to Obama’s cabinet who have been cheating on their taxes for years.

    Rob Crawford (6c262f)

  35. Please, feel free to take credit for screening out tax cheats. I don’t want them in power, either. I’m sure Obama would encourage that, too. The more hardline Republicans have input into the process, the better. My hope is that you and him fight, and we get some sanity via a new candidate next time around. But I have to say it is funny to watch a bankrupt party that just lost a pile of elections assume the mantle of responsibility when they are at the same time behaving like three year olds. If the best you have is obstruction for obstruction’s sake, well, don’t be surprised if you become a regional party for the next little bit.

    But really, overheated rhetoric about WWII doesn’t serve you well. I seem to recall some folks complaining about “Bushitler” wanking, a phrase I saw more on partisan Republican sites than I ever did on the likes of, say, Atrios. (No, I don’t read Kos: too predictable.)

    I suppose it should be comforting, in a way – the mantle of power changes, all the ranters jump up and grab the other chair, life as usual, just with political polarity reversed.But really, it just makes me tired.

    fishbane (c2c773)

  36. Do you deny that Daschle was screened out?

    Are you this clueless not to understand how this process evolved for Obama’s team? He wasn’t “screened out” in any way, shape or form. They were fully expecting him to glide past all this sh-t (with their loyal Senators braying their support for him in unison), but even this proved too much for their supplicants in the media. My goodness, please get yourself a cluebat and beat yourself thoroughly for such a silly statement.

    I take heart in noting that we aren’t appointing horse show judges to run FEMA.

    This is now the second time you’ve used this hackneyed statement that originated over at Kos. Your strawman allotment is up. Try to think of something a little more original (and salient) next time.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  37. Are you seriously arguing that a possibly unqualified appointee is on the same level of moral turpitude as someone who deliberately underpays his taxes by tens of thousands of dollars?

    No, I am not. I’m arguing that Steele, et al were _obviously_ unqualified, and the sort of person who would nominate that level of stupidity is also unqualified. That a couple of people on the change of power who cheated got caught, as I see it, is a good sign. What’s wrong with that? Like I said: if partisan Republicans want to take credit for “discovering” some some tax cheats, from my perspective, go nuts. Clean government is nonpartisan.

    Might be nice if you noticed the occasional Abramoff once in a while, but I may be asking too much.

    fishbane (c2c773)

  38. Prediction for next post from Fish head – BushHitlerBloodforOilHalliburton.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  39. Man, I was this close – but here’s the STRAWMAN ALERT for the day:

    I’m arguing that Steele,

    if you noticed the occasional Abramoff once in a while,

    So we now stand at three strawmen for this post alone, ladies and gentlemen. He’s already taken the trifecta of stupid, let’s see if he goes for the record.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  40. This is now the second time you’ve used this hackneyed statement that originated over at Kos. Your strawman allotment is up. Try to think of something a little more original (and salient) next time.

    Does repeating myself mean it is less true?

    Posit: You are on the board an organization responsible for emergency response in black-swan situations. What sort of experience would you look for in a candidate? Would it make a difference if it weren’t your money, house, perhaps life, on the line?

    Because, fact is, that was the reality for rather a bunch of people. Perhaps nobody else could have done better – that’s a counterfactual that we can’t test. But it is really hard to imagine we could have done worse, given what happened.

    fishbane (c2c773)

  41. Pelosi’s “most ethical congress ever” began with the appointments of ethics violators to committee leadership positions. (Never mind her obvious denigration of the first through tenth congresses.)

    Obama’s “most transparent administration ever” has been one of deliberate muddying from the get-go. (Never mind his obvious denigration of the first five POTUSes.)

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  42. Posit: You are on the board an organization responsible for emergency response in black-swan situations

    Fourth usage of strawman – going for the intergalactic record now…

    Dmac (49b16c)

  43. So we now stand at three strawmen for this post alone, ladies and gentlemen. He’s already taken the trifecta of stupid, let’s see if he goes for the record.

    If only you had actually made an argument, this conversation would have still been interesting.

    Too bad.

    fishbane (c2c773)

  44. But it is really hard to imagine we could have done worse, given what happened.

    Ummm, fishbane, Kentucky and Arkansas today mean anything?

    Posit: You are on the board an organization responsible for emergency response in black-swan situations. What sort of experience would you look for in a candidate? Would it make a difference if it weren’t your money, house, perhaps life, on the line?

    So we put middle-class factory workers in charge of running a massive organization because they’ll be more serious about fixing the problem? We don’t put people in charge who have actually been in charge of things?

    Would it make a difference if it weren’t your money, house, perhaps life, on the line?

    Sounds like you are providing an argument against the government trillion-dollar pork-run.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  45. I have to pat myself on the back for properly predicting that the Leftists would use the Daschle Debacle as a plus for Teh One, showing how committed they are to situational ethics. They never disappoint.

    JD (ddb337)

  46. And, fishbane, when you use strawman attacks — which any college communications professor grades against — your arguments truly fall below the level of honest debate.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  47. JD, nominating tax cheats like Daschle and Geithner just shows how AWESOMELY AWESOME The One Lightworker truly is.

    Did you not get the e-mail?

    Techie (6b5d8d)

  48. If you don’t pay taxes, why bother what the rate is, just pick the ones that appear to be enough to you, and put this behind your name for identification — (D)

    bill-tb (26027c)

  49. And why do the american people keep electing these pople to office and the media love them.

    debbie (8349ff)

  50. It all started with the definition of the word “is”… didn’t it?

    pitchforksntorches (4dd8c4)

  51. why be hard on treas secy? Rangel, Dodd, et al are reflecting the integrity of Congress.

    tony (a2ceee)

  52. Because the American people and the media just aren’t very bright.

    MikeD (740ba0)

  53. They never disappoint.
    Comment by JD — 2/4/2009 @ 3:51 pm

    It makes me cringe in embarrassment for them over their painfully obvious predictability and manipulation of the mess…as if no one notices.

    Dana (137151)

  54. Might be nice if you noticed the occasional Abramoff once in a while, but I may be asking too much.

    Tu quoque is the last refuge of the intellectually dishonest. Hey, your side is allowing tax cheats like Rangel and Dodd to stay in office. And your side elects known criminals like Alcee Hastings and Marion Barry. If you’re going to head down that path, just remember you’ll be far more soiled than you realize.

    And Katrina was actually handled pretty well

    Steverino (b12c49)

  55. Steverino – Let’s not be too generous here. Dirty Harry Reid was in bed with Abramoff, but since he is a Dem, that was conveniently ignored.

    JD (ddb337)

  56. I’m arguing that Steele, et al were _obviously_ unqualified, and the sort of person who would nominate that level of stupidity is also unqualified.

    So, an unqualified President nominates unqualified people to high level posts. What sort of President nominates crooks and tax cheats to cabinet level posts?

    Steverino (b12c49)

  57. I am sure that a lot of our crowd has heard about the congressman who is proposing The Rangel Rule which states that anyone who owes back taxes can, like Congressman Charlie Rangel, pay them without interest or penalty. I think “The Geithner Amendment” (or Geithner/Daschle, if you prefer) should be added which would mandate that anyone who had to pay a penalty to the IRS on back-taxes between 2001 and today would have that sum refunded with interest. Let’s see if Obama and the Dems are willing to extend to the general public the sort of sweetheart deals they have enjoyed themselves.

    JVW (bff0a4)

  58. fishbane has been trying to claim that the “screening” worked.

    But this is plainly false. Obama knew about the tax problems but thought they could brazen through.

    Typical of the BS we get from the Obama cultists – spin to try to hide that Obama is simply not up to the job.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  59. It helps if you think of Juggy’s cohorts as a pack of dogs, many of them alpha males and females, without an alpha male to lead them, fighting over a carcass which is the political spoils of the Democrats’ victory. They will snarl, snap at, and eat each other too. And if you have some other pack, the Republicans for example, nipping their butts, they will look first to gorge and then fight.

    nk (bf6030)

  60. I.e., this is just more empty-suitedness. Geithner was strong enough to fight off the pack — Richardson, Daschle and Killefer were not. And there’s nothing Juggy can do about it.

    nk (bf6030)

  61. Geithner was not stronger than Richardson, Daschle or Killefer, it is just that today the economy is such a hot potato that Geithner was a third rail no one wanted to be the point man on attacking.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  62. If Daschle had the Big O’s full support, and then a day later he didn’t — what about Geithner merits the Big O’s full support? That he cheated more, and for more years?

    steve miller (3381bc)

  63. Another Obama Nominee with a tax problem, Hilda Solis.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/02/05/solis_senate_session_canceled.html?hpid=topnews

    F’ing bunch of hypocrites!

    PCD (7fe637)

  64. F’ing bunch of hypocrites!

    They’re not hypocrites. To be hypocritical, you have to believe something’s wrong and do it anyway. They don’t see any problem in not paying their taxes, because they’re the elect.

    At least now we know why Democrats can’t comprehend objections to tax increases. They don’t pay them.

    Rob Crawford (6c262f)

  65. Democrats also believe rich people are Republicans

    Which is odd, since as far as I can tell Democrats seem to be a lot wealthier than Republicans, and they especially dominate the top end of the wealth scale.

    Bb Smith (c3d6fd)


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