Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When you ought to get a little help from a friend...

This blog is going to get tricky. Very soon the risen Lord and savior will become our sitting president. I'm going to have to be cautious. Fortunately nobody really reads this blog anyway. I'm still going to be cautious in case someone does.

Obama's choice for Treasury Secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, apparently made some errors in filing is federal income taxes. He's paid the back taxes and the penalties and all is forgiven. I'm happy for him. I hope things go as well with me if I ever run afoul of the IRS.

We exist in a political world where as soon as someone is nominated for anything, there is a witch hunt in which any little piece of dirt is found and put under a huge magnifying glass so that it can be all out of proportion. Sometimes the concerns are valid. Sometimes they are not. Geithner has a valid concern but not the one that his opponents are trumpeting.

I don't think Geithner is a tax cheat. I really don't think he was trying to evade paying what the law stipulated he owed in taxes. I honestly believe he made a boo boo on his 1040 or whatever of the myriad forms on which he blew it.

Here's my problem: He's slated to be the Treasury Secretary. One of his responsibilities is formulating and recommending tax policy to the president. I do not want a person formulating tax policy to recommend to the president who isn't smart enough to say, "I have a complicated tax situation. Perhaps I should hire someone who specializes in such things to manage my finances." Many people do.

I don't expect a Treasury Secretary to have perfect knowledge of the tax code. The president has advisors, one will likely be Geithner unfortunately. He will have people to advise him. He should have had one a few years ago.

Oh, and for crying out loud, hire a nanny from a service.

One wonders why these issues crop up with nominees. The answer is simple. Politicians are fundamentally flawed creatures. If you are interested in working for one closely, you must also be a fundamentally flawed creature.

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