Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dear Mr. Geithner

So Geithner was confirmed today. And unfortunately I think it was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, because I'm completely miffed about his tax thing. Whatever he may say, it's pretty clear to me that he intentionally decided not to pay that employer portion of his social security taxes, and the reason he did it was that he figured in all likelihood he would get away with it. And in the worst case he would pay it. And in fact it kinda worked out that way. He didn't pay it for 4 years, but by the time he was audited, the statute of limitations had run out on the first two years. So he paid the second two years, and congratulated himself on managing to evade half of his due. Note that at the time of the audit he was head of the New York Fed. And then he was nominated secretary of the treasury, and the transition committee figured this out and said "Hey!!!". So he paid. Poor dear.

So what does this say about Geithner? And what's bugging me about this? Is it the moral issue? Or is it that I feel that I'm too much of a wimp to do the same, and I envy him his daring? Or actually, maybe it's that I envy his knowledge of what he can get away with? I which I were as competent? I think that's what it is. Because frankly, if I knew I could get away with it, wouldn't I do it? Maybe I would. Or maybe I'd feel it's sleazy. Which it definitely is. Tough to say.