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Geithner was an idiot. Most of the people I know would not have done that mistake!

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KansasVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:02 PM
Original message
Geithner was an idiot. Most of the people I know would not have done that mistake!
I think he knew exactally what he was doing and hoped to pull it off.

How do you make that kind of money and not think you need to pay taxes?

Sounds really odd to me.
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SuperTrouper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. I agree with you. it was not an honest mistake. However, he has taken
full responsibility for this embarrassment.
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BlueCaliDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. According to the IRS and tax experts, it was an honest mistake, but then again
the IRS got more out of him via penalties than they would've had he paid the taxes on time. Maybe that's why they're so forgiving?
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #16
27. No he didn't
He only paid back taxes on the tax years that were open. He did not pay the taxes owed for tax years that were closed.

Now, as a tax CPA, I am mixed on this. Sure, most people probably don't know that 1099 income for services performed pays both halves of payroll taxes. However, most people I know who are in a position similar to one he was in know full well.

Regarding the overnight camp, I think he knew full well what he was doing. Most people do not know that camps can qualify for daycare expenses. IF someone does this, they should almost certainly know the rules for overnight camps.

That said, this should not sink his boat.
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gcomeau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. He paid taxes.
Figure out what you're talking about before commenting. He paid all his federal income taxes. He paid all his state income taxes. He just didn't pay the social security taxes that normally are automatically deducted by your employer but weren't when he was working for an international organization.
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busymom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. and if it were you or me, they
would have figured out a way to garnish our wages.

We all know that we are responsible for paying certain things. He hoped to get away with it...and apparently, he will.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. He paid the back taxes with interest as soon as it was discovered.
That is exactly what they would demand of you or me if we made the same error.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Yeah, I read about that and
it was explained well. Anyone could have made the mistake and evidently did.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. Not after being audited for two of the four years and paying for only these two
The audit should have told him that he needed to check all his records while working for the IMF.
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
17. I'm not that smart
And I manage to pay those taxes -- and I do my own returns. It's right there in black and white and the form is not that complicated. It's actually quite short and quite simple.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. If you do not know they are considering you self-employed it is possible
since I found myself in the same position. You think they are withholding and they are not. I am not defending him as I know very little about his case but you ask HOW?
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busymom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. My mom is an indep. contractor
and she made sure to figure out everything up front before earning money so that this didn't happen to her. I would expect someone like Geithner to do the same.
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gcomeau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Independent contractors...
...are unlilely not to realize they are classified as "self employed" for tax purposes. Employees of a major international organization are in a somewhat more confusing situation.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. She's an independent contractor, so she should. Geithner was employed by the IMF.
Employees of major organizations are not usually "self-employed" for payroll tax purposes.
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. You would know if you got a 1099 instead of a W-2
You don't need to be a tax lawyer or a CPA to figure that out.

I wish people would stop making excuses for this guy. If he couldn't figure that much out, I really don't want him making important financial decisions for the country.
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PBS Poll-435 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. And even before that, you would know if you filled out a W-4 or a W-9
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. I pay self-employment taxes, and I've always known there was no withholding.
Here's how you know--your check stub and the amount on the check are exactly the same. Also, you get a w-2 that shows the amount you made, but no amount withheld. It's not rocket science. I'd think someone qualified to be Sec of the Treasury can read a w-2.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. Worse. He skippted payroll taxes - SS and Medicare -
for four years. He was audited for two of them and paid for these two. After being audited he should have gone back and check the other two. He did this only when he was being considered for the office of Treasury Secretary.

Still, what is more important right now? Being a saint or being able to hit the ground running to grab the economy before it disappears completely?

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theoldman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
9. Geithner should fire his tax guy if he failed to note this error.
Of course if the tax guy told Geithner about the tax he owed and Geithner refused to pay, he has a problem. Why don't we just wait until all the facts are on the table. If he is innocent, he stays. If he is guilty, he is out.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. White collar crime is a big part of the problem - the symbolism here is striking.
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busymom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. and the excuse making here is striking too!
It doesn't matter who he was employed by. He knows the way things work...and he hoped to get away with it...and there are dem apologists that will let that happen.

If this guy was playing for the other team, we'd be screaming our lungs out over it!
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. I agree. Is this really the ONLY guy who could do the job? It isn't encouraging...
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 12:45 PM by polichick
...to install a tax evader in a plumb financial job.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
11. Most people who receive a paycheck from someone else do not even consider
the possibility that said paycheck counts as "self-employment" for social-security tax purposes.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
24. They get a w-2 that shows no withholding. I know, because I do.
This means no tax has been paid. If this man is qualified to be Sec of the Treasury, he can probably read a w-2.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
15. As Helmsley said, "Only little people pay taxes." The privileged really
believe that. No, wait, they KNOW that.
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BlueCaliDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. That's because the wealthy all incorporate themselves and can defer paying taxes for decades.
The in May 2001, Paul O'Neill had the U.S. withdraw from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, and offshore, tax-free accounts were completely left alone, paying NO taxes on their hundreds of millions.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
18. "Oh my God!! I'm going to be named Treasury Secretary."
"I had better hurry up and pay the taxes I owe because of my 'honest mistake'"

I wonder how long those taxes would have gone unpaid had he not been named Treasury Secretary? It only became an honest mistake and owed taxes paid when the whole world found out about it and he was the choice of Obama to be Treasury Secretary.
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ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. chris matthews was trying to make it sound like the guy purposely didn't pay the taxes.
like he was a crook or something. none of us have any way of knowing that. it sounds like a mistake I would make. people do make mistakes. even really smart ones. It doesn't sound like it was an intentional avoidance of taxes. it sounds to me like a mistake. a stupid unnecessary mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. as far as all those congress folks sitting their excoriating the guy from their perches, I wonder how many of them have had problems with their taxes. or something else. none of them have clean hands.

If the guy was purposely avoiding paying taxes, I would say put his feet to the fire. and the panel has a right and a responsibility to make sure the guy isn't doing anything nefarious.
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sfpcjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
25. He probably didn't want to say he didn't have the $ to pay it
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 12:26 PM by sfpcjock
...so he said it was a mistake. No biggie. A lot of people don't pay their taxes.

I was wondering why we need the current head of the NY Federal Reserve Bank to run the US Treasury? Does that make him more beholding to Wall Street than need be? Also, the name Geitner sounds kind of scary like check-kiter. Just sayin.

Personally, I would like to see a new SEC Chairmen put in ASAP!!! to replace Chris Cocks... er Cox. Cocks put back the naked short selling exception back in November as soon as he was able to do it. This allows hedge funds and so-called "investment banks" to make money as they slash the stock prices of banks by short-selling their stocks without pause.

Citigroup - down 80%
B of A - down 70%
Wells Fargo - down 60%

This causes distress and more bailouts which we are now seeing with B of A. There is no purpose for this rule other than to pile up more gold for hedge funds and greed heads.

Get rid of Cox :evilfrown: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
28. I listened to Morning Edition the day after this story broke
and Senator Grassley claimed that Geither had to sign a statement each year that he paid these taxes (the IMF paid him directly the amount they would normally withhold). Has he been asked about that yet? If so, what was his answer to that.
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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
30. Yes you would, if you didn't know you're considered SE, either way it's a tempest in a teapot
...relative to the shit the Bush admin has put us in fiscally.
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