The Water Cooler is an occasional look at important issues people should be talking about
By Chris Ingram
I want to give Barack Obama and his new administration the benefit of the doubt that Obama will accomplish some of the 500 some-odd things he promised on the campaign trail. And I want to put politics aside and wish him well for the benefit of our country in hopes he’ll get us out of the current financial mess we’re in.
But I’m having trouble doing this.
The reason is: Timothy Geithner.
If you haven’t heard of him, he is Obama’s nominee for Secretary of the Treasury. If you forgot what you learned in civics class, Treasury Secretary is the guy who is the president’s top economic advisor. He’s also the guy who is in charge of the I.R.S.
Geithner is a golden-boy of the Wall Street crowd (the same people who embraced disgraced scam-artist Bernie Madoff), who currently serves as the president of the New York Federal Reserve Board.
In addition to being president of the N.Y. Federal Reserve, he has also worked for President Clinton, Henry Kissinger, is a member of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, did his undergraduate work at Dartmouth, and has a Masters in international economics from Johns Hopkins.
So far so good.
So what’s the problem?
Forgive me, but I’m just a public educated second-tier state school kind of guy, but I know this much: when I earn money from someone (anyone, for whatever purpose), I have to pay taxes on it when I file my taxes with the IRS. My wife and I painstakingly get our taxes together every year and then send it off to an accountant to make sure we got it right.
Tim Geithner, the well-educated president of the New York Federal Reserve (who earns $398,200 taxpayer dollars as remuneration for this position), failed to pay $43,000 in taxes and interest from 2001 to 2004. He also kept a housekeeper with expired immigration documents on his family payroll and once had the gall to claim his children’s’ summer camp fees as a deductible expense as part of the dependent child-care tax credit (this is an I.R.S. “no-no” which would get most people audited).
OK, so Geithner has some problems understanding and following the rules. So what’s the big deal?
The big deal is, the head of the Treasury is also the head of the Internal Revenue Service. You know those pesky guys and gals who demand all your hard-earned cash every April 15th so that Congressmen and women can spend their ways back to re-election.
Do we really want some holier than-though (“only the little people pay taxes”) Wall Street darling who doesn’t pay his taxes heading up the I.R.S.?
Give me a break!
You wouldn’t hire Chester the child-molester to babysit your kids would you? You wouldn’t let O.J. Simpson run a battered women’s shelter would you? You wouldn’t want Michael Vick working at the Humane Society would you?
So why would Barack Hussein Obama want some a*****e who doesn’t pay his taxes to run the department responsible for collecting taxes?
I guess this is the “Change we can believe in,” Mr. Obama promised.
Call your two U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121 and tell them America deserves better than Tim Geithner! While you’re at it, tell them Bernie Madoff should be sitting in jail, not in his million dollar New York apartment after stealing $50 billion. If you or I stole a loaf of bread we would no doubt be sitting in jail.
If you don’t know who your Senators are go to: http://visi.com/juan/congress and search by state or by your Zip code.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of http://www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@411Communications.net.