January 14th, 2009
12:53 PM ET

Should Tax and Housekeeper Problems Cost Geithner the Treasury Job?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Timothy Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Obama's pick for Secretary of Treasury, hit a road block yesterday on his path to Washington to lead the nation through the current economic crisis.

Geithner's confirmation hearing is now rescheduled for after the inauguration.

His confirmation hearing turned into a closed door meeting between members of the Senate Finance Committee and the would-be Secretary. At issue, were Geithner's failure to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes while he worked at the International Monetary Fund and employing an immigrant housekeeper who had expired work papers for three months.

The President-elect and his aides chalked these problems up as honest mistakes. They were quick to point out that all back taxes, interest and penalties have been paid and filings were amended.

As Treasury Secretary, Geithner will ultimately oversee the IRS, so his tax mistakes conceivably could be an issue.

Some members of the committee said they still support Geithner, who's been widely praised for his experience. Others aren't willing to give him a pass just yet.

As for the housekeeper, she's married to an American and has her green card now.

Geithner's confirmation hearing is now rescheduled for next week, after the inauguration.

Here’s my question to you: Should Timothy Geithner's tax and housekeeper problems cost him the post of Secretary of Treasury?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dan from Chantilly, Virginia writes:
I couldn't care less about the housekeeper thing, but the failure to pay taxes, that's a bit of an issue. An "honest mistake" is something that Joe Schmo everyday American does on their taxes. A guy like Geithner who is supposed to be a financial guru doesn't make "honest mistakes" on tax forms.

Claudia from Houston, Texas writes:
If the economy and war didn't cost President George W. Bush his job then Geithner's confirmation should be smooth sailing. Our so called "value" system is almost too low to go cherry picking anyone.

Gerald from Queens, New York writes:
If the IRS told me that I owed them additional monies, I think I would get the message on the first notification. On the fourth notification I think the IRS would be thinking of jail time for me. This is not an honest mistake by a long shot. It's only honest when a politician is involved.

Sandy from Knoxville, Tennessee writes:
From what I understand, he has unique experiences that make him valuable for the success of the Obama team. These are extraordinary times and we need all the help we can muster.

Jane from Milwaukee, Wisconsin writes:
Geithner was trying his very best not to pay taxes. He knew there was a possibility because of the six year statute of limitations; he might get away with 2001 and 2002. He's another crook.

Debra writes:
Geithner's taxes are current and his housekeeper is married to a United States citizen. What is the big deal?

Connie from Indiana writes:
Jack, since he will be over the IRS, is that like the fox guarding the hen house. I guess if he does not make it for treasury they can put in charge of immigration.

soundoff (417 Responses)
  1. Tom in Dallas

    No, not at all. Geithner's mistake is just that, a mistake. Ok, so it was in the 10's of thousand of dollars. We have the country and trillions of dollars at stake. Henry Paulson has given $350 billion away to who knows, for what? That's the real crime. I just paid the IRS $1,134 for a mistake I made in 2007. Move on.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  2. Peter TX

    You know Jack, if God is half as judgmental and unforgiving as the American press, we are in a whole lot of trouble and i don't mean our current depression. Please, let the man be and give him his job senators!



    January 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  3. paul

    I think he is smarter than most of us. Why are any of us paying income tax? He should be in charge of your money Jack.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  4. Anthony Smith

    Absolutely! How can you do a load of wash if you use dirty water? He has to clean his own house (pun intended) before he can help clean Washington. If he had any character, he would drop out.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  5. John

    He was scamming, and anything said to the contrary is untrue. I say the question of honesty should be the clincher, because the IRS is a bunch of illiterates, that don't understand the tax code themselves. Obama, get out the hatchet. This one should go down.
    Pampa, TX

    January 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  6. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    On this appointment I would say a big yes. If he can not keep his own affairs in order he should not be in that position. As for the housekeeper part of this story do any of us really know where our housekeeper really comes from or their ture status? That is those few that can afford a housekeeper.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  7. C from middle GA

    Yup. The Sec. of the Treasury should be beyond reproach on tax issues.

    Obama's vetting process was supposed to make all that stuff crystal clear – how did he get this far? Did he lie on the app?

    January 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  8. shobana sridhar

    No Jack It should not cost Geithner the Treasury job. What were the Senators who are against his appointment doing when they were informed of the two problems early in December? Why bring it up now? It is not as big a trouble as fraud and money laundering. The Senators are making mountains out of molehills.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  9. Doug - Dallas, TX

    The questions to Geithner should revolve around his role in the 1st $350 billion spent and why there is no accountability for the money. The tax & housekeeper issues aren't important. How he's going to fix the financial mess is priority 1.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  10. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    NO. There are a number of people who make errors on their Taxes and with much higher amounts than Mr Geithner. His Housekeeper had the proper papers except for the last 3 months of her employment, that responsibility should have been the employees, not the employers.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  11. Bodo, Ann Arbor

    Geithner is the best man for the job that either party has to offer. He was New York Fed President under Bush and oversaw the Bailout to date. It was sheer genius of Obama to propose him as Secretary of the Treasury. The Dems will not shoot down Obama's choice, and the Reps can hardly kick out the very guy who has been overseeing the bailout under their own administration so far.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  12. Mike from California

    Why did they prosecute Wesley Snipes if not paying your taxes was an "honest mistake". Give me a break..if Geithner is so smart then he knew darn well that he was delinquent on his past tax bill.
    Send him packing!! Thought we were getting some "Change" as opposed to standard political lies.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  13. Val Williams

    I think the Congressional committee that will be confirming him needs to check his credentials and if they (credentials) are in order then confirm him. If he has committed a crime, such as not paying taxes, then he should not be confirmed.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  14. Lois Canada

    ABSOLUTELY.....it's not that he didn't know about owing the taxes, he did! He was audited for 2003 and 2004, and was ordered to pay for those 2 years! Now any competent man would think.....Gee if I owe for those 2 years, surely I must owe for the other 2 years Ive been in business? Either he is Incompetent or Corrupt, neither of which qualify him for the job!

    January 14, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  15. don Calgary,Alberta

    50% yes 50% no but it comes down to who has more political clout ie: pay off to denie or accept.....................oh well you all know how it goes!

    it's just sad that of how many qualified people that are out there that would love to serve the President don't because they have no political connection's......now that is change we all can count on!

    which president had all "non-bias" men on their administration???

    January 14, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  16. DALE

    A government employee who did not understand self-employment?
    This comes as a shock-I guess taxes are only for the little people. I hope Pres Obama does not forget how he promised to do away with the tax cuts on the wealthy, I guess they are not paying what they owe anyway. I voted for him for many reasons but this was the central reason and I hope he does not forget it.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  17. JD in NH

    No. Individuals with a mile of alphabet soup after their names and Mensa memberships can't understand our idiotic tax code. Maybe this will inspire Geithner to work on decoding the darn thing. As for the housekeeper, she should have told him her work eligibility papers had expired. I doubt Mr. Geithner is a mind reader.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  18. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Yes. If he can't keep things straight in his own house,I have little confidence in his ability to handle all of the US's money. Just not paying his taxes should be enough to get him disqualified.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  19. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It surely will bring confirmation of his nomination into question, however, Jack, we all know that these errors were not intentional; they were honest mistakes......just as I love you, and the check is in the mail. It probably will not cost him the confirmation, but it should.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  20. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Yes timothy Geithner made a choice to avoid payroll taxes,he paid up when caught;either defense stupidy or dishonesty does not wash for someone who would be incharge of the treasury;

    January 14, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  21. John

    Jack: No!! Why are you wasting our time. It is much to do about nothing. He paid his back taxes and he did not know the work permit had expired for the domestic employee. Geo over it, Jack.


    January 14, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  22. Scott, Wichita

    If he can't manage his own expenses, how can he be trusted to handle the country's, Jack?

    January 14, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  23. Derek

    There is no reason that such an indiscretion, which directly reflects upon Geithner’s potentially appointed position, does not deserve equal penance as Pete Rose’s indiscretion with gambling in baseball.
    Vancouver, WA

    January 14, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  24. Kendall Pittsburgh

    I believe Geithner is the best mind for the job. With the economy as it is Americans are not very forgiving, especially with the handling of their tax dollars, will they forgive a man who didn't play by the rules and trust him to do right by the country , will they trust him enough to make the needed sacrafices to get our economy moving....NO! Graciously step down, Timothy.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  25. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    We are not perfect either; so is Geithner. If we expect a perfect person, we should invite Almighty to help us. Common, let us give Geithner the benefit of small technical issue.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  26. Conor in Chicago

    From a report I heard last night it seemed like a legitamate case of making an error on his taxes. He has already paid most of the back due taxes off and is still making regular payments. Take that for what it is worth.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  27. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    The housekeeper, probably not. The tax problems, definitely. The IRS is a department of the Treasury, for crying out loud. Why not just make Bernard Madoff the Secretary of Commerce? Maybe we can convice Hugo Chavez to be Secretary of Energy? Bring Osama Bin Laden in for Secretary of Defense.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  28. Don, Newton NC

    He may be the best and the brightest, but it sounds like he is also the best at skirting the tax laws. If the Obama team didn't find the problem and tell him to pay up, I bet ya that the taxes STILL would not be paid. Jack, it's time for a change. Washington has to learn that when you do things that are above the law, those things will catch up with you. Creditability, Accountability, Honesty. Let's start there and then work our way up.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  29. Carol c.

    Hope we are not going to shoot ourselves in the foot by punishing the one man who understands TARP and can get this economy going. Did he make a mistake, yes, but he has paid the money and that was a mistake anyone could make.

    So get off your high horses and start thinking AMERICA FIRST!

    Knoxville, TN

    January 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  30. John in Rohnert Park

    Actually, I guy who figured out how to "NOT" pay his taxes is precisely the kind of guy I'd like to have for that job!

    January 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  31. BD, Boise, ID

    We are bordering on a global depression that is beyond comprehension and people are concerned about Geithner's housekeeper. Let's get our priorities straight here.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  32. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Dear Jack,

    Is there anyone anywhere who has not run afoul of bureaucracy, whether through bureaucracy's fault or our own? Congressman Barney Frank likes him. If he is okay with Barney, he's okay with me.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  33. Sherrol in Canada

    Yes. His personal situation, in my opinion, shows his true character.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  34. Jerry, Silver Spring, MD

    Oh, no. He is a perfect guy for this administration. Is he also from Illinois?

    January 14, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  35. Rick Gunter

    If this poor guy Geithner has these kind of issues, just imagine what the rest of us who never will be nominated for anything except an IRS lien must face. Get real. None us are perfect, but we Ameicans live in a fantasy world believing that those who lead us or would lead us are perfect. They are. And we are not.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  36. Gerry In Toronto

    Whoever is holding up Tim Geithner's approval is playing with the potential collapse of our financial system as we know it. This is no longer any time for petty party politics.

    He's the best for the job-approve him and let's get on with solving the problems.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  37. Joe in DE

    Yes. No need to lower the bar.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:57 pm |

    If I say yes and he gets confirmed anyway, should I worry about being audited by the IRS?

    January 14, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  39. mitchell, arkansas

    you would think a potential treasury secretary would be able to do his taxes without errors. if it's that difficult, then we should get rid of the IRS.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  40. Todd E. Mashlan, a/BSG

    Absolutely not!

    And I hope that the media will refrain from engaging in a feeding frenzy over the issue, too.

    I can appreciate that the Obama Transition Team has provided precious little fodder for the media to thrash over. But, turning this little
    tidbit into a banquet feast serves no one's interest. In fact, it would be a tragic dis-service if this resulted in Geithner's withdrawal from nomination!

    We have someone who is likely the most qualified nominee to head Treasury in decades, at a time when we DESPERATELY need someone of his caliber, knowledge and experience the most!

    When his tax error was pointed out to him during an IRS audit, he corrected it immediately. When it was discovered during the vetting process that *the IRS itself failed to find an additional error* he again corrected it immediately.

    The Senate Committee was told about this matter WEEKS ago. Now that the media is aware of it and reporting it (with their typical OMG sensationalism), NOW the Repubs want to throw around some political weight ?!?

    C'mon! Give us a break!

    January 14, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  41. Mark in OKC

    Why should it? Problems with "the help" didn't keep Bill Clinton from being President.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  42. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    My understanding is that Mr. Geithner did eventually pay his taxes.

    His housekeeper's immigrant status, how is someone going to know about this?

    Its amusing to see Congress and pundits being upset about all of this, when there have been plenty of felons in Congress and we presently, have a criminal in the White House...... George W. Bush, who trashed our Constitution and ignored the Geneva Convention laws on prisoner treatment and torture and has lied to we, the People!


    January 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  43. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Perhaps this discussion should be left for a time when our nation isn't completely sinking.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  44. Iris in Saugatuck, MI

    Heck no Jack. Give Tax-Free Tim the job. Geithner's tax delinquency is the kind of change I can believe in. Hopefully, the next time I "forget" to pay my taxes, we'll have a kinder and gentler IRS that will forgive and forget my tax liability.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  45. Julie Brannam

    I am a retired teacher who made $6000 as a self-employed reading tutor the last four months of 2008. Yesterday I went online to the SSA and IRS sites and determined how much I owed, then I sent in a check for $918 to IRS before the 1/15/09 deadline. Gross income times 15.3% is required according to the IRS site. How hard is that? I erred on the side of sending a little too much rather than waiting to file my 2008 tax and using the two self-employment deductions we are provided. I will get some of it back later, but I met the deadline. Maybe it is just my 40 year educational background, but aren't we all supposed to "follow the rules?"

    It worries me that the future Secretary of the Treasury can't seem to do the same. All of President Elect Obama's appointments appear to be "right-on" until this one. I hope President Obama pulls the plug on this guy TODAY! The new president can't afford to let this one slide in my opinion. All Americans I hope are praying for his success!
    Julie in Jacksonville, FL

    January 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  46. Venia PA

    No. Bush and Cheyney have done far far worse and they were running this country.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  47. Charles, Lansing, MI

    Here we go again with a Harvard MBA who thinks he is above the law ala the President and Secretary of the Treasury. we need a law barring that ilk from any government office.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  48. Katiec Pekin, IL

    From what I have read this is a common occurance concerning the IMF.In reading articles several prominent republicans are supporting
    Geithner. It is more complicated and involved than the headlines
    indicate. And his housekeeper is about to receive her green card.
    All it takes is one headline grabber to cause sensationalization.
    In this case, think the uproar is unfounded.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  49. Domenic from Montreal, Canada

    This was an honest mistake and he shouldn't face any obstacles.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  50. Nick B, Watertown SD

    YES! If he can't be honest with his own money than why do we want him in charge of ours!

    January 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  51. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, I think the bigger question should be “Is Timothy Geithner qualified for the job as Treasury Secretary?” He made good on the taxes and the nanny thing was trivial. I think Senator Kyl from Arizona is looking to be contrary for contrary sake and not for any national interest. I would warn the GOP not to play politics too much with Cabinet positions, because if they do then they put themselves into further alienating the American voter.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  52. Meg Ulmes

    I guess anyone can make a mistake–but can't these guys afford good accountants or are they relying on TurboTax? It seems like it's always the same stuff–paying maids and so forth. I'm not rich enough for a maid so I wouldn't have those mistakes to make. Another area but Treasury, I don't think it would matter to me–but putting a guy in charge of the Treasury who can't get his taxes right? It doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  53. Chris

    Is Timothy Geithner above the law? You are finding Blago guilty without a trial and hear is the guy that has been found trying in avoid
    paying taxes on his income and keeping illegal immigrant in his employ. What is the criterion to get to in Obama's administration.
    Is his last name that important.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  54. Terry from North Carolina

    If this guy cant report his earnings properly how in the world can he manage the department of the treasury ? Being a high profile person do we want to trust someone who hires a person with questionable immigration documents ? Too many issues with this guy I would pass, I dont care how good he is supposed to be.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  55. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    There is enough skullduggery going on in our financial markets already without putting this man of questionable integrity on point. Obama's transition team really screwed this one up and they need one big public dressing down for it.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  56. cy gardner

    Rich people still pay taxes? This happened during the Bush administration? Are you sure he was supposed to pay taxes? He should've worked for Halliburton, he wouldn't have this problem. cy gardner arlington, va

    January 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  57. Maggie R.

    Whether mistakes were due to dishonesty or incompetence, they must clearly rule out the candidate for consideration.

    Maggie R.
    Greenwich, CT

    January 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  58. Drew

    Well speaking of President George W.Bush and Vice President Dick Chaney I was taught if you have nothing good to say' say nothing.That being said blankety blank blank 9/11blank blank war in Irak blank blank Economy and numerous others.Thanks guys.Looking forward to 1/20/09

    January 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  59. Lynne in North Augusta, South Carolina

    We let the VP admit to authorizing torture and did nothing. We let Alberto Gonzales lie to Congress and did nothing about it. Why should we now pummel Geithner? Oh, wait... we're talking about the Democrats now.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  60. shobana sridhar , florida

    The two problems should not cause Geithner the treasury job because it is a small thing. Where were the Senators when they were told in December about these problems? What is the necessity of bringing it up now when the cabinet posts were about to be filled to help President-elect obama when he took office.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  61. BigD 40-Below Minnesota

    Geitner maybe be Good as Secretary + maybe being a "Little Crooked" could be a Desirable "Attribute" to be Secretary of the Treasury, I Can't see How, "Cowa-Bunga!"

    Another Name that might Fit Geitner that is Fitting would be; Instead of "Secretary of the Treasury", make it "Treasurer of the Usury" of the 1st Part!

    January 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  62. Dean in Macungie,PA


    Since he repaid the taxes due plus interest no crime has been commited, this issue should be overlooked just as it would be for you and me.
    As for the undocumented worker, again I believe no crime has been commited. These were definately bad decisions on his part, but if all Americans would be not offered jobs because of bad decisions they made in their life time, imagine what the unemployment rate would be at today.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  63. KarenB, Florida


    January 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  64. ronald lawson

    I do not see why it should.Most everyone would like to forget there taxes.I sure know That I would.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  65. Vinnie Vino


    That all depends on two key factors, the first one is his competency to proform the job of Secretary of Treasury. The second fact is the explaination he provides us with for his failure to pay some back taxes, also if he is planning on paying them off with fines and interest, and his reason for the past housekeeper problem. If both of these facts are positive results for him then it should not prevent him from being confirmed to the position by the Senate...

    C.I., New York

    January 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  66. garrick

    hi jack
    we all make mistakes and all politicans are guilty of that,look at the last 8yrs,so 40 thousand is not like 1.2 trillion mistakes,so he will be ok.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  67. B C

    It seems as though you cannot commit any crime if you are a Democrat and it makes little or no difference. Not paying taxes is a crime, granted, he did pay penalities. But shouldn't he have known about taxes or ASKED to be sure.....any he is directing Treasury. Or well, he must be a Goldman "multi" so if he knows how to make money-legally or not-we need his help, eh?
    And Mr. Cafferty. Your comment about not reading all your email....rather disappointing as to an excuse about any positive things about Bush. You would never print or speak them even if you read it. Pretty one-sided, eh?

    January 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  68. connie from Indiana

    Jack, Since he will be over the IRS, is that like the fox guarding the hen house. I guess if he does not make it for treasury they can put in charge of immigration.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  69. Debra

    Geithner's taxes are current and his housekeeper is married to a United States citizen...what is the big deal?

    Some members of congress will grasp at any straw to discredit Barrack Obama and his choices for cabinet membership. In the current economy, the lack of jobs in my own household, any member of Congress who tries to delay any progress on the American peoples behalf might just find themselves looking for a job!...Unemployed people won't have anything better to do with their time, so we might as well campaign against those self centered jerks who could care less about the average poor working stiff.
    The Obama record of organizing the average citizens didn't die when he was elected. We are just getting started!

    Happy Trails..
    Debra in Fort Worth,TX

    January 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  70. Karl-Heinz

    Not at all, if you do this ,then 90% of all in Congress and Senat her in the US and don,t forget 99% of the Millioner her in the US don't get the Job.
    he pay'd and this is important

    January 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  71. Tina Texas

    I don't care. They are all crooks and if not now soon will be. We as the lower class of working people have to be under a greater scrunity in applying for a job. Not really fair is it? We have to have all the back ground checks, the mental tests, the drug tests & etc and then are still told sorry you can't get the job.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  72. erico mb33139

    No way !! Sometimes consulting work never gets a 1099 for filing purposes. Later on, some bean counter sends a 1099 and guess what !! 1040 filings have to be amended and (possible) penalties have to be paid to IRS. In regards to the housekeeper, there's many out there with fake documentation. Geithner's audit and payment of penalties are indicative of someone who is responsible and should not have to be "microscopied" as a white collar criminal.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  73. Darwin

    Why should it? The fact that nobody seems to be able to come up with Obama's birth certificate hasn't stopped him so far, has it?

    Wasilla (ya, WASILLA), Alaska

    January 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  74. Rosie

    This man can not keep his own house in order, how is he going to keep the government's house in order. FIND someone else.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  75. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    I don't get a vote but if I did, I would stand up on the Senate floor and say that I will not vote for a person who is dishonest about his taxes and tries to just pay half when he is found out. We've had a person in charge of our money that has been the biggest shister in our history, we don't need another one.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  76. HD Taylor - Arizona

    Sure...what the heck. Bearing this revelation, he should easily fit in with the elites in Washington.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    January 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  77. Marjorie Lominy

    No Jack. From what I coluld gather he is the most qualified for the job....And we are in trouble. He fessed tup to his mistake and fix it, which is more that I can can for almost everyonn in the Bush administration....Also maybe Congres will get a clue and simplified our stupid tax code....
    Much a do about nithing.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  78. Tony from Torrington

    Why should his being crooked stop him? It dooesn't stop any of the others from "serving." Politicians, especially people like Barney Franks, serve their own interests, not those of the American people. Why shouldn't Timothy Geithner get some of the spoils.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  79. Richard Sternagel

    Isn't there Anybody who has integrity in the USA any more? Secretary of Treasury is a Responsible and Accountable position and should be held by some one who is responsible and who is accountable!

    January 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  80. jane hersch

    In the resent hierachy of crooks, this is chicken feed. What's few thou here or there! Bring him on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm |

    No, if you looked at all of Congress, I'm sure a big percentage have the same thing or worse. Bush probably has a lot of latinos working at his ranch, probably in hiding though. If they are going to check one out, then check them all out.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  82. Joe in MO

    No. Just yesterday we had an area plant which makes auto seats for American auto companies announce 49 layoffs. I remember how the Republican senators from Toyota and Honda tried to trash the auto bailout. The GOP will do whatever it can to slow down any help for ordinary people. Holding up this process is a part of that. Approve the man and start helping the people.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  83. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    No, these issue should not prevent his appointment. Geithner corrected the tax problem himself. He should be admonished for the housekeeper matter. But, far more important matters are at play, with his appointment, than these minor stumbling blocks.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  84. ronald lawson

    I do not see why it should.Most everyone would like to forget there taxes.I sure know t hat I would.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  85. David in San Diego

    No, there are far more serious problems facing the country than those. If he has the skill set to do a good job at Treasury, we sure need him.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  86. Pablo en Tejas

    Nope. We have other fish to fry. Long as he fesses up and pays up it's jake by me.
    Besides, this guy seems to be the only one who understands TARP and can explain it in plain English.
    Makes you appreciate just how tangled the tax code is that even he gets it wrong sometimes.

    Arlington Texas

    January 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  87. Carolyn in Houston

    Hello Jack,

    If misleading us into an unnecessary war in Iraq, decimating the economy, and politicizing every sector of our government did not cost George W. Bush his job, I certainly don't see why back taxes and a housekeeper's legal status should cost Geithner his.

    Maybe if G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their White House staff, including Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, John Yoo and David Addington had been sufficiently vetted and held accountable for their acts, we would not be the mess we are in today.

    We need all of the brain power we can get to right all of the horrible wrongs.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  88. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    When will they learn? People with Federal aspirations should have learned from the last six nanny-gate's, that you have to take care of the tax details. Regarding the rest of it, I suppose you can be the smartest money & banking guy in the room and still not have a clue about the American tax code, it is truly daunting, but we expect someone of this caliber to know what they don't know, and use paid experts to handle those details like filing your taxes. the rub is, would he guess about billion dollar impacts instead of calling in an expert when it is more complicated an issue than he is willing to admit.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  89. Sid...Texas

    Yes....If he can't manage his personal affairs, how can he be trusted to manage a nation's ?

    January 14, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  90. Tom in Dubuque

    Jack; how does a guy who's career is built on understanding economics, the banking system and finance miss this? He's not the village idiot ;It's not like this has never happened to a public figure before. Maybe he should'nt get the job; problem is he may be the best person out there to fill the job.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  91. Randy-Alaska

    No. President Bush and Sarah Palin have set the standard for public service so low to the ground, you'd have to dig a tunnel to pass under the bar.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  92. pete in ny

    I think it should be a knockout even though he is probably a pretty sound pick otherwise.

    It is getting a little much when every time we turn around the "best and brightest" who write and administer our tax laws cannot comply with the law themselves-a la Charlie Rangel. Every time one of these guys gets caught it is an "honest" mistake and we're supposed to forgive and forget. In most cases though it is not a one time goof but an extended period of failing to comply with the law. if by some chance it wasn't tax evasion then vetoing this guy's appointment will send a message that powerful people are supposed to act as smart as the rest of us!

    January 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  93. Frank from Peterborough

    From what I can tell you would be hard pressed to find anyone in America who has been involved with your financial system that is squeaky clean so you might as well go with Geithner as he at least seems to have the proper credentials.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  94. frankie

    No. All this proves is that our income tax system is an unworkable disaster, if anyone wasn't already aware of that.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  95. Harold


    January 14, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  96. dan in Tucson

    Timothy Geithner is a serious mistake to put in that kind of power. Americans are being duped by letting the Federal Reserve have that much control. They are a private institution, not part of the goverment, whose ultimate goal is to control the worlds money supply. People, wake up and read your history and see why the Fed is so dangerous.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  97. Cathy Gutkowski

    Obviously Geither never intended to collect Social Security or Medicare therefore he was not paying into them. This believe me is just the tip of the ice berg. How many more with his resources are doing exactly the same? trust me.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  98. David in Raleigh, NC

    If Geithner is above the laws, why should we be considering allowing him to run the Treasury and enforce it's tax laws.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  99. Randy from Salt Lake City

    No, but his tenure at the Federal Reserve of NY should be a huge deterrent to his Treasurey Sec. appointment. The reason we're in this mess is due to insiders running the show (can you say Paulson?). We don't need another conflct of interest situation.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  100. erinmontague

    I think that if he is THE VERY BEST candidate for the job that Obama can find that the irregularities are not significant enough to disqualify him. But my question is – is there someone out there that could do the job even better? This administration has got to be top notch this time around.

    Healdsburg, CA

    January 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  101. Denis Duffy

    Why isn't this guy in jail? How did he get away without paying any tax penalty? It sure pays to have powerful friends in high places!
    Looks like the "President of Change" is no change at all.
    Just what we need, another crook handling the American people's money.

    Pittsburgh, Pa

    January 14, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  102. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If the economy and war didn't cost President George W. Bush his job then Geithner's confirmation should be smooth sailing. Our so called "value" system is almost too low to go cherry picking anyone.

    January 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  103. Tim, NJ

    I am a staunch Democrat, but I can see why some people might have some reservations about Mr. Geitner. After all, how the heck is the American public supposed to believe that a man who claims to have the smarts to oversee the largest treasury in the world didn't know how to properly file his taxes or how to check the background of the person who cleans the house where he, his wife, and children reside? He may be a very savvy economist/banker, however he definitely lacks some common sense.

    If he's got these "minor oversights" in his life outside of the treasury, what else will he miss in the midst of this economic mess?

    January 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  104. Randy-Alaska

    No. President Bush has placed the bar for public service so low to the ground, you'd have to dig a tunnel to pass under.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  105. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA


    January 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  106. Alfred S. Thornton

    Well, I guess we have been up to our necks in poop for so long that we have forgotten what an example of honesty is. He paid his bill plus fees. If government did that to me, well I would begin to think that they were honest.
    Besides, we let a man who could not find his way home build the Atom Bomb for us.
    As far as this housekeeper stuff, I don't remember ever hearing about a person with a very high profile job interviewing the house help. Only the very good ones even knows if they are married, have children,or are having life problems even.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  107. Mickie

    NO! With all of the criminal and sleezy acts of the republicans while Bush has had his way, this is nothing. At least he corrected the problems. Bush is still a traitor for allowing the border guards to be jailed over a drug smuggler.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  108. Anj in CA

    Geithner's past problems appear minor and should NOT cost him the treasury job. The nanny had her papers in order when hired, and the characterization of an employee by his employer as self-employed and therefore obligated for double payroll taxes (like independent consultants and law and accounting firm partners) seems odd to me. If the IRS didn't see fit to charge a penalty, why should Congress?

    January 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  109. Alfred S. Thornton

    Sorry, I am in Cazadero, CA. 95421

    January 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  110. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    Washington is full of liars and cheats. I see no need to add another one.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  111. Pete from Denver, CO

    I would rather have someone in office who has had some real experience with our tax laws and is as smart and accomplished as Timothy Geithner than get someone squeaky-clean who cannot perform as well.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  112. Cecil Jones

    Is he the only one qualified to do it?

    January 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  113. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, it depends. If he had an accountant look after his personal tax details then maybe he wasn't aware of what was going on. If, however, he had knowledge of his tax commitments, then he should be replaced. If he can't look after small details, then the nation is justified in not having confidence and trust in him to assume the responsibility of Secretary of Treasury because this oversight borders on negligence to comply with tax laws.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  114. May-Tennessee

    Hi Jack! If the tax issue was caught back in...what was it 2001? And if it was corrected, resolved, paid back, etc., then it should have no effect on Geithner's appointment. It's 2009 now and if he's the best guy for the job then we need to leave it alone already. Oh, and before anyone says anything about ethics, just remember nobody seemed to be too worried about ethics when we put Bush/Cheyney in office...and look where that got us.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  115. Jenna Wade

    Should Timothy Geithner’s tax and housekeeper problems cost him the post of Secretary of Treasury?

    Did "Joe the Plumber" tax problems cost him the post of war correspondent in Israel or as the mouth piece for the GOP?


    The current tax structure that we have in place has been screwed for years so it is not unusual that even the likes of Geithner can't figure it out.

    Time for a FLAT TAX.

    Roseville CA

    January 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  116. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    This situation will just turn out to be one of the smaller lumps under the rug in the Oval Office when Obama moves in. Be assured that bigger lumps will follow.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  117. MIKE chicago

    Hi Jack
    Tim is a DEM he cant get a pass, John McCain got a pass when he didnt pay his taxes. Joe the repoter did too. Ok for republicans wrong if its DEM. That has been the issue all along. The sad part of it is Tim is the only guy that knows where and how this mess can be cleaned out.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  118. Sam Fairview, Texas

    I think it should disqualify him. If the man can not pay his Taxes and does not know the difference between an illegal alien and a legal alien then he certainly does not have any business looking out for all our tax dollars. This guy will have the keys to the printing presses for all our money. That is like leaving the weasel in charge of the hen house. In other words not a good idea at all.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  119. chester from toledo ohio

    hey jack yes it should you know if it was me or you it will cost me my job, so he shouldn't get any exceptions, are future president should step up because it has been one thing after another

    January 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  120. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    does any of this stuff matter anymore? do we really want to sit here and just beat all these dead horses

    January 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  121. Jan from Delaware

    NO. The man corrected any mistakes. It is time this country stop this "Gotcha" attitude, trying to ruin people's lives and reputations.
    It wastes the energy and takes the focus off of the important stuff. I thought we wanted change but it just looks like the same old crap. I am sick of it.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  122. Ron K

    NO NO NO!!!!!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  123. JW in Atlanta

    Let's recap the whole law vs. socio-economic privilege thing: Nixon was pardoned for crimes against his country. Madoff stole billions and lives in a multi million dollar penthouse. Bush is a torture mongering war criminal and will spend his days in a multimillion dollar house in Dallas. And this guy shorted a contorted tax system and we want to fire him from a job he doesn't have yet?

    Sounds pretty much like the normal state of American justice to me.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  124. Gigi

    What other choice do we have? I don't know any government person who hasn't over step the law. So what choice do we have. We have worse crimes than that advising our country NOW. And I'm sure Jack could name more than a few.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  125. Richard - Knoxville TN

    Naw - At least he has a pretty good idea of what he is doing and what should be done - If the politico's boot him, we (the American people) will wind up with some know-nothing, do-nothing political hack trying to look after the TARP money – and getting his 10% of the "take" as the corporate CEO's & CFO's continue to funnel taxpayer $'s into off-shore accounts ---------

    January 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  126. Laura from Willis

    Timothy Geithner has taken care of his error. I don't see that any mistake should follow someone to the grave. We all make them, even Republicans!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  127. Krishna Koliwad

    NO. PERIOD. The country needs his knowledge of the economi and financial problem and his unparalled ability to solve them.

    LCF, CA

    January 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  128. Sly, Alpena, Mi.

    No Jack, Any person can make a mistake. Look at our so called public Servants In Congress, They take "Kick Backs", you know what i mean- "Pay To Play" in which i think should be Illegal. What rights do Congress have to judge a person if they make a mistake on their income tax.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  129. Patricia

    Ok... These same yahoos who wrote the tax can't read it themselves, the question is, did he pay the taxes with interest like the rest of the citizens of this nation have to? If he did, then I'm done with this. Let's get onto the next thing please.
    Palmdale, Ca.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  130. J Buck

    Mr. Geitner is guilty of attempting not to pay taxes – I understand the tax laws re Social Securtiy, Schedule C, etc., and so does Geitner.
    He paid 2003, 2004 hoping that the statues of limitations would take affect, which are six years, on 2001 and 2002...Mr. Geitner is not honest.. Subsequent to being audited he still did not pay 2001 and 2002 – thus don't insult my intelligence.
    Stating because of the Economy we "need Geitner"... it is indeed because of the economy we DON'T NEED ANYMORE PEOPLE LIKE GEITNER. We are falling apart in the USA when it comes to ethics and honesty.
    J Buck
    Minneapolis Mn

    January 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  131. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Hey, If he can't figure out how to run Turbo Tax how is he supposed to fix rthe economy?

    January 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  132. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    These were not honest mistakes. For someone who wants to be treasury secretary,these are things that he should know about better than anyone else. What else about Geithner is going to come out? He needs to withdraw his nomination.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  133. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: No, these issues should not cloud his candidacy for the Treasury position. In reviewing the background, it looks like his under-withholding was an honest mistake; his housekeeper in fact got her green card. We really need to fly above the noise if we expect this country to heal.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  134. Sue -Idaho

    Torture and Lying to the American people haven't cost George or Dick anything so I guess some Tax issues and housekeeper issues shouldn't cost this guy!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  135. Sue

    Absolutely this guy shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the treasury job. This was not a common mistake, he just got caught so what else is he going to say! I don't want him being responsible for anything in our government it is apparent he tried to get by with something and he should not be confirmed in spite of it. What kind of message is that sending out to the rest of the country. Obama's plan is to make changes and putting this guy in makes it look like the crap that has been happening here in America should continue and that we condone it. That's not change that's the same stuff that got us where we are! I bet there's more skeleton's in Geithner's closet. Wake up team and DO NOT confirm him.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  136. Jan Illinois

    It depends on the timing Jack, When did the taxes get paid? Yesterday? When did the maid get married. Yesterday? Did she marry a legal resident of the USA? Yes, timing is what it's all about....

    January 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  137. chester from toledo ohio

    jack yes absolutely yes he should lose he's job he should pay he's taxes like everyone else, but jack come on it has been one thing after another illinois gov blago senator seat there has been so much mess has been laid on President Obama he should step up and fire this guy, he is not in office yet and there has been so much mess created, this is are president and I dont think he wanna be remembered for having someone that dont like paying taxes on he's team. There is no excuse, I'm a Obama supporter and thats all you hear is mess after mess.President Obama do whats best!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  138. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    With the cockeyed way our government does business, I'm surprized that Madoff hasn't been appointed to the position.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  139. Jack Carlson

    Mr Geitner did not make a mistake – he was attempting not to pay taxes – come onenow. To the Chicago Machine that is nothing however to cheat, fabricate or pay for play and that is why Richardson and Geitner were not addressed as all of them involved in the vetting process as well are from the same cup of tea folks.
    Geitner was the Architect of the 350 Billion as well – Paulson should not of listened to him as he's not the bright person that people claim.
    Jack Carlson
    Seattle WA

    January 14, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  140. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    Lewis Black is right Jack. Those people in Washington really do think their crap doesn't stink. So what if he made "honest" mistakes? He took care of them right? He paid the fines etc so move on. If anything it added to his experience and that's a good thing. This god complex that some of them have is just plain disgusting at times.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  141. David Bakody Dartmouth NS

    With the economy going deep south, millions out of work and multi millionaire CEO's still living the good life after cooking the books ...... I would say this is small potatoes and not even newsworthy. Now we all know just how much trouble the world really is in. Diversion extraordinaire Washington Style.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  142. Janice

    No. Geithner disclosed everything in advance, he paid his back taxes (even those the IRS told him he didn't have to pay), and apparently the housekeeper had papers and then they expired and presumably were either finally renewed or the person was let go.

    If this guy understands how to deal with the financial crisis – then get him in the job. We can forgive his little sins if he can make up for what that idiot Paulson did with BILLIONS of our money.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  143. Dan, Chantilly VA

    I couldn't care less about the housekeeper thing, but the failure to pay taxes, that's a bit of an issue. An "honest mistake" is something that Joe Schmo everyday American does on their taxes. A guy like Geithner who is supposed to be a financial guru doesn't make "honest mistakes" on tax forms. He was either trying to avoid payments using some sort of loophole that closed on him or he's just plain incompetent. I'm leaning towards the latter, but then again, I'm a cynic (or is that realist?).

    January 14, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  144. Annie, Atlanta

    No, not if he has what it takes to clean up this mess. Besides with Bush and Palin almost gone, the night time comedians and SNL are looking for new material.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  145. Jane Johannsan

    Geitner was trying his very best not to pay taxes. He knew there was a possibility because of the six year Statue he might get away w/2001 and 2002.
    He's another crook perpetrated by Obama and pals.
    Jane J
    Milwaukee WI

    January 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  146. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Yes, a person at that level and intellegence should have know this and paid the taxes. He should keep track of these things in his personal life as well as professional. His inability to do so indicates to me he does not multi-task very well.


    January 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  147. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    No. Duh! Bush made his mistakes, Timmy made his. Forgive and forget. No problemo.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  148. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    No. Tim Geithner has already addressed these honest mistakes to the satisfaction of his boss, the President-elect. Members of the senate have said the mistakes do not rise to the level of disqualification. Geithner has the know-how to do the job and appears to have the moral compass to admit mistakes. He should be confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  149. Axil in Iowa

    Let 'im in. Then we can all stop paying our taxes. If we get caught, we can just say "so sorry, honest mistake" and everything will be fine.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  150. Kooksf from SF

    The "blowhards" will blow hard and make their speeches but he should and will pass. Most everyone has been called up by the IRS at some point and, as an independent contractor myself, they make it as confusing as possible for us. Also, per another news item, he is the only one in DC that even comes close to understanding the TARP mess. The Senators will get over themselves and go back to sleep soon. Bless their hearts.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  151. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    For a busy man these are minor technicalities that should have been handled by his accountant. Only a complete idiot would be complaining about such minor items. Of course they may be a Republican or two out there mean enough to try. We need this man on board to start working on the finances. He seems to be the best out there and this little matter should not be definitive.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  152. D. Texas

    NO I don't think he should be in their

    January 14, 2009 at 3:29 pm |

    My Buddy Jack Cafferty. Geithner shouldn't be confirmed as Secretary of Treasury. It does go to show that president elect Barack Hussein Obama is attracted to convicts like Geithner along with his close personal friends William Ayers terrorist, Jeremiah Wright hate preacher Tony Rezco convicted felon and slumlord and Louis Ferricon Muslim hate preacher just to name a few. Henry Paulson looks like a genius compared to Geithner. I am sure since he is a Democrat corruption doesn't apply to them..

    January 14, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  154. Chryssa

    No, Tim addressed and resolved these issues in a timely manner, before they got out of hand or negatively affected anyone else. And if I'm not mistaken, that's what we'll need in a treasurer.

    Boise, ID

    January 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  155. gerald shields queens, ny

    If the IRS told me that i owed them additional monies, i think i would get the message on the 1st notification. On the fourth notification i think the irs would be thinking of jail time for me. This is not an honest mistake by a longshot. It's only honest when a politician is involved. Is charlie Rangel or was spiro agnew his advisor? Either way Obama can find a real honest person to head treasury, look a little harder!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  156. Pugas-AZ

    Let's confirm his appointment-he's sure to pay his taxes then.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  157. Kathy in Michigan

    Well, Jack the pardons of the FALN doesn't seem to be keeping HRC from her position, why should this stop him???

    January 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  158. bob Pa.

    Jack, So much for change.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  159. Sandi, Chicago

    I am a big Obama supporter, but Geithner is suppose to head up the Treasury Dept. and this was an 'honest mistake'. No, I think Geithner needs to explain more about the two issues at hand – and, I believe he is doing it, but I wanted the Obama administration to be 'squeaky clean'...

    January 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  160. Bill Y

    This guy should NOT be confirmed!!!! Excuses don't fly when someone who does the kind of work that this guy has been doing for his career. If he can't keep his own house in order, then how in the hell can he be trusted to take care of the oversupply of money coming from the taxpayers of this country. NO WAY DOES HE GET CONFIRMED!!!! WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!! CONGRESS had better listen to the American people. This is not going to sit well with all those who wanted 'change'!!!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  161. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    Absolutely not. If we are seeking perfection from someone who never overlooks anything no one will qualify for any office. This job calls for someone with a keen understanding of economics, not a perfect bookkeeper. The amount in question for someone with Geitner's stature, standing and wealth can't be anything but an oversight.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  162. Rick

    We need to stop somewhere with the "free passes". People should be held accountable and responsble for their own actions. If they make a mistake then live up to it and suffer the consequences. One bad apple CAN spoil the whole bunch. Let's go back to where having integrity meant something and also set a good example.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  163. D. Texas

    NO he should not be in their

    January 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  164. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Let ye who understands the tax code (include the IRS here) throw the first stone. If anyone is dumb enough to say they understand the tax code, I wanna meet this genius! People working for the IRS don't understand the tax code. He made a mistake on his taxes, for one year, that almost everyone makes in his circumstances. Move on. His housekeeper had her papers when he hired her and there ends his responsibility. Besides, she was married to an American or does that only count with an anchor baby?

    January 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  165. David Bebeau

    WAKE-UP American,this is business as usual.NO HE SHOULD NOT GET THE JOB.A guy with an acconting degree and told he owes and
    he made an honest mistake.?..................Wake UP of cousrse he knew
    he owed and payed ONLY when he had to.And he is overseeing the IRS ?? People you need to speak up.
    David Bebeau

    January 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  166. Kathy in Chicago

    Yes, it speaks volumes about his character. It's just more of the same old, same old Washington insiders are above the law. Obama was supposed to change the Washington environment, unfortunately he's become part of it. He hasn't even been sworn in and he is already part of the business as usual mentality. I am disappointed.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  167. Jim Naples, Florida


    This should absolutely not affect his confirmation.

    The man realized, amended and paid for past issues with his taxes; as far as the housekeeper is concerned, if we condemn him for this then ask everyone seated in the US Senate, House and anyone with the a government employment grade g8 and above to resign.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  168. Kellie, PA

    Yep. It should cost him his job considering he will be in charge of the IRS yet refuses to pay his own taxes. It'll tick me off to have the IRS tax the crap out of me while the head man in charge evades his! That's not right.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  169. Jay in Texas

    It is crazy, to me, that they are even considering a man for the Secretary of Treasury who cannot even manage his own personal tax business. This is just another example of a fat cat banker being given preferential treatment by the IRS. Geithner's appointment should not only be rejected by the Senate but an immediate investigation into possible criminal activity by him should be ordered.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  170. Nancy, Tennessee

    A mistake on taxes is understandable, but once notified of the error Mr. Geithner should have sought assistance in correcting it post haste. Paying for 2 of the 4 years of taxes due is not sufficient. Having someone owing back taxes for years does not send a good message to the American people. Income tax fraud put Al Capone behind bars when all other laws failed to get him. Jail will not be a good office for the new Secretary Treasurer to work from. He's a NO-GO.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  171. L.M.,Arizona

    Any other time I would say yes find someone else,but now we are in a desperate situation and we need the best minds on our economic problems and sometimes the best minds don't pay much attention to their personal life. We all remember the misstatement "she doesn't have a life". We can afford to destroy people in the news that have excellent qualifications.


    January 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  172. Gary

    For most it would be called tax evasion, but when a politician seek high office its a mistake, hmmm same as the baby sitter I suppose.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  173. Sandy from Knoxville

    From what I understand, he has unique experiences that make him valuable for the success of the Obama team. These are extraordinary times and we need all the help we can muster. Answer-Yes.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  174. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    YES! All the top Democrats say his tax problems where "an honest mistake"! Not paying back taxes from 2001 through 2004, an "honest mistake'! It really baffles me that when their (Democrats) picks for different jobs forget to pay their taxes, and have an undocumented housekeeper, they all say, he did not mean it and it was an honest mistake! If that were a Republican looking for the Treasury job, Schumer,Reid, Kennedy, Baucus,Kerry,Boxer, and all the rest of the liberals in the Senate would say he should withdraw his name from consideration immediately! What a bunch of hypocrites with Reid leading the pack! When Richardson withdrew his name for the Commerce job, how come the Democratic cavalry did not stick up for him? If this Treasury candidate had any scruples he would voluntarily remove his name from consideration now!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  175. Don (Ottawa)

    No! Everybody makes mistakes. It's only if it was deliberate or he tried to cover it up that he would deserve scruitiny.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  176. dan krause

    If we start applying those Puritanical standards to potential public servants, we are going to end up with another Bush Administration.Those frightenly inept Bush people were hall guards in high school, they never experimented with marijuana, and they lived by the mantra, "lips that touch wine will never touch mine." They were never in any kind of trouble, and as a result of their sheltered lives, they didn't know what the hell they were doing. We are going to be paying the price for their incompetence for many years.
    Mr. Geithner's tax experience may even prompt him to pursue a long overdue change in our incredibly complex tax codes. If someone like him can't follow the filing requirements, it puts the rest of us in a more positive light.
    And if the new Secretary plans to hire people to help design a new tax code, I suggest he look for people who, besides having a background in accounting, once smoked marijuana. It would be even better if they inhaled.

    land-o-lakes, Wi

    January 14, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  177. Bob Broadwater

    Jack I There is no was in Hell this guy did not know he owed the tax.. If he was trying to get away with that kind of crap then how should Americans trust him to honor any laws we expect them to uphold????? Politics is nothing any more than the rich trying to get richer.. Just how much is enough for these creeps.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  178. Shane Conley, Newport News, VA

    Honestly? Does the Obama administration need yet another distraction? I feel as if some people at this point just want any excuse to give the Obama team a hassle about their appointments. Any mistakes Geithner made have been fixed, and anyone who can find the time to look at his credentials rather than a mistake or two in paperwork will see that he is a fine candidate for the job. As my friend Brent would say, "Hop off".

    January 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  179. Bobby

    It pains me to think that the one guy who Pres Elect Obama wants, his crack transition team has supposedly vetted is so knowledgebly entrenched in the financial problems effecting Wall St and is not even out of the batters box yet and he has two strikes.
    Just how pure is anyone supposed be in any industry. Most every politician is now a highly over paid lobbyist. Do we moan in disdain? Nah....we are so used to getting screwed we carry them in our pocets. If Geitner isn't good enough with his few paltry faults then maybe they should nominate Bernie Madoff. I hear he's looking for a job

    January 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  180. Joel New Brighton MN

    I want congress to give the President elect everything and everybody he wants.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  181. Jerry from Jacksonville

    No, if Madoff can reside in a 7 million dollar house while awaiting trial then Geitner has done nothing wrong, at least he has paid his taxes plus interest.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  182. Laurence Cox

    He requested and received an allowance from IMF of around $34000. to pay his Social Security tax. He received quarterly and annual reports from IMf telling him exactly how much the gave him to pay the tax. He chose to keep the money and not pay the tax.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  183. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I'm less concerned about his tax and housekeeping mistakes than I am that he's a banker. Although, anybody, including you and me is better than Paulson and Bernanke. I like Krugman and Spiglitz if it was up to me to choose.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  184. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Republicans speaking about his past tax problems should look back at their own mishaps and insert foot. If this man can help ( which what I've read of him looks very good ) why not give him a chance? Republicans and democrats alike need to GET GOING NOW and do something posative instead of draging things down to the point of no return.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  185. Mageen from Virginny

    Cannot figure out all the sturm und drang! The Treasury designee has people! They do the taxes for him. I have some people. They do my taxes. They send me the forms and I sign them. If anything is amiss, they are contractually the ones on the line answering questions. Give this tax thing a rest!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  186. Brandy

    I don't think it will affect his job performance. We need people that can get a job done efficiently, not that are perfect angels!!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  187. Jane (Minnesota)

    I don't understand how he could claim he didn't know he was considered self employed and subject to Social Security taxes – there had to or should have been 1099's issued to him judging on the tax bill & penalties he paid. Even though P-E Obama finds his explanation acceptable, I really do not think it sends the country a good message to have him appointed to watch over the IRS. He's probably more than competent for the position but to me he's stained & should not be Treasury Secretary.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  188. Anna, Missouri

    Jack, if it is true that the business that he was working at sent him a W2 form instead of the needed 1099 form, then I think it would be an honest mistake that anyone can make. He is extremely intelegent and God knows that this country needs some intelligent people running things after the last 8 years. My question is why was he doing his own taxes in the first place? Doesn't he have people? Give him the job.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  189. just me!

    Stupid question. He should get out of the picture now and park his guilty behind in the slammer like ordinary citizens like you and me would be doing!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  190. Neatha from Kansas City

    No, in the world of politicians, this is nothing. Please we have a president that has lied to the american people, started a war on lies and has stolen the US treasury and we seem to be fine with this. What is 34,000 in taxes when you are willing to just let this man retire in his estate in Dallas.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  191. Lois Canada

    What bothers me most is how the Obama team is saying this is no big deal, if that was so, why did they tell him to pay up before announcing his nomination? Why would you hire someone who says they didn't know they owed after receiving notices.....and having had to pay for the other 2 of the 4 years involved?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  192. Jim Handy

    No. These sound like common mistakes that a lot of us could make and I'm sure in the jobs he's held he has more on his mind than most of us. For those who are making a big deal about not repaying all the taxes the first time, that could have been a problem getting the correct info from the IRS. I've had dealings with IRS where they told me I owed a certain amount, and after paying it, was notified that I sent in the wrong amount and needed to send more, and they swore up down that it was my fault, even though I had paperwork from them saying otherwise. The IRS does seem to have a problem keeping their info straight but they will never admit.

    Inglewood Ca.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  193. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    Who cares about his housekeeper and some little tax problem, who hasn't had one. If he missed something, let him pay it and let's move on, the nations financial stability is more important than these small issues and if this is the man who can help, let's get him in office!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  194. Cortez

    Tell Timothy to contact the McCain aides who cleared up Joe the Plumbers tax problems. Oh America the Beautiful

    January 14, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  195. Herb Weeks


    Why should honest tax payers trust or be forced to have their returns checked by someone who "forgets" (conveniently) thousands of dollars he owed? That he paid the taxes or amounts owed when they were discovered after his appointment is immaterial! Get an honest person in that office whom we can trust!

    Grant, Alabama

    January 14, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  196. Ray in Nashville

    As I understand this, the housekeeper had a permit to work here and he was paying everything he was supposed to on her, but her permit ran out without him knowing. I also understand thay he was the one who realized he had not payed those taxes and turned himself in.

    These issues seem to be honest mistake and will only be an issue if someone, like Republicans out to make trouble for Obama, want them to be an issue.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  197. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    Do you really think he fills out his own tax returns? He has an
    accountant for that kind of stuff. Fire the accountant after paying
    the taxes and penalties. Problem solved. As for the housekeeper,
    I think if he's married, his wife was the one handling that. Apparently,
    her papers were valid when she was hired and expired later. Sounds
    like an oversight. Just let Obama get these people confirmed and
    worry about the small stuff later.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  198. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    If it's good enough for the IRS it's good enough for me. The guy is a genius. I think he should and will be confirmed

    January 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  199. karen-phoenix


    January 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  200. Ronald Holst

    Jack My answer Is NO !
    Ronald Holst San Antonio

    January 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  201. Helene

    Jack, Timothy Geithner did not make such a big mistake. Every night I watch you make more mistakes by making big deals out of little things. You should give this a rest.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  202. Stanley

    Hey, anybody that doesn't pay his/her taxes sounds good to me to be running the IRS!!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  203. Interested

    No–do we know what the housekeeper said? She could have told him all was in order. Or maybe it was his wife's responsiblity. It's a nit pick item. The main question is whether or not he's qualified. If he is, then appoint him. After all, you did comment that the problem has been resolved with her green card. After the fact..

    January 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  204. Deepesh

    Geithner made a mistake that ran about $35,000 dollars right? Paulson made a $350 billion blunder.

    I ask, who is history going to look down upon?

    And as for the housekeeper, that is a non-issue. Three months? For Pete's sake, it takes that long to GET a green card.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  205. jakie_matt

    If you can run for senate in alaska when your proven guilty, WHY NOT?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  206. Dennis from OHIO

    Ask Madoff !

    January 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  207. Gaby

    His personal affairs should have nothing to do with his ability to perform his job.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  208. Marcus Smith

    Should NOT take office.


    January 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  209. Rob in Florida

    Jack, Not only should he not have the job of treasury, but he should go to jail like the rest of the deadbeats that don't pay their taxes and share a cell with Wesley Snipes.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  210. bonnie

    no., come on. picky stuff is driving me nuts. wait six months and then try again.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  211. Calvin Lewis

    It's like telling the security guard at Macy's... O'opps I'm sorry I forgot I had that tie in my pocket !!! Not likely they'd buy that excuse, so why should we?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  212. Sami Hou. TX.

    Yah Jack
    Give me a break...!!!!!
    Can we see if the man eqlifies for the job first before we dig into his closet.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  213. Javier Barajas

    The first and foremost issue is if he has the ability and skills necessary to help our nation's economy recover.
    That being said, we should do what is in the best interest of the country and all of us citizens, and not toss a valuable, qualified candidate by the wayside.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  214. Tim from Fremont, CA

    NO...that's rediculous....he has rectified the issues in the past, let's get him confirmed so he can help get this economy on track ASAP! I also do not think Bill Clinton's affairs should prevent Hillary from being confirmed as well.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  215. Laura No

    No! By all accounts, this is the man we need at this time and place. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face! Leave it to republicans to keep up the partisanship right to the bitter end, even as we fall into the abyss.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  216. mary jane Barenbaum

    This should not stop the appointment. This nitpicking has gotten so old over the last eight years. Obama should stand firm on this.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  217. Thomas L. Paxson

    No, Jack it should not cost hime his post, what is 35 thousand, what is hiring an illegal, and he is not a republican.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  218. Alvin Sykes

    It is rediculous that his comfirmation is being delayed until next week. Congress need to get to work so Obama's cabinet can get to work!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  219. Rose Black

    Given our tough economic situation, I don't believe this issue should prove to be a barrier for his appointment. Our government and our country can't afford to stall over such trivial issues. Now is the time for both Democrats and Republicans to work together and stop the petty bickering.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  220. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ. In a word, no. Who among us has not done something this "bad", or worse? Humans make mistakes, and these are small mistakes. If you compare these to the really big mistakes made by some Bush appointees, any concern over these issues is just stupid nitpicking.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  221. Arielle Haze

    It is concerning, to be sure. I think his experience is what we need, but is he trustworthy? Is he an ethical man? Will he be someone who "covers up" problems?

    I think he should submit to a polygraph about his "innocent mistake;" and, I think he should be investigated for his ethics and dedication as a public servant.

    If he passes, he should be sworn in! We can't waste too much time, but we want to make sure that we pick people not only for their experience and qualifications, but people who have strong ethics and dedication!

    Arielle Haze
    Glendale, CA

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  222. Keith

    No. But then again how can he blame americans for not paying if he didn't. I believe he is up for the job but because we use anything as an excuse to not do the right thing, I don't believe he can be effective.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  223. Rich in Philly

    Obama said this was an honest mistake. Perhaps Mr. Obama should release everyone from prison who also made an honest mistake and are paying for it...

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  224. Earl McDouglas Chicago

    if a man who commits war crimes and other atrocities can be our president; then i see no reason why a man who made an honest mistake (and then repaid his debt) shouldn't be our Treasury Secretary

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  225. Bill,,,,,St. Clair, MI

    No......even though his mistakes are foolish, they are minute in the
    scope of things. I personally don't think that they were intentional.
    He is a saint compared to most people in high places.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |

    You conveniently left out some facts about the events surrounding this nomination. He didn't pay all the taxes until after his failure to pay came to light after selected for the position. He should not be confirmed. I have to pay my taxes as do other hard working americans and so should he.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  227. 24krtgold

    If I were running for county auditor and forgot to pay my taxes, how far do think it would get me? Honestly! This just goes to show how far we have sunk when it comes to the "good ole boys club" politics. If Obama means change, he MUST dump Geitner NOW!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  228. MR PAYNE


    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  229. Manuel

    Absolutely Not! He should be confirmed without delay. The tax issue is commonplace for US Citizens that have worked for the IMF and the World Bank. GOP lawmakers need to stop playing their usual partisan politics.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  230. Frances G

    No, his credentials are so complete he must be given the opportunity to use his expertise. The country needs him.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  231. Trudy

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  232. Scott Biondi

    Obama's nominee should not be confirmed as Treasury Secretary based on his failure to pay self-employment taxes and hiring an illegal worker. He has absolutely no excuse for not knowing the law, especially about taxes. It would be like hiring the Three Stooges for your plumbing repairs – we know how that turned out !!

    Scott B

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  233. Doreen Augusta Maine

    No, these problems should not derail this appointment. It is not like he cheated some lowly paid person like other nominees did. What he did is definitely embarrassing. However, after almost 62 years on this earth I am constantly amazed at how many very intelligent people are totally uninformed about their finances and many other things. As I have often said God did not make everyone capable of doing everything.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  234. peter reilly

    If all of us were kept from getting a job in our field of specialty because of a mistake in our past we would all be unemployed, including the entire senate, house of representatives and Wolf,Jack and the staff of CNN.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  235. Roman

    A little humility goes a long way! nobody has a free ride in this economic downturn. Every appointment must be humbled to the gravity of the worlds economic woes. I think someone is telling us something; Are we listening?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  236. connie, Richmond, VA

    NO! After the downright criminal acts of the Bush administration, Geitner's "oversights" seem like nothing. First, his employee had proper credentials when hired and failed to inform Geitner when they expired.
    Geitner failed to pay only a portion of hs taxes in job considered to be self employment inthe IMF. It's acommon mistake mong people whose income is amixture of regular and self employmnet.

    Jack, I'm disappointed in how you , Wold and the rest of the media ask about this in such a misleading way! Tell it all!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  237. Natalie

    I do not think congress has to stop his nomination. After all he did pay his taxes and the housekeeper is no longer illegal. I would like to know how many members of the senate have not paid their taxes? I am sure he is not the only one and he won't be the last. I do not think it is a big deal. I think the media is making it more of an issue than what it is. I do not think the Obama team would have nominate him if he was not uptodate with his personal affairs

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  238. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Jack, Heck NO! If Bush/Cheney could get away with all of the illegalities over these last eight years and walk away without prosecution we can certainly forgive Guytner his minor transgressions.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  239. Brenda, Lasalle, PQ

    I think that it is not a big deal. However, he should pay his back taxes regularly. Since he is a genius, and will do well for the OBAMA Administration, he should keep his job. We really need a detailed and level-headed person in the White House.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  240. James Dieringer

    Only the little people pay taxes.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  241. Mary Eason

    Yes his failure to know how to pay his own taxes shows he is not capable of telling us what we should do. Obama seems to make excuses for everyone's mistakes in his administration

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  242. Linda in Arizona

    No, but it sure was dumb.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  243. Thaddeus Gadfly

    The simple answer, given the facts surrounding the issue, is no.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  244. marianne cohn

    These are scary times. We need to stay focused on our goal: get the economy back on track. Does Geithner have the optimal skill set to help us reach this goal? If the answer is yes, then we need to forget our "self righteousness" and confirm him as Treasury Secretary.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  245. Kathryn

    All human beings make mistakes. His mistakes have been corrected. Case closed. Confirm him.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  246. Robin

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
    Who know that the Democrats would be complaining if this was a GOP nominee for Treasury.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  247. Charles

    yes, don't hire him. don't hire anyone who can't follow the law. the tax law is so complicated, we can't even find a leader to run it who understands it. lets fire everyone, all the leaders, all the government, and then we can be left alone to grow old and die under any coconut tree we want 🙂

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  248. Monica Birakos

    Oh please–fixing our economy is one of the most important jobs facing the incoming administration. Prior to this minor bump, Geithner was revered by many–if he is the best person for the job, he should be approved. These are just nit-picky annoyances brought about by politicians who are more concerned with making the evening news.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  249. Jeanette Reidel

    He is not capable of managing his own affairs so how can he manage our treasury office.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  250. sean Orlando Fl

    I agree with Mr. Obama. We all make mistakes and shouldn't be judged based on one or two acts, but rather based on the whole picture.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  251. Julianne H

    I am self-employed and shudder to think what would happen to me if I did not pay my social security and medicare taxes. The people voted for change and that means throwing the folks who won't follow the rules out of government service. An honest mistake? No way! He was dumb, irresponsible or down-right cheating.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  252. Phyllis in Virginia

    Why can't we overcome this rancorous political climate that has existed in our country for the past 8 years? Qualifications should take precedence in this situation. Shouldn't helping the nation get out of our calamitous economic situation be more critical than carping about what happened in the past – a situation which was corrected long before this nomination. Please, Washington, let's put the nation before petty politics.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  253. WmG

    Ok, when did he pay his back taxes? Was it after it was put into the spotlight-or prior? What was the time period from when the tax was owed to the time paid? Did he not know his employee had a non paper status? Maybe or maybe not... Too many factors to consider at this point. But no specail treatment should be afforded..

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  254. johnchristopher

    If he was going to be in charge of the country's finances I'd say, "Heck, give the guy a break!"

    But, if he is confirmed, he will be. Are there no good candidates without tax or nanny problems to fill this position. Has the culture of corruption tainted everyone?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  255. Leonard Peeples

    Gee, I can't imagine anyone making a mistake on taxes. Our tax system is so simple a team of tax lawyers can figure most of it out if given enough time.

    These mistakes should not preclude him from serving.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  256. Dave

    Wow… I messed up on my taxes to the tune of $300 and had the state try to garnish my wages, contact my employer and wreak havok with my life.

    Why should a man who made a mistake (like me) get the top dog job for the IRS? If there is no forgiveness for me, why should there be for him?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  257. Arnetta

    The Treasury Secretary should be confirmed. This is lightweight stuff considering all of the planned mistakes made by the Bush adminstration. If this guy is as smart as they say he is, "we the people" have waited long enough. We are in a hell of a mess and anybody who has any inkling of getting us out of it should be allowed to –post haste.

    Arnetta, IL.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  258. cam

    Is it too much to ask that in a country of over 300 million members of presidents inner circle are not tax evaders and law breakers?

    Geithner should withdraw .

    Obama is acting like just another political hack trying to push Geithner through.

    8 years of this behavior is ENOUGH!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  259. Salem

    The president elect said it best. If he had nominated people who hadn't made mistakes, none of them would have jobs.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  260. Larry Diaz

    Dump him. Dump this SOB faster than a bad habit. How can Obama preach change and then do the same old same old again?

    First and foremost, Obama is nothing more than a politicain; he talks out both sides of his mouth. EOS

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  261. Kenny from Austin, Tx

    This is just an honest mistake. Usually married men have significant others that take care of them and finances. Reality is that the debt is paid and the issue is resolved, this issue should not get in the way of Tim Geithner's accomplishments nor his confirmation.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  262. Dorinda, Parker, TX

    Jack, are you joking me? After all the stupidity and lies Bush has shoveled onto us, you want to know if these tax/domestic help problems should preclude Geithner from serving as Secretary of the Treasury? We're all guilty of SOMETHING. He's paid his taxes and the housekeeper has her green card. If anything, he'll be overly careful if he's named to this post, and will bend over backwards to make sure he's squeaky clean.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  263. Jerry T Wage

    from j wage newark ny

    What me and my brother elks members can't understand is how this went on for four years!!!!!!! Yes he should reluctantly get the job!!!!!........

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  264. Farley In Nebraska

    No Jack I Think he should step aside let someone else take the post so who ever can become a crook after not before. I don't think there is such a thing has a honest politican.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  265. Lance from South Dakota

    You know Jack, I think CNN is really beating a "dead horse" to death with this Geitner thing... How about reporting on how the IRS can screw up somebody's income tax returns two years in a row, like they did mine!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  266. Aaron Benson

    Tim is the right man for the job and I think while it is good to get issues on the table it really shouldn't be used as a political wedge to get at Obama like Sen Vitter tried yesterday with Sen Clinton until Sen Luger and Chairmen Kerry shot his partisan comments down.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  267. Sara Volk

    Oh my God YES. Obama promised no more business as usual, and this is definitely business as usual. I don't care about the housekeeper, but a financial expert who doesn't even review his own tax returns before he signs off on them probably won't be paying much attention at Treasury. The fact that he let it slide after being notified is bothersome to me. Its more of the noblesse oblige crap we've seen over the last 8 years. I'm a huge Obama fan but this is a bad sign for me.

    North Dakota (-16 degrees)

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  268. Dana

    Of course the tax snafu should cost Timothy Geithner his appointment! I don't want this man, who is either dishonest or ignorant managing our nation's money.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  269. Bob Throckmorton

    He should have the foresight and INTEGRITY to step down now...this administation I voted for was to be transparent,set itself apart from the "old school" of Washington.This is not a glitch,it is a full blown step back in time fiasco !


    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  270. kate cappon

    should not be confirmed

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  271. Alton

    Nah, The economy is going to hell in a hand basket anyway, what's one more incompetent Government worker going to hurt?

    Atlanta, GA

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  272. Gloria

    I do not believe that the housekeeper incident is not significant to his confirmation nor news worthy. The failure to pay taxes does give me pause. I think he needs to explain the delay in paying the taxes.


    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  273. Edward S. Paxson - Fairbanks, Alaska

    We need to get our economy moving again which requires a competent Treasury Secretary free of taint.

    Ordinary citizens make "innocent mistakes," but not experts that are set to oversee trillions of dollars in spending and debt.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  274. Dana from CA

    Absolutely not! Everyone is making more of this than they should. I thought we were behind our upcoming President. Let him do his job and have the people he feels will do the best job. Ultimately it will be the President that we will hold responible if there is a problem. Now if Madoff was who we were talking about well he gets a get out of jail card free! Go Figure! Boy are we scured up!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  275. JTatEHT

    Most responsible politicians and economists find Geitner to be one of the best possible choices for Treasury Secretary. A thorough vetting of him by the transition team found a couple of problems of which he had been unaware, and which he then fixed. Thank heavens that Obama is not requiring perfection, and thank heavens that there are enough reasonable Republicans to make sure that Geitner is confirmed.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  276. need4trth


    Democrats and Republicans are making a mountatin out of a molehill on this issue as well as others. Seems Obama will face obstruction from both sides of the ailes. An honest mistake is an honest mistake. I have to give it too President elect Obama...he really is serious about ending partisan politics in Washington .Our prayers go out for him... I beleive Mr. Geihtner is the right man for the job....

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  277. Emily

    1)Honest mistake or not, if you are going to be responsible in any way for our nation's treasury you really need to make every effort to walk the line with your taxes.
    2) If he had been properly vetted by president-elect Obama's team, they should have found that before the process got this far.
    3) If they already knew this and proceeded anyway, shame on them for thinking we are fools.
    4) If he "didn't know better" and didn't pursue the information before his taxes were due, then he isn't responsible enough to carry this responsibility.
    Confirming these characters in spite of discrepancies like this just might have contributed (though is not solely responsible for) the financial mess our nation faces today.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  278. Patt from Michigan

    12 million illegal workers in the country and we worry about this guy who made things right before he was in office? Congress needs to put themselves on extended work weeks and suspend vacations to get some real work done and not worry about small potatoes like this.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  279. Phelicia

    Eventhough he corrected the problem, the real question is "When did this happen, how long did it take to fix the problem?" Did he just recently pay back taxes just to get confirmation or did he make the mistake early on in his career and it was corrected within a few years after the mistake was known? I think the answer to these questions and details make a difference on his qualifications to serve.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  280. Rich Devenney

    No, it should not cost him the job. When the situation was discovered, it was duly rectified. The U.S. and CNN have both have got to stop being "silly" about such matters.
    There are real problems out there to be worked on.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  281. STAN - PEKIN

    No, let him be confirmed. If the GOP denies him the post, then he should have Fitzgerald to check each one of the Repubs that vote against him, to see what they have done wrong.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  282. Gary

    Heaven's no! We need someone over-seeing the IRS who obviously feels the same way about taxes as we do.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  283. Chuck Bonner


    It sounds like a mistake that that he has rectified.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  284. Anne Indianapolis IN

    Of course they should. An IRS employee would be summarily fired if he did that and he would be supervising IRS. How can he ask employees to the IRS to enforce the law that he failed to obey. Either he is very careless , too arrogant to ask tax advise, or he failed the basic tax class in law school (assuming he is a lawyer.) Regardless of why it happened, it is not a "common mistake." He should not be Sec. of the Treasury.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  285. Noodle250

    Absolutely, there is no question, this is just a continuation of the pre elec-tion rehtoric that was delivered to the american public all in the name of this new president and his new cabinet – did he pay these just for the sake of getting elected – how is the irs going to prevent discrimination against the rest of the taxpayers if this precedence is set

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  286. Dave - Houston

    well compared to some others, he hardly made off with anything, and he corrected the mistakes. We've got to get real when it comes to confirmations and other approvals. EVERYONE has dirt in their past OR they've lived in the closet all their life. Bring common sense back to the process

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  287. Brenda, Lasalle, PQ

    "Only in America."

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  288. Bob Mitchell

    With all of the tainted Politicans now in Washington , we need to have absolutely clean people in this administration . I have had enough of Politicans who disobey and ignore our laws . Barack shoud toss him out and get somebody who is honest , if he can find someone .

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  289. Patricia Beane

    No, we don't have time to waste on these items which will not affect his performance as Secretary of the Treasury. There is no squeaky clean person out there and with his expertise and past record of performance we need to get on with the business of trying to solve the problems at hand with the best people qualified.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  290. Diana

    No. We all make mistakes and he was apprised of his and corrected them. I would think that we all searched our souls and past, we have all made mistakes which we regret but were just that errors in judgments and tax legalities. The housekeeper situation is a small glitch and one that he would have no way of identifying since she had her papers when she was hired. I think it's a whole lot of disgruntled Republicans and bored journalists!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  291. et williams, naples, fl.

    are you kidding – this guy is far to important for our financial future to withdraw as our treasury secretary. in addition president elect obama wants him and thats good enough for me! et williams, naples fl.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  292. Bobbi Flannery

    Mr. G. is probably like the rest of us with a lot of stress and pressure at work and it could have slipped his mind. I for one am willing to give the nominee the benefit of doubt and let him do his job and make amends as the administration sees fit. I think the gentleman is quite capable of being Secretary of Treasury unlike to former which we had to put up with during the Bush administration. If everybody would quit nitpicking we could get on with business and the change that is supposed to take place.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  293. Louis A. Carliner

    The paperwork requirement for household help is so tricky that I once had the family accountant advise me to use a third-party firm to use to do the hiring. Back during the Zoe Baird days, I tried, without any success, to encourage Intuit, the company that provides TurboTax and Quick to develop add-ins, called, respectively "NannyTax" and "NannyPay" to provide help in dealing with this, and my marketing idea was to use Zoe Baird in commercials that would go like this, "When doing the right thing can be a life-changing move, Intuit is there to keep you from stumbling!"

    The Geithner situation again highlights the urgent need for "NannyTax" and "NannyPay" software to help legally and thoroughly deal with the voluminous paperwork requirements for complying.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  294. Jean

    Yes, he should be disqualified. I was self employed most of my life and had to pay social security/medicare witholding and file quarterly tax estimates. It is IMPOSSIBLE for him not to know this, what do they think we are? A NATION OF DUMMIES!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  295. Edgar

    If this is really a Honest Mistake that he was not aware of not paying SS; and when caught only paid the two years still under the statute of limitations, he should have not problem showing his returns for the four years to prove he is not holding more Honest Mistakes.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  296. Emil

    I can bet you a good amount of Americans don't even pay their taxes. Why should Geithner's financial problems block him to being the next Treasury Secretary? He is very qualified for this post. An in the current economic mess that we're in, I don't believe there is time to question him on his taxes or his housekeeper. Congress should be smarter than that.

    Holtsville, NY.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  297. Stephanie Hamilton

    If he is not smart enough to figure out his Net Income is higher than it should be, he's not smart enough to hold any position. I learned this in Junior High School. Why does Washington think it's okay to overlook such gross misconduct and that "We the People" agree? We don't.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  298. Scott

    Are you kidding? Last year I made an honest mistake and failed to pay $425.00, I thought - they hounded me constantly for months and I finally found that I HAD the money in the account, THEY didn't deduct it. Wasn't even my mistake after all. If you or I failed to pay AND employed illegals, I hate to think what might happen to the common man. By the way, how does one forget about $34,000.00?? Must have a lot more $ to think about..

    January 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  299. Mary

    Jack, Timothy Geithner seems to be channeling Leona Helmsley - "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes ..." This is not "Change We Can Believe In, " it's business as usual in Washington. The standard of behavior in the Obama administration doesn't seem any better than its predecessor.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  300. Lisa

    That should be a NO- BRAINER, DUHHHH. YES ,POOR BARACK he's got to stop trusting people so much or at least verify his picks integrity before sticking his neck out.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  301. Jackie in Dallas

    As soon as the IRS pointed it out to him, Gaithner paid both taxes AND penalties and interest on the amount. Then he went back voluntarily and checked the two prior years, found the same error and rectified it before the IRS audited him. He made a mistake, he fixed it, and he took responsibility for it. Duh. Are we so used to people refusing to take responsibility or admitting mistakes that we punish someone who DOES?

    As for his housekeeper, she was legal when he hired her. Her work permit ran out - which is her responsibility, not necessarily his. It is fixed – she has her green card, and again, no coverup or refusal to take responsibility. When I think of the number of cases where nannies, gardeners, maids, etc. among our politicians have been shown to be totally illegal aliens and the involved employers took NO responsibility, again, why punish someone who does?

    Is there anyone in the Senate who has not made some kind of error? He (or she) can then cast the first stone...

    January 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  302. Richard

    NO- However, it is consistent that there are two sets of standards in this country- one for those who are connected, are told if you just make it up you can have a do over. Then there is the second set of standards that state that lack of knowledge of the law is no excuse, and you must be held accountable. If he is going to over see the I.R.S and he does not understand the laws then were does this leave us the little guy- very confused.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  303. Diane, Houston TX

    Oh Please! This guy is to be Treasury secretary but he can't figure out how to pay taxes on "contractor' income? Gimme a break. What, they didn't send him a 1099? I've worked plenty of contract at $10 an hour. I paid my taxes on that income. It took a lot of sweat and a lot of words that can't be used on CNN to do so but I filled out those forms. And I forked over the money. If this guy can't figure this out, he shouldn't be the Secretary of the Treasury.

    Diane, Houston

    January 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  304. Anne Karshis

    He should withdraw. I am not the "financial wizard" that Geithner is supposed to be, yet I know that when you work you must pay Medicare and Social Security taxes, whether through withholding or at the time of submission of taxes. To try and pass this chicanery off as an "honest mistake" takes the American people for fools; We are not. If President-Elect Obama continues to stand by this tax evader, he will tarnish his credibility just days before taking the oath of office.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  305. Cassie

    I can't speak for the tax issues, I don't know enough about the details behind it. However, the housekeeping issues? Seriously... her papers expired and he kept her on for a few months. It's called LEEWAY. You can't expect people to be perfect, and expecting individuals to immediately catch that a domestic worker's papers have expired is just overbearing of the government. If this had been an ongoing issue for years, or when he hired her, then that's one thing. But her papers lapsing? Come on... all this anti-immigrant paranoia is a little tiring.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  306. Charlotte

    Tell the millions of Americans that have been audited for far less egregious errors that this was an honest mistake that was cleared up in 3 days and now clears this man to head the IRS. Everyone who works for the IMF knew what they had to file. He could have paid $45 and purchased Quicken and this error would have been caught. Oh well, hooray for "change". Looks like Obama is going about business as usual.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  307. Mary Mihalik

    None of these are real 'problems' – in the case of the tax problems, the issue arose where he had to pay his own payroll taxes – which MOST of us have employers that do that for us, but not in Geitner's case. He should have paid attention to these details, but not paying the taxes were not intentional in my opinion – and he did pay them, it's not like he ignored the tax. As for the housekeeper's documentation – again a detail that he should have perhaps paid attention to – but again – he's got a lot more on his plate that MOST of us do. What harm was done?

    I'd like to see MOST americans tax prep – what they're getting away with and not paying. Who's cleaning their houses? Who's watching their kids? Do these people have proper documentation? Or are these details they overlooked?

    None of Geitner's issues are real issues – just something for the opposition to sick their teeth into – heck, they know the facts. It's just the drama they're into. God save us from their drama.

    Heck, Joe the Plumber didn't pay his taxes and we didn't grill him – heck, he became a 'war correspondent' – now THAT'S a joke!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  308. Roger Johnson

    You betcha!!

    Complex as the tax code is, what Geithner overlooked is one of its simplest provisions. As someone appointed to oversee federal taxes, his ignorance is completely unacceptable.

    I'm a Democrat who enthusiastically supported Obama and initially applauded Geitner's appointment. Now my applause is completely stilled.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  309. richard

    Yes. It should qualify him as an IRS expert. Apparently he likes the system as much as the rest of us. Maybe he'll go in and disassemble it to get his money back and we'll all benefit. As for a housekeeper, we need someone with experience cleaning up messes. depends what her position will be?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  310. JC - Washington DC

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I am and have been a staunch republican for all of my adult life. Given the state of this Nation, both economically and from a global credibility standpoint, we need to forget party lines and stand up firmly behind President Obama. Taking potshot at Timothy Geithner for what amounts to minor indiscretions that in no way speak to his ability to perform as Secretary of the Treasury is simply adding to our pathetic global image.. Enough is enough… we need the “a” Team” and bickering over irrelevant issues isn’t getting us over the hump…

    January 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  311. Paula Blankenship

    Geithner should have no problem in his conformation. His missteps are venial compared to some of the misdeeds committed in the last eight years. Embarrassing revelations? Our government can swallow a camel and choke on a gnat. 350 million tarp money gone no explanation. 35 thousand dollars that was taken for granted that his employer had withheld this money. It's a no-brainer that fits right up the Republicans alley. Apparently they have marginal brain power.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  312. Media W.

    Jack this is ridiculous. Let's poll every US senator to find out if they ever made an "honest mistake" regarding their taxes. The housekeeper thing is just plain stupid. The woman wasn't sleeping with G. She was cleaning his house. Why would he be asking her about her expired status? Do senators really think the American people are that stupid?

    The economy is a mess. Everyone agrees G. is the man to get us out of this mess. Confirm him and move on.

    And to the Repubs. If George Bush lying to get us into a war in Iraq which led to the death of over 4,000 American soldiers – some as young as 18 years old doesn't bother them then I think they can let the G lapse go.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  313. John Babitskas

    Give me a break, this guy is the head of the n.y. federal reserve. He paid the federal income taxes but did not pay the self employed taxes which is social security and medicare. If we throw out every candidate who made a mistke who would want to serve.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  314. gg in NJ

    No, let Geitner be Treasury Secretary–he made a mistake, he owned he paid for it and he never worked on Wall Street where they do none of the above.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  315. Jill

    We have many problems to work through, but "THIS" is not one of them. . .
    He should have been confirmed today !!
    Certainly not held over till Wednesday.
    Clearwater, FL

    January 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  316. Ron...Indianapolis,IN

    No to tim Geithner, Who could believe someone that qualified would be that stupid not to pay social security tax. Sometimes it is higher than regular tax for bussiness owners that itemize. Coooooruption early? The answer is obvious. With Hillary we know what we'er getting. Bill should be forced to put forieghn money for a "good cause" in a blind Trust Account as all government public servants should and do. As for Maydoff (sic), he should spend a year at GITMO until he shows the people he took it from the money.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  317. Mary in Alamogordo, NM

    This absolutely should cost him the job. That's what's wrong with the country now...........too many people in Washington, and Wall Street keep getting a "pass". So, they carry into their jobs all their shortcomings.......they fudge on this today and something bigger tomorrow........................and we the little people end up paying for it in some way! These big government and financial bigwigs just live the good life and don't pay attention to their jobs until something goes wrong, and then they pass the buck or get bailed out! What a sweet life!!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  318. Alex from Seattle

    The idea of having a tax cheat as the new Treasury Secretary (who would oversee the IRS) is outrageous and pathetic. "Honest mistake" doesn't cut it. What a joke! Would the IRS accept the "honest mistake" argument if I failed to pay the employer portion of MY Social Security payment? NO!! Not only should this man not be confirmed by the Senate, he should be prosecuted!!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  319. Tamara R

    On behelf of my father, I spent hours yesterday trying to determine how to self-assess, report, and remit taxes on behalf of the person providing 8 hours per week of in-home day care assistance to my mother who is striken with Alzheimer's disease. I culled through hundreds of pages from federal and California publications. My father and I are commited to getting it right. Some might believe that the Treasury designee is the best person for the job, but his appointment, in lieu of his comparatively cavalier approach to his reporting responsiblity, is a very bitter pill to swallow.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  320. Kathy Rayford

    As much mess as the Republicans have gotten this country into, let Obama and his cabinet get busy doing the peoples' business.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  321. ken

    Absolutely not, with a resounding NO! Mr. Geithner has paid the back taxes and his house keeper is now legal. Besides When you have Mr.Madoff under house arrest in his Penthouse after swindling folks for $50B, It really puts things into perspective

    Ocala, FL

    January 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  322. Jay in Nashville

    I think all the facts need to come out about his tax and "nanny" issues before we can judge this man. Sorry I am not willing to take any one's word that he is OK and just made a mistake. I am not looking to embarrass anyone.

    Another concern I have is the incoming administration was reported as having the most comprehensive vetting process. Is this an example of that vetting process not working well?

    BTW, I don't trust Jack or any one else in the press to "pass" judgment on anyone. The press needs to present facts as facts and their opinion as opinion. That goes for CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and every other news outlet and their reporters and commentators.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  323. Arlene

    If Geithner is rejected it should be on the basis of policy and competence. According to Newspaper reports(New York Times), as much as 50% of Americans working for foreign agencies fail to pay the taxes in question, moslty because of misunderstanding. As for his housekeeper. she was legal for most of her employment. It was only in the last six months of her association with Geithner that this status changed. She is. ane was, married to an American and today is again a legal resident. Not exactly Nannygate.
    We need the most highly qualified people we can find to do the job of setting the nation's economy to right. Mr. Geithner is not a miscreant. He also, apparently, isn't perfect. If only perfect people can hope to make the grade, how will we ever persuade enough highly qualified people to consider working in the public sector?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  324. Previn Reid

    No! The fact is both issues have been adequately addressed and it is not my belief that these pose any impediment to him carrying out his funcitons as Secretary of the Treasury. America is in a deep financial crisis and will need its smartest and best qualified to get them on stable footing, prior to this revelation very few persons questioned Geithner's ability, and this as far as i see it is the all important factor.

    Previn Reid
    Kingston, Jamaica

    January 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  325. richard

    Follow up>>> opps... I meant to say NO! Maybe he'll do something about tax deductions for continuing education? My reading and writing skills have deteriorated. 🙂

    January 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  326. Jim


    I understand that tax evasion is a crime; tax avoidance is not. Geithner attempted to avade taxes. He should be indicted, not appointed. He hurts tax payers who pay their fair share. I can't imagine what good he would be at Treasury or the IRS. If he is so smart, how did he get himself into such a mess.

    Jim, St. Petersburg, FL

    January 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  327. Vick Welsh , Orange Park, Fl

    As a long time Democrat his guy reminds me of an elitist Republican
    who thinks rules and laws do not apply to him. He should have known he didn't pay taxes and I find that troublesome. I do not see the maid thing as much of a problem but would prefer Obama pick someone else!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  328. Richard Texas

    Should Bill's financial or other affairs prevent Hillary from anything? Judge the persons actions not the spouse, if this was the criteria for all of us we would not go any where or do anything- we are all human and make mistakes.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  329. Ken B

    Geithner 'forgot' to pay taxes, failed to ensure that one in his employ maintained her legal status to work in this country and those in Washington are still considering him for Treaury Secretary. I guess some just aren't convinced that he isn't great on details and can't even keep his own 'house' in order. Just the kind of guy we want heading up the Treasury in these times of crisis, isn't it?

    Hey, on the otherhand, Bernie Madoff will probably get off considering the judicial shenanigan's that typically take place with the wealthy and well connected. And we know that Bernie can juggle many things at the same time. Maybe the Senate Finance Comittee should consider Bernie for the position. At least he is a proven quantity.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  330. Luba Makowsky

    I do not think that Hiliary Clinton should not be the Secretary of State because of her husbands work with his foundation. He and Barack Obama both need her out of the country. Bill so he can have fun again and President Obama so he can run the country in peace, without her nagging him with her whatevers.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  331. Jeff in Connecticut

    Absolutely Jack! Not the housekeeper, but EVERYBODY knows they have to pay tax on self-employment. We just hope nobody notices, since the only one reporting it is the one who owes it.........unless they're being vetted. He was cheating on his taxes and knew it.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  332. Jonathan Specer

    Since this guy might be Treasury Secretary and did not pay his taxes, He should not be confirmed because will he pay his taxes on the job if he gets the Treasury post. He should be removed because he employed an imingate who was not approved to work and he broke the law even for three month. He should be in jail.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  333. Andrew, Chappaqua New York

    Look Jack, we voted bush in a second term, how bad can this guy be? on a more serious note, one has to wonder is he really believes in the law or just believes in the laws he wants to follow. we are in a crisis which is draining our economy, selecting one person over another could make or break our economy. Tim made mistakes when dealing with his own finances, can he be trusted with the entire country's? you can't risk that.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  334. Dan

    Lets cut out all the spin BS. If Geithner had'nt been nominated for secretary of the treasury he would have never volunteered to pay those back taxes. It's been five years since he's owed those taxes, now;- he decides to come clean.
    Dan from Pennsylvania

    January 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  335. J. Lasko

    ABSOLUTELY! Owing $42K in taxes since 2004 and paying them a few days before being nominated speaks volumes! If he's confirmed, the entire Senate should be thrown out!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  336. Faison A. McNeal

    No, Tax and Housekeeper Problems should not Cost Geithner the Treasury Job. He is more honest than the IRS. The IRS gets to keep its job. I am glad he would be the IRS' boss as Secretary of Treasury because the IRS is out of control penalizing tax payers for unlimited amounts of time after back taxes have already been paid more than three or more years before penalties.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  337. Barrett

    Let him take the job but as a penalty and to make up for his mistake he should have to take the position for free for 1 year and not be allowed to benefit from the position when he leaves the position. No book deals, benefits, etc. That way we can see how sorry he really is about the mistake. If he still wants the position then it was a mistake and let it go.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  338. John Adams

    This is ABSOLUTLY the last time I will contact you. You want to make a "MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLE HILL." He made an "honest mistake" advised by his CPA. I am a 15 year tax preparer for H&R Block and I wouldn't have given him this advice. Do a Schedule C, do a household W2 and report your income. Very simple, maybe except for those in Congress who don't understand and most likely UNDER REPORTED their income along with the richest, wealthiest in our country who, according to the IRS, understate income by 23-35% and were eventually caught by the IRS and "paid up."
    He paid up! What's the problem?

    John Adams
    Age 70 retired from Cortland NY SUNY Alfred

    January 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  339. Dee in Florida

    Hell yes!

    How can a person be the president of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and not be aware of how much taxes he owes and not be aware that his housekeeper not properly documented?

    I do understand that the housekeeper was married to a U.S. citizen and did receive her green card, and that might have just been a paperwork snafu.

    But the tax problem?

    Maybe the ignorance of how much taxes he owed is an indicator as to why the large financial institutions are falling down! If the heads of the banks and such do not have any better control over their own personal finances, how can we depend on them to have control of the finances of the entire country!

    I say, let this nomination be rescinded.

    Maybe he ought to be fired from the bank too!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  340. Patrick Ewing

    Not at all, if anything now he has more experience having been the guy that has had to fix a mistake that was made. Now he can see both sides of the coin and learn from the mistakes. We need more imperfect people in power.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  341. Rich in Las Vegas

    Dear Jack,
    For heaven's sake will all of you the media stop putting Democrat's feet to the fire in proportion to how you didn't for 43's administration?
    Why have you let 43 go on vacation for 1/4 of his presidency and said nothing?
    How have you let Cheney manipulate us to where our treasury is in Dubai?
    You people in the media all need to be examined to see if you have all your genes present or if you're running a couple short..
    Barack said it best, "ENOUGH!!!"

    January 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  342. John, Fort Collins, CO

    In the national ethical scheme of things, I feel Timothy Gethner's misdeeds should not keep him from being confirmed. The lapsed green card is a minor oversight in this particular case, and I can understand where there may have been an honest misunderstanding when no social security taxes were taken out his paycheck since the IMF is not required to pay social security taxes. And both issues have been fully resolved. Therefore, in my opinion: "No harm, no foul".

    January 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  343. Emmanuel Mensah

    Jack, There is nothing wrong with hiring an individual who has the acumen to execute the president elect agenda if such individual has the expertise, and since when did a juduciary committe became " immigration committee? we are all housekeepers so why don't we kick these swindlers claiming to be senators out of the senate and keep that house clean as real housekeepers by confirming TIM as treasury secretary.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  344. artie mango

    Move on......There's nothing to see here !

    January 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  345. Donald

    I believe being accountable for actions in your life time is important but we all have faults. Thinking our elected officials suppose to be perfect is not realistic. All criminals started with a clean slate before they were caught. What make a man with no criminal or moral history the right man for the job? He fix the problem that could have well been a mistake. Give the man some slack. He cannot make things any worst than it is now.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  346. mac

    jack what is the matter with the media. he payed his taxes. what part of that dont you understand. you guys just want to stur things up so you have something to talk about and repeat 3 times in an afternon

    January 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  347. Robert Milton


    January 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  348. Virginia Long Island

    Jack – Yes it should cost him the appointment. If I made an "innocent mistake" I would have to pay the back taxes PLUS penalties and interest. Apprarently he did not have to pay the penalties & interest. So where and when is change coming? It seems everything in Washington stays the same.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  349. Jay in Nashville

    For those who think the Secretary of the Treasury can change the tax code, please think through the process. It is Congress that creates the laws that makes the tax code so convoluted. It is the President that signs those tax bills into law. Unless we are (as a nation) willing to go to a different tax structure we are stuck with this current and ever changing tax code. If you are seriously interested in changing this tax code write a letter or email to your US Senators and US Representative. Get your friends to write also. Write often if you really want change.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  350. Richard Texas

    I was just thinking- we won't investigate our leaders for placing us in a war on lies, but we will crucify a man for an openly admitting to a mistake. We will allow torture, thus breaking every standard on which we stand on, yet this man,(Bush), has knowingly broke. So if those who want to judge so harsh, i will give you this guy if you will hold the same high standard to those who should be tried for war crimes.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  351. Chris, Tennessee

    You have got to be kidding me! Is this a trick question! How can you not pay your taxes and say it was an honest mistake. If John Q. Public didn't pay their taxes for four years, I don't think the IRS would want to sit down with us and find out how this was an honest mistake on our part. Isn't Geithner not paying his taxes for four years kind of like having the heads of the banks that are in default distribute the bail out money???? How stupid does the government think we are?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  352. Henry Sims

    Timothy Geithner needs to answer the tough question: If in 2006 you were made aware of reporting issues for your 2003 returns and paid those back taxes and interest (no penalties according to the AP) ,after an audit, why did you fail to correct those same errors on previous years returns before they were found by the transition team? Was it ignorance of the system you are now applying to lead or just good old fashion " It's up to the IRS to tell me I owe it" before seven years expires? I believe whoever leads the transition team needs to head the IRS as that person seems to be able to get people to pay their share even without an audit.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  353. Ray-Tulsa

    If the person who will have oversight over the IRS makes mistakes on his taxes and with the education and background he has with banking cannot decipher the Income Tax Code, a blue-collar worker like myself doesn't stand a chance. If anything is to come out of this, maybe a complete overhaul of the income tax system is in order. Wishful thinking anyways.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  354. Bob Le May

    Enfield, CT.

    No it shouldn't. Let's face it, what he brings to the table will be much more valuable than what he paid back in taxes. I just wished he came to us and admit his mistake instead of finding out the way we did.

    Bob Le May

    January 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  355. Mr. Manny

    These Chrisis' are being led by blind mice and cheese that follow. Lets just hope we don't hear, "oops, we did it again!"

    January 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  356. Sam in Florida

    Maybe he did the right thing in the end, but it really ticks me off that this is the best we can come up with to do this job. Is anyone in Washington, DC honest and not above the law???

    January 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  357. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,this would only matter if the guy was a republican,then the media would want him tarred and feathered and ran out of town on a rail,since it's a democrat we'll just give him a slap on the wrist and forget about it!!!!Some more of that unbiased reporting!!!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  358. Allan Cameron

    As someone who did make a genuine mistake ONCE with his tax filings and eventually did straighten things out with the IRS, not only did I have to pay every penny in penalties and interest, but found himself audited for three successive years by the IRS. Considering how small my ammount due was, and how large Senitor Geithner's is in actuality, and not once but over a number of years, here is yet another case of the "good Old Boy" network coming to the aid of the Party! In reality, how could such an individual be put in charge of the IRS and the Country's finances?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  359. Peter John, Lenoir, NC

    With even Gethner mixing up his taxes, this should prove that the tax laws are too complicated. Acknowledging this can ideally and uniquely situate Geithner to spearhead tax law reform and simplification.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  360. Chris

    Our economy is collapsing and people are worried about the housekeeper and that he had a hiccup on his taxes (which was noticed and all fines/penalties where paid.) He is a highly qualified candidate in a time of great difficulty, get over it and stop the grandstanding.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  361. j/NJ

    Should Timothy Geithner’s tax and housekeeper problems cost him the post of Secretary of Treasury?

    Seems the suspicious news media is at it again; always witch hunting and/or inferring the most sinister of intentions etc...believe it or not there is no evidence that Geithner violated any laws or that he did anything but make an honest mistake...the disclosure was reported...under the circumstances lets give him the benefit of the doubt, if any incriminating evidence surfaces CNN and other networks can hire additional reporters to provide the details during the Obama administration's first hundred days if not longer...

    January 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  362. Peggy Howard

    If the Senate confirms Timothy Geithnar they are really losing it
    big time. The whole country worries about paying their taxes and if he gets away with not paying them or paying them to get nominated is a real joke on our US Constitution and the good ole USof A.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  363. Gail

    Yes. The housekeeper is easily a mistake, but his excuse for not paying social security and medicare taxes is a joke. All he had to do was use a simple tax program like Turbo Tax and he would have learned that self employment payments were due. If that wasn't enough, his failure to correct his mistake immediately is unacceptable. How can we have someone with so little integrity and knowledge of the most basic tax law be in charge of the Treasury?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  364. Sue Bartsch

    Yes he should be appointed by our still do nothing Congress.
    The "mistake" made by the man who was appointed to be Sec. of the Treasury only shows the mess of our tax laws. I assume someone else filled out his tax papers and gave him advise which is very common . I hope a man with his qualifications is willing to subject himself to the humilation that Congress sometimes bestows .

    January 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  365. Charles from Roswell, Georgia

    If a person can be a US Senator nominated by a corrupted governor, then Geithner should be the Secretary of Treasury. I think Geithner has much, much more contribution to our current economy situation then Burris.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  366. Christine, Thousand Oaks California

    No. His accountant probably made the mistake. And, he paid up so let it rest. The country's issues are far more important.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  367. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Those things are trivial and do not deserve the media attention they are getting. Obama is going to have to deal with a lot of obstructionism in getting his agenda in place but I believe he will succeed.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  368. marilyn

    no, he should be put in the treasury office but we should also be allowed to not pay our taxes and be able to say it was just an oversight and not be penalized

    January 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  369. Allan Cameron

    They say ignorance is not a defense. Yet here we have an individual who has not only run afoul of the IRS on more than one occasion with substantial amounts, but gets all his penalties and interest "forgiven", and is going to become overseer of THE IRS, and after a number of prior INS cases involving Public Officials employing Illegal Workers, does the same thing himself. Talk about putting the fox in the chickencoop, here is another example of the "Washington Good-Old-Boy Network" at work. AT OUR EXPENSE!! Obama promises CHANGE...some change...some neck!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  370. tthan43

    Yes, I think that his "honest mistakes" should cost him the same as the "honest mistakes" the rest of us have paid. His "honest mistakes" were those within his area of pervue and not something unrelated to his expertise.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  371. vern-t anaheim,ca

    no i do not think geithnarsmistake in reporting his income tax should bar him from becoming secretary of the treasury,even some of his critics say he is extreemly qualified for the job.i think his mistake was a honest one that he has corrected and as president-elect barack obama has said,who among us hasn't made a mistake at one time or another

    January 14, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  372. Wanda Roome

    As South Africans, living in this country as Green Cards holders, and simulatenously working for international Aid Agencies, the first thing we did was to hire a Tax Consultant to guide us with the filing of our taxes since we realised our situation was unusual and we wanted to to the right thing.

    I find it extremely disappointing and incredible that Obama has to defend his nominee in this way. How come he, of all people, did not know the rules?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  373. Jimmy in Virginia

    How in the world did this guy ever get placed as the president of the New York Fed and automatically chairman of the Open Market Committee? He is in financial terms the 2nd most powerful man in the world behind the Chairman of the Fed. I cannot believe he escaped their radar on this topic and to allow the Senate to discover it before they did is a disgrace to the entire federal reserve system.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  374. Maynard Thomas, Catlettsburg, KY

    No, a mistake is just that... a mistake. If one is drawing social security disability federal withholding taxes are not taken out unless you tell them to do so. That is not something that is discussed with you prior to receiving SS payments. I can only imagine working for an international entity and keeping track of federal withholding taxes. Does anyone know how the Blackwater(mercenaries) group in Iraq gets paid and are federal withholding taxes automatically deducted or do they have to pay them after they are back in the US?

    On the matter of the housekeeper. Does anyone remember when Mitch McConnell and wife, Labor Secretary Chao having a housekeeper working for them that was an illegal alien. This was the US Secretary of Labor... what became of that issue? Was she dismissed from serving, dd she resign? If not, why not? What's good for one political party is good for the other?

    Let's move on and stop the nit-picking. There are surely more important issues faces the American people.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm |

    No big deal. The man was too busy to check anything at that time moreover housekeepers without papers need a chance too. Government using our tax money bailing out banks so if he misses a few tax payment that means he is fedup with the hypocrites. All we need is for him to do now is to keep a keen eye on the treasury. He has to start making sure he checks everything. Get off Obama's team backs, and give them a chance. Change we need, change we are going to get if we stop the bickering. Thanks, Jack. Keep it real.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  376. randall g

    NO!!!!!. if he's as smart and qualified as they say he is, he knew that he had to pay those taxes. i think he thought he was smart enough to get away with it. it was no innocent mistake especially since he has held the jobs that he has. this is no way for obama to start his term.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  377. tthan43

    LOVE your commentaries!!! Great job, honest, unbiased and to the point. Keep it up.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  378. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    These people treat the American public and voters with impunity. To the question, Yes, and Yes. As long as his insider allies outnumber the public (and the former only takes a few to cancel the public) then again we will have been taken, in plain site.


    January 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  379. Robert Valdez in New Mexico

    The only reason this guy admitted to making an "honest mistake" is simply because he got caught, otherwise the problem would have probably never surfaced. The fact that he took "care" of it does not automatically make it right. I don't want somebody that can't be on top of his own financial records handling and overseeing the nation's
    Finance Dept including the IRS.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  380. Dan Buskirk

    The best game wardens are reformed poachers.
    Dan, West Virginia

    January 14, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  381. John P. Mc Connell

    Geithner should have the sense of decency to remove himself from this position. We're 6 days away from getting rid of the most embarrassing bunch of BUNGLING IDIOTS this government ever had. Let's not start this process all over again.
    There are more qualified people out there than this dummy.

    John P. Mc Connell

    January 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  382. circy in New Mexico

    The nature of American society seems to have changed from obey the law to anything goes. Where will all this end. I don't think this is good for our country.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  383. dan

    IRS employees are summarily fired for failure to file tax returns, even for filing a request for automatic extention to file returns.
    A $48,000.00 tax debt is a huge violation. Did he not know the terms or nature of his employment contract? Did he not read his paycheck with the deductions? Did he never read any the annual reports the Social Security Administration sends detailing yearly contributions to his account? To claim "an honest mistake" is to admit gross incompetance and wanton recklessness in handling his personal tax obligations.
    Actor Wesley Snipes is in federal prison even after making payments and filing late tax returns. His excuse is plausable as he is an actor, but totally unacceptable from a professional in the field of finance, economics and tax enforcement. Let the nominee make his intellectual contributions from a different position, not as head of the Treasury Dept.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  384. Brian - Trinidad

    Yes! That was a big part of the Obama promise, to have the highest standards of conduct in his administration. Reason #758 why Obama will be a worse President than Bush.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  385. Tom, Bradenton, FL

    ABSOLUTELY, Obama ran on the promise of bringing change. Keeping this scoundrel on the job would be just a continuation of the Bush policies. We need to break with corruption, the lies, the tx frauds and scammers if we want to turn this country around. In my opinion this guy can not stay on a job like that. CHANGE remember CHANGE.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  386. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    Get over the attitude of the 'squeaky clean' person and give the guy the gig. There is no such person. If it were, no one would be working.

    We need to get over it and hire people if they're qualified. Their past misgivings, debt or whatever shouldn't deny someone employment. If it does, that smacks of discrimination.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  387. RO

    Better question –
    Who are the terrorists who have hurt our country more, Sadam, Al Qaida etal or the business people and authorities who brought on this finnacial crisis along with gangs, and dope dealers? Specifically, who has cost more lives and who has disabled this county more?
    Who endangers our county more outside threats or inside threats?
    Are we looking in thewrong direction? Go get'm Jack!

    January 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  388. Phil P. in NJ

    Abosolutly not. This is not the time to play games when America's economic future could be at stake. No one gave a damm when Bush ran up the deficit 8 trillion dollars in 8 years. Now that America's economic growth is at stake, people want to play games in resolving this issue. So if you want your children to one day having to learn Chineese or Russian, then just keep on playing games.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  389. Mills

    Why is he not arrested for tax evasion?

    January 14, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  390. manjere hungwe

    i don't think so because people should get a second cahance

    January 14, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  391. Hank Pihl

    Jack,how much more can we take,everyday we hear about people in
    the higher up who make honest mistakes.
    It is plain stupidity not knowing that you owe taxes.
    How can they justify knowing that Geithner screwed up to be nominated.
    Honest mistake that is plain BS.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  392. This guy

    This piece of trash shouldn't get to be treasury secretary. For 8 years the media has shadowed and went after Bush on everything. Don't let Obama get by with hiring slum lords and thugs. He can't figure out these things how can he even come close to figureing out our needs from the treasury department. Go after him media.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  393. Sandi AZ

    Not a very good example Jack. You have to practice what you preach. Lets get on with another confirmation for this job ............please!

    January 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  394. Derrick

    Give the guy a break,if Obama say it's a honest mistake,it's a honest


    January 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  395. Amy

    Having been an expat in two countries, the complexity of the tax issues that surround working for either an American company or a foreign entity is overwhelming. Even the bean counters have a hard time (and I include those from the largest accounting firms in the world) getting things right. The size of the filing and complexity strikes fear in the hearts of those who are trying to do all the right things. Give the guy a break. He's paid up and frankly since the amount was probably chump change in the scheme of his overall tax picture, I hardly think he was trying to pull a fast one!

    January 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  396. Charlie Ebert

    He paid his taxes and was scolded for his housekeeper.
    So, he's clean as of NOW. But Obama's administration has required all appointees to be pac free of corporate influence. Thjis president want's to be cleen. And Geithner and Holden don't belong in this picture. Obama should pick replacements for Attorney General as well as Treasury.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  397. cassan

    i certainly do think that his mismanagement of his own money should disqualify him from being in charge of the nations money, and especially TAXES!!!

    January 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  398. Bonnie McGregor

    Really surprised by all the "tax experts" weighing in on your blog.

    We are a family with two self-employed; tax computations, prepayments, etc. are more complicated and far less straight forward than Mr/Mrs w2 tax payer. We experienced the same problem making it current as soon as it was brought to our attention.

    Both sides have lost too many people with these types of disqualifers. Who will be left to work in Public Service?


    January 14, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  399. Jane A. Ward


    January 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  400. Joanne deMarrais

    Let's face it, how many people do their own taxes when they are in this guys tax bracket. You depend and trust your accountant to know the tax laws. He found out he underpaid , not on his income tax, but on SS and Medicare. He paid the tax and the interest. End of story.

    One the maid issue. How many men even know the cleaners name, let alone their immigration status. She was legal when hired, should his wife had checked every month to see if her papers were still in order? I rather doubt if it ever crossed thier minds. The maid now has a green card. Let's worry about our economic situation and not sweat the small stuff.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  401. P.J. in Las Vegas

    It now comes to the attention, that our so called "Democratic government's reputation" has not been stained by long time criminals but, by those who commit malice, as an injustice to preserves ones interest and reputation by hiding behind political titles, like our public servants. For instance, Timonthy Geithner's knowledge is in questioned! When one receives notification from the IRS to pay your taxes, ignoring it carries a penalty. To have an individual who previously worked for the (IMF-International Monetary Fund), is to be knowledgeable of the insights of "How not to pay your taxes and not get caught". Except Timothy's so called mistake is not a honest mistake. If I have to pay $1,800, whereas, the calculation of my taxes was prepared by a license professional and I didn't commit the infraction but was declared guilty. "How is it that I have to pay for someone's else mistake?". "That's an injustice"! The question is, 'Does the American government and public feel comfortable with Mr. Geithner at the helm as the U.S. Treasury Secretary, who may purposely mishandle all of the taxpayer's money most of the time? "Or handle it none of the time, while in office"! Look at the crumbling and bumbling present, Paulson. It seems that the true colors of our previous and present government representatives in office are considering their own interest instead of the American Public, 'THE TAXPAYERS". With this kind of representation who needs criminals to commit the crime, just be a Political figure or call them the Legal Mafia, known for "Take as much as you can, without getting CAUGHT".

    January 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  402. Ralph Nelson

    No. He made a mistake. Corrected the mistake. After review he was asked to pay more. He did. Case closed. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  403. Kathryn, Santa Barbara, CA


    January 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  404. Eric

    You make a mistake by not tieing your shoes or brushing your teeth in the morning; such is life. It is nearly impossible to forget to pay your portion of an american bill we all share. No one can think that the "SKIP" card in UNO applies to them. As for this job, pay your taxes NOW and we might just think about considering if your actions were honest.

    Pay-to-Play in a non-criminal manner of course.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  405. Kent Converse

    This is a no brainer if Obama really plans on cleaning up government.
    Geithner knew what he was doing and never paid up until he had to.
    Obama would set a correct tone to his government by getting rid of Geithner and replacing him with Ralph Nadar. He may not like Nadar's consul but I think it might be the truth.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  406. J

    I can't wait to watch the Senate questions him on his tax problems. I might have to fix extra popcorn, it might take awhile. Mr. Spector and Mr. Leahy might bring him down a peck or three.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  407. Bob

    Integrity, doesn't seem to be a requirement or a benchmark to hold people accountable to anymore.

    Orange County, CA

    January 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  408. gail Centre, Al.

    Let him have the job, he will fit in just fine with all the other crooks.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  409. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Same old Washington DC, they are all crooks

    January 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  410. Kathy - Bandon, Oregon

    Why is everyone so entrenched in the idea that Mr. Breithner – who is President of the Federal Reserve Bank – is the best and only choice to be Secretary of the U.S. Treasury when some of his own taxes were unpaid? Not in one instance, but twice! (that we know of.) If Mr. Breithner is not up to the task of seeing that his own taxes are paid, how can we ever rely on him to guard and control the U.S. Treasury? Soon it will be too late for us to learn that another shoe has dropped. I can't possibly be the only person thinking this way. Can I?

    January 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  411. stormerf

    Yes,he did not pay His taxes after recieving 4 thats 4 notices from the IRS.He was not going to pay them,until he got nominated,then he only paid 2 years and got caught again and had to pay 2 more years.He did not file an extension,he just wasn't going to pay them. He is suppose to be the Tax Guru,thats funny.Why were the tax penalties forgiven?he Evaded paying taxes,what he qualifies for is cell mate to Al Capone,isn't that what got Al?Tax Evasion.When are they going to be treated like common taxpayers,when they lie,cheat and steal form US,they should go to jail,not get a chance to handle Billions.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  412. Carol

    Missing the tax payment once – maybe give him a break; but for 4 years?...and then he only voluntarily pays 2 of the 4 years back taxes; give us a break. Don't you think we need someone in this vital position who doesn't act above the law, especially in the crises we find ourselves in? A republican wouldn't get away with this. How is this "change"?
    Carol, Minnesota

    January 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  413. Ralph Peoria, Il

    If he can't manage his own affairs, maybe he shouldn't be put in charge of any more than that.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  414. Griff

    Who care's they are both liars... Obama want's the Opposition to cover his Promises...

    January 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  415. ken

    The IMF claims it regularly notified employees they were responsible for paying their own taxes. He avoided paying them for 2-3 yrs. A simple mistake. I don't think soooooo. Then as he came up in the world, he paid up. Having had a run-in with the IRS over a simple addition error, why wasn't he challenged sooner rather than later. Who turned their heads the other way.

    We employ care-givers for our parents( all US citizens). We asked about their status and anything that we'd need to know about them. I guess we're smarter than the person in question. I don't think soooooo. I think given his position in life he feels he's above the law. And we want him hadling the US's finances. I think nottttttttt.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  416. Jorge Godinez

    Absolutely not

    January 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  417. Meredith

    The article also states "all back taxes, interest and penalties have been paid and filings were amended."

    So I guess there is no story here.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm |