Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Timothy Geithner's Claims Contradicted by the Facts; Obama Must End 'Distraction' of Nomination as Banking Crisis Deepens

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today made the following statement:

"Timothy Geithner paid his payroll taxes for 2003 and 2004 after being audited, but did not pay for the years 2001 and 2002, relying only on the statute of limitations. He later paid them after being considered for the Treasury post by Barack Obama. These very simple circumstances should disqualify anyone from a high government post, especially service as the Treasury Secretary, who oversees the IRS.

"Geithner claimed today that his failure to pay his taxes was 'completely intentional.' This is contradicted by the facts. In the wake of his IRS audit three years ago, a conscious decision had to be made not to pay taxes for 2001 and 2002.

"Our banks are in deep trouble. Government actions so far, which Geithner has had a major role in formulating, have not succeeded in solving the problem. Barack Obama should focus on confronting this spiraling crisis, and end the distraction of the Geithner nomination.

"Is Obama guilty of the crime of hubris? He comes in with a broad mandate and significant good will. He is apparently seeking to ram through Geithner because he believes that he can do so. This is the kind of arrogance that could come back to haunt him later.

"Obama has promised to raise taxes for millions of middle-class taxpayers. He has also promised to provide rebates to lower income taxpayers for their payroll taxes, even though those taxes are collected for the purpose of funding social security, from which the same taxpayers will eventually collect benefits. I don't think he ever promised to allow Wall Streeters like Geithner to beat the payroll tax, as well."

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