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An Honest Mistake

Tim Geither, nominee for Treasury Secretary, has been found to not paid $34,000 in taxes over a 4-year period when he earned income (as a consultant?) from the IMF that was not salary income. Some folks are using this issue to raise questions about his ethics and whether he is fit for the job.

For reasons unrelated to that, I believe he is a poor choice (he orchestrated the Bear Streans bailout, for example). But let’s suppose that in fact, this was an honest mistake. This once again makes a point about government that folks seem to forget when they think their fantasies are about to come true. Suppose Geither made an average income of $500k per year for each of those 4 years. Then that $34,000 represents a mere 1.7% of the income/expenditures of the Geithner household.

But as Treasury Secretary, we are entrusting him to oversee the collection and disbursement of over $2 trillionin federal revenues and expenditures. Well, such an honest mistake in a budget that large represents a mere $34 billion – that’s as much as the Department of Justice spends in an entire year. And more than State, Interior and the EPA combined.

Sure it was an honest mistake. They happen all the time. But if this is the most qualified person to do the job, how can we gladly fork over trillions of dollars worth of our productive effort and blindly believe it not only will be spent wisely, but that it will even make it to where it is supposed to be going?

At least when my 3 year old daughter believes that dinosaurs still roam the Earth, she will oen day learn in science class that they used to, but can no longer. Alas, Mr. Geither and all of the other members of the COngration don’t learn anything in their science classes.

One Response to “An Honest Mistake”

  1. John Q says:

    The main problem was chosen because of his great financial aptitude ; and he can’t get his taxes right?

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