Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Geithner Apologizes for Tax Mistakes

From USA Today:

The Senate Finance Committee just opened its confirmation hearing on the nomination of Timothy Geithner to be Treasury secretary.

As we noted earlier, Geithner is sure to face questions about why he failed to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes on some of his income for a few years.

Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., just opened the hearing by saying he thinks Geithner made "innocent mistakes," but that he expects to hear an explanation from the nominee.

Republican Jim Bunning of Kentucky told Geithner his failure to pay the taxes fully until just before his selection by Obama was announced was "hard to explain to my constituents who pay these taxes on a regular basis."

Although the tax disclosures provided a bump in Geithner's confirmation process, he appeared to have wide support from both parties, especially given the severity of the downturn and the nominee's past experience in the financial system.

"You will be confirmed," Pat Roberts of Kansas told Geithner. Still, the senator said, his phones were "ringing off the hook" from people in Kansas complaining about the prospects of having a Treasury secretary who was careless in tending to his own tax liabilities.

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