Memo To IRS: I forgot! Update: Graham

When the IRS comes a knock’n in the spring just tell those agents you forgot … you forgot to file. It was a mistake … and besides … the “Dear Leader” himself says that’s reason enough to get a pass. Go on … try it. Here’s “Mr. President-Elect” (man that ticks me off … it’s not a title) on Treasury Secretary Nominee Timothy Geithner’s now well documented tax problems. “Hey, sure the Treasury nominee failed to understand the tax code … but he’s so damn smart we need him.”


Two additional points. I love the way Lindsey Graham provides cover simply because he thinks Geithner is the only guy smart enough to save us from ourselves. I expect more but he obviously has been co-opted.

UPDATE: Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks Senator Graham has been co-opted. So much for the loyal opposition.

“I cannot tell you how much enthusiasm we saw in Pakistan for the new president,” he added.

Obama soaked up the remarks, afterwards saying that he had chosen Biden to assist him with these challenges, but “Lindsey Graham I’m drafting in as one of our counselors.”

It was expected that Obama would defend Tim Geithner, calling his reported employment of a housekeeper whose work permit had expired and his failure to pay $42,000 in taxes “an innocent mistake” that was corrected. But Graham, who described himself as having been “one of the chief opponents” of Obama and Biden, didn’t have to jump in.

“I think he’s the right guy,” Graham said of Geithner, adding that Republicans were unlikely to “play gotcha” with the nomination.

Point two … if you read the Wall Street Journal you find this guy’s taxes are a mess. It’s not just one mistake … it’s multiple mistakes.

In 2006, the IRS audited Mr. Geithner’s 2003 and 2004 taxes and concluded he owed taxes and interest totaling $17,230, according to documents released by the Senate Finance Committee. The IRS waived the related penalties. At the time, Mr. Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

During the vetting of Mr. Geithner late last year, the Obama transition team discovered the nominee had failed to pay the same taxes for 2001 and 2002. “Upon learning of this error on Nov. 21, 2008, Mr. Geithner immediately submitted payment for tax that would have been due in those years, plus interest,” a transition aide said. The sum totaled $25,970.

As to why Mr. Geithner didn’t pay all his back taxes after the 2006 audit, an Obama aide said the nominee was advised by his accountant he had no further liability. Senate Finance aides said they were concerned either Mr. Geithner or his accountant used the IRS’s statute of limitations to avoid further back-tax payments at the time of the audit.

Other tax issues also surfaced during the vetting, including the fact Mr. Geithner used his child’s time at overnight camps in 2001, 2004 and 2005 to calculate dependent-care tax deductions. Sleepaway camps don’t qualify.

Amended tax returns that Mr. Geithner filed recently include $4,334 in additional taxes, and $1,232 in interest for infractions, such as an early-withdrawal penalty from a retirement plan, an improper small-business deduction, a charitable-contribution deduction for ineligible items, and the expensing of utility costs that went for personal use.

But this guy’s too smart to lose. No … this is once again the double standard the folks live by in Washington.

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Jim Vicevich

Jim is a veteran broadcaster and conservative/libertarian blogger with more than 25 years experience in TV and radio. Jim's was the long-term host of The Jim Vicevich Show on WTIC 1080 in Hartford from 2004 through 2019. Prior to radio, Jim worked as a business and financial reporter for NBC30 - the NBC owned TV station in Hartford - and as business editor at WFSB-TV in Hartford for 14 years while earning six Emmy nominations and three Telly Awards.


  1. Dimsdale on January 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    If I had been him, I would have used the proven Mike Dukakis (I forgot to file for federal funding for the Boston Harbor cleanup) excuse "It was an oversight."

    It just sounds a bit better than "an honest mistake" (the kind of "honest" mistake than none of us would get a pass for).

    And Obama claims to have known all along!  PEBO is truly Obambi.

  2. Bill on January 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    All citizens are equal.  Some Democrat citizens are more equal than other citizens.

  3. Erik from WH on January 14, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I have had ENOUGH.  I am taking a week off from news and politics. I just can't take it anymore.

  4. ryalso on January 15, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Shouldn't somebody be starting a revolution or something??? Is the whole nation anesthetized?

    I mean I'm all in support of the ETF (end the fed) movement and all but don't you think it has to go further than a small bunch of 'ronpaulers' waving a few placards around?  The lies, the deciet and all around arrogance of these bafoons…. OOPS, my mistake – we're obviously the baffons.

    Hope you're enjoying working on the master's plantation.

  5. Dimsdale on January 15, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    If Geithner is "so damn smart we need him,” what is Chris Dodd's excuse?  Or Frank, or Pelosi, or Kennedy, or Reid etc., etc., etc.

  6. Wayne SW on January 18, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Mistakes are:

                Forgetting to pay a parking ticket.

                Leaving the light on when you leave the room.

                Missing curfew by a few minutes.

                Accidently getting pregant and not wanting to live with a mistaken child  if you are

                    Obama's daughter

    Deceipt is:  Not paying taxes when you are reminded quarterly from your employer to do so. 

    Deceipt is using "grossed" up income to meet those tax obligations, yet choose to use those monies for other things.  

    Deceipt is only paying up in full when you are slected to head up the very department that you have evaded for all those years.

    If a person with such superior financial intellect is the only one qualified to be the head of the IRS, we are doomed.

  7. Rick-WH on January 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    From my own professional experience, I can tell you that both the IMF and World Bank employ top flight tax advisers who participate in preparing indirect and direct communications to management and the employees and consultants to the organizations. In many cases, tax preparation services are provided by outside professional CPA firms (not H & R Block) for the employees and consultants both here and overseas.  The outside professional CPA firm also prepares or signs off on the "gross up" calculations.

    While Geithner was employed as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,  he almost certainly would receive tax return preparation  services and tax advisory services as part of his compensation package.  We must remember that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is a private, investor owned corporation – not part of the United States government.

    In my opinion, this is nothing less than tax fraud coupled with some other civil or criminal infraction which should be fully investigated and prosecuted.

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