OK, I can understand how it is possible to make mistakes in your taxes or even fudge a bit to underpay your taxes, but this guy, even when caught, still failed to pay up until he was offered a great job with the Obama Administration. Hell, the guy was audited and caught and still didn't pay the full amount due:
Mr. Geithner didn't make any Social Security or Medicare tax payments on his income during the years he worked for the IMF, though he did pay income taxes. After the Internal Revenue Service audited him in 2006 and discovered the payroll-tax errors, Mr. Geithner corrected them for 2003 and 2004. Only after Mr. Obama picked him for Treasury secretary last fall did Mr. Geithner pay the Social Security and Medicare tax he owed for 2001 and 2002. - Wall Street Journal
He did this same job for a number of years. Had half his time at this job audited. Was caught for failure to pay his Social Security and Medicare taxes for that period. He had to pay at that point for those two years, but didn't bother to pay up for the years he was not caught despite having to know that he made the same 'mistake' for those un-audited years as well.
Worse, he was repeatedly told that he had to pay these taxes by his employer and was even paid compensation for the money he should have paid:
"The IMF informs U.S. employees about their tax allowance and what it covers and doesn't cover -- and that includes paying your payroll taxes," said Michael Mussa, a former IMF chief economist, who is now at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "The IMF doesn't leave this out."An IMF booklet on taxes, which Mr. Geithner told the Senate panel he received, instructed employees that "you pay the employee's share of U.S. Social Security taxes."Mr. Geithner's quarterly tax-allowance payments also included a statement of what the money was to be used for, and had an entry for "SE tax" -- meaning "self-employment" taxes. In a wrinkle in U.S. tax law, U.S. citizens at the IMF pay Social Security and Medicare taxes as if they were self-employed. Current and former IMF officials said that U.S. officials widely understood "SE tax" to mean payroll taxes.Mr. Geithner "filled out, signed and submitted an annual tax allowance request worksheet with the IMF that states, 'I wish to apply for tax allowance of U.S. federal and state income taxes and the difference between the "self-employed" and "employed" obligation of the U.S. Social Security tax which I will pay on my Fund income,'" the Finance Committee reported. - Wall Street Journal
It is ridiculous to accept his excuse that he just made a mistake. AT BEST he made many mistakes in this matter. But for a person to be reminded of what he needed to do and receive money for the purpose of making these payments makes him a tax cheat. Even if this is all one big misunderstanding, he still should not be confirmed simply because this does not look like a simple misunderstanding. Its looks like he acted in his own best interest and for that reason alone, should not be rewarded with this Government position.
By keeping his tax payments he stole from the US Treasury. And now Congress wants to put him in charge of it. This would be the same as a bank hiring a former bank robber.
P.S. If Congress decides that this is no big deal, then in all fairness all Americans should not get Social Security and Medicare automatically deducted from our paychecks. And, if we happen to forget to pay voluntarily, we should be given the same opportunity he received in being able to pay what we owe with no penalties, if we get caught. At least the IRS will stimulate the employment numbers because they won't be able to hire enough auditors to catch us all....