Thursday, January 15, 2009


The Innocent Mr. Geithner

Barack Obama then:

“This is a basic issue of fairness and integrity,” said Obama. “We need to crack down on individuals and businesses that abuse our tax laws so that those who work hard and play by the rules aren’t disadvantaged.”

Barack Obama now:

“It is an innocent mistake. It is a mistake that’s commonly made for people who are working internationally or for international institutions. It has been corrected. He’s paid the penalties,” Obama said.”

(Ed. Note: For the record, Mr. Geithner did NOT pay the penalties – they were waived.)

The former quote came as part of a press release to trumpet a new Senate bill to clamp down on US citizens and entities using offshore vehicles to avoid US taxation. Note that many of these offshore techniques were legal. The latter quote is a response to the revelation that his Treasury Secretary-designate is either incompetent in his use of tax prep software or he’s a tax cheat. Everything Mr. Geithner did (or did not do) was explicitly illegal. It’s interesting which apparently more outrages the President-elect.

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