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Balladeer
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0 posted 01-18-2009 10:14 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Barack Obama "absolutely" stands behind Timothy Geithner, his choice for Treasury secretary, despite "a big mistake" involving his failure to pay some taxes, the incoming White House chief of staff said on Sunday.

Geithner made a "big mistake," Rahm Emanuel, the incoming chief of staff, said in a interview on the NBC program "Meet the Press." "But he's the right guy for this job," and Obama backs him "absolutely."

Obama, who is to be sworn in as president on Tuesday, said last week that Geithner, who as treasury secretary would oversee the tax-collecting Internal Revenue Service, had made an "innocent mistake."


Hopefully, with him in charge, we will all be forgiven such "innocent mistakes" when not paying our taxes on time!

A fellow caught failing to pay his taxes selected as Treasury secretary which oversees the IRS....no comedian could make this stuff up!
Ron
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1 posted 01-18-2009 10:49 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Hopefully, with him in charge, we will all be forgiven such "innocent mistakes" when not paying our taxes on time!

Define "forgiven," Mike.

Most people will pay a penalty and interest. Just like Geithner will. In the absence of fraud, that's pretty much the way the IRS works. You make a mistake, you pay for it. Usually, in spades. That presumably applies you, Mike, to me, and apparently to Geithner, too.

When you look at the actual mistakes that were made, most were understandable. The biggest mistake, for example, was not paying self-employment taxes while he was an employee of the International Monetary Fund. Employee? Yea, that's the wacky part. He was an employee, but the IMF requires U.S. Citizens to file their taxes using Schedule SE. Essentially, it transfers the burden from IMF to the employee. Any American company that tried that would get smacked on the wrist pretty quick.

In an ideal world, of course, the man slated to run the IRS would know every possible permutation of the U.S. Tax Code. Do we really think that's a realistic expectation, though? Does anyone actually know the Tax Code that well?
Balladeer
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2 posted 01-18-2009 02:54 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

In an ideal world, of course, the man slated to run the IRS would know every possible permutation of the U.S. Tax Code. Do we really think that's a realistic expectation, though?

Very generous of you, Ron. I don't think knowledge of every possible permutation of the US tax code was necessary in this case. I do, though, expect excuses to be made for him.

Obama promised there would be change.A man who was caught failing to pay his taxes on time being picked to oversee the IRS is certainly change.
Balladeer
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3 posted 01-18-2009 03:10 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The second concern involves Geithner's taxes while he worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to a statement released by the committee, Geithner failed to pay self-employment taxes while the IMF paid him from 2001 to 2004.

In 2006, the Internal Revenue Service audited Geithner for tax years 2003 and 2004, and he paid $16,732 for the taxes and interest for those years, the statement said. After Obama nominated him for treasury secretary, Geithner voluntarily amended his taxes for 2001 and 2002, paying $25,970 for those taxes and interest, the committee said.


So he hadn't paid the self-employment taxes for four years. Who thinks he had no idea he was supposed to pay those taxes? Who thinks the company sent no memo or reminder to employees that they were responsible for those taxes? After he was audited and told he owed money for 2003-04, who thinks that did not make him aware that he must also owe back taxes for 2001-02? Did he pay them in 2006? No, he paid them only after Obama nominated him for treasury secretary. Who thinks that he would have voluntarily paid them had he not been Obama-picked?

Come up with all of the justifications you want, Ron. They don't wash.
moonbeam
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4 posted 01-18-2009 05:13 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Good grief, are we going to have 4 years of this sort of petty political point scoring Mike?  

You're just about to get a new President upon whom the hopes of the world rest, in one of the most difficult periods the human race has faced for decades, and all you can do is pick over the detail of an appointee's tax return and giggle derisorily.

I think your nation has in Obama a President of stature and vision, a President you deserve.  If too many people do what you're doing though, I guess he will be entitled to ask whether he has the nation he deserves.

If not for yourselves, at least for the sake of the rest of us I sincerely hope America can get past the pedantic bickering that seems to be more and more prevalent in modern society and set an example of mature leadership.
Brad
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5 posted 01-18-2009 05:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Oh, I don't know, M.

There's something to be said for having watchdogs, isn't there?

On the other hand, a numbness sets in at some point and these points, especially as they move farther down the ladder of power, eventually succumb to their own irrelevancy.

I see nothing wrong with vigilance. I just don't understand why this side or that side gets upset when the other side engages in the same thing.  In that, perhaps we all are guilty of hypocrisy.
Ringo
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6 posted 01-18-2009 05:59 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

This sort of political point scoring is inevitable, Moonbeam.
The left did it in 2000 and 2004. Here are a few of the highlights the Democrats loved to scream about that you might remember:
1) He deserted from the Air National Guard
2) He took cocaine as a youngster in college
3) He owned an oil company, therefore, he is only interested in gouging the poor Americans so he and his cronies can get rich.
And so many more that we can all sit back and reminisce about by the fire.

Such is American Politics. Those who win take the heat from those who do not. Those who win also complain about it to everyone, regardless of whether they are interested in listening.

And, now, you know the rest of the story...

What would you attempt to do...if you knew you could not fail?
http://www.hubpages.com/profile/RingoShort

Grinch
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7 posted 01-18-2009 06:01 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


I’m with you on this one Mike.

The guy obviously doesn’t understand your tax laws - he had no obligation to repay the tax for 2001-02 because there’s a three year limitation on IRS assessments - if they don’t audit your return and tell you that you owe it in that period then, by law, you don’t owe it.

Unless of course you’re stupid enough to sign a waiver and ask them to assess you beyond that three year limit, which, by the sound of it, is what he did.

Personally though I’d be more concerned with the question of why the IRS were so inept they didn’t issue a correct assessment in 2003-04 rather than castigating the one idiot that seems to be rewarding their ineptitude. How many more people aren’t paying the right amount of tax? How many of them are going to volunteer to stump up beyond the legal three year period.

I definitely wouldn’t - on principle.

moonbeam
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8 posted 01-18-2009 06:22 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
a numbness sets in at some point

Exactly Brad.  

Yes Ringo they did, but I'm not taking a partisan approach here.  It doesn't make it right or productive.

Balladeer
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9 posted 01-18-2009 07:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Good grief, are we going to have 4 years of this sort of petty political point scoring Mike?  

LOLOL! Gotta love it. We have just gone through eight years of the petty political point scoring (some of which you engaged in) and, now that the shoe is on the other foot, it's all petty stuff. You want to call it petty? Be my guest. After having endured 8 years of some of the most ridiculous point scorings imaginable attempted by Democrats, I can assure you that, yes, it will continue every time there is a questionable point. If you didn't complain about the Bush bashing involving him and everybody associated with him, don't complain now.  


I see nothing wrong with vigilance. I just don't understand why this side or that side gets upset when the other side engages in the same thing.  In that, perhaps we all are guilty of hypocrisy.

Well said, Brad
Balladeer
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10 posted 01-18-2009 07:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

grinch, thanks for the info. The last I was told was that records had to be kept for seven years. Since I have that many years or records and receipts stored away, if it really is three years, then I can save some space in the office. I'll check into that.

Why wasn't the IRS efficient and how many people are paying the wrong amount of taxes??? I'm assuming that's a joke. One has to search far and wide to find an agency more bungling. Efficiency is not their strong point.

[This message has been edited by Ron (01-19-2009 06:43 AM).]

Huan Yi
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11 posted 01-18-2009 07:48 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"You're just about to get a new President upon whom the hopes of the world rest, in one of the most difficult periods the human race has faced for decades . . ."


If he walks on water
I'll hold his robe,
so long as I too get a jug
of that special wine after . . .


.
Bob K
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12 posted 01-19-2009 03:21 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Hey, Mike,

        If the guy was wrong, the guy was wrong.  Perhaps you could give me some notion, though, of what you think the consequences should be.  I agree that he should have known better or should have gotten better tax advice or both.  I agree that he owes whatever he owes and whatever he works out with the IRS for penalties and interest.  Because he is in the position he's in, I doubt he's likely to get the possible breaks that somebody with a good lawyer might get.  That's probably as it should be as well, since as a nominee it would be impossible to say that anything less would be as a result of political influence.
This seems a bit harsh to me, but fair.

     Beyond that, it's up to the Senate as to whether they wish to confirm the man or not.  If Obama feels he's a good candidate and the Senate can make up its own mind and the IRS will act fairly, I'm unclear what your beef is.

     With at least one of the situations you bring up about Bush, the charges appeared to amount to desertion in Wartime.  This is not something usually dealt with administratively, as I understand it, but a potentially Capital Charge.  It seems unlikely that those charges will ever be investigated fully at this point, given that they bear upon the honor of a soon to be former President of The United States, and we try to be more considerate of  the office here — mostly.  I personally think that those particular charges against President Bush would have been Charges the President would have wished to have cleared up, since they had been hanging over him before and continue to do so today.  I can understand why he would chose not to, however.

     I would not mistake the severity of those accusations — accusations which might potentially involve the Death Penalty — and what appears to be a tax glitch.  Death Penalty or Fine; death penalty or fine:  One of these definitely seems to be more serious than the other, and the fine is not it.

     Making a mistake on one's taxes is not the same as (possibly) deserting in time of war.  Calling attention to desertion in time of war (or the possibility of it) seems to rise to a more serious level than "bashing."  I would imagine.

     Similarly, I would suggest that one's president doesn't go out for a casual bike ride one day, stop in at a seven-11, buy a Doctor Pepper and on the way out of the store slip and accidently cause the torture of perhaps a thousand or more people whose connection to terrorist activities is for the most part unprovable.  I'd define "Bush Bashing" as saying that I thought the man has a goofy laugh.  In fact I do think the man has a goofy laugh.

     I like to think of what I've been doing for the past eight years as something a bit more serious than "Bush Bashing."  Both I and a large part of the country have some substantive quarrels with the man.

     If you think the Nominee for Secretary of the Treasury is off base, though, this would be a good time to call your Senators.  Myself, I think he messed up and I'm willing to let the Senate decide, because I don't think it's all that bad, but I'm fine with whatever the senate goes with.  That's their job.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
threadbear
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13 posted 01-19-2009 03:35 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

no suprise.
Bahama has a long list of questionable friends, and now they are getting political positions.  
You think this is the end of his cabinet scandals?  Au contraire, mon frere.

I think this is another case where the General watches from the Hill with immunity while his hand-picked soldiers get picked off one by one.
moonbeam
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14 posted 01-19-2009 05:08 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
We have just gone through eight years of the petty political point scoring (some of which you engaged in)

At least be accurate Mike.  I supported Bush for a very long time: I was there watching live with a friend (from PiP actually) on the memorable "night of the chads" cheering him on.  I agreed with the dubious tactics which allowed him to bomb Iraq, and I carried on supporting him way past his first term.  And however much coffee you spill I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican by conviction.

Regarding Bush, you accuse me of not liking him in the last few months.  Actually as a person I like him a lot.  He always makes me laugh, and I think people underestimate his intelligence and kindness.  Nevertheless, to compare the sniping that's been going on against Bush with that against Obama is frankly facile.  When Obama has started a disastrous war, presided over an orgy of spending and failed miserably in 8 years to even begin to resolve the middle east situation then you'll find me sniping at him right alongside you.  On other recently prominent Republicans: I actually liked McCain and I think he'd have been an ok President.  Palin I disliked, but not for party political reasons, simply because I distrusted her character from what I could see of her views in certain key areas that I care about.

(Thanks Ron - too much coffee flying around )

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (01-19-2009 10:17 AM).]

Denise
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15 posted 01-19-2009 09:52 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

For the hopes of the world to rest on one man, any man, (other than the God/Man, Jesus Christ) is pretty pathetic, in my opinion, and the world will be sorely disappointed.
rwood
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16 posted 01-19-2009 10:02 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Personally, I think the IRS is one the biggest oopsies America ever unleashed.
moonbeam
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17 posted 01-19-2009 10:21 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

You are right Denise it is pathetic.  America has far too much power, and the American system of governance is erroneously conceived in that it gives too much power, and perhaps more importantly too much prestige, to one man.  The rest of the world has been taught, largely by America, to look to America in times of trouble.  Add that lot up and you get the result you call pathetic.  

Fortunately in Obama you may just have picked someone who can emulate Christ and walk on water.  

Don't berate yourself Denise, don't be downhearted, don't be disappointed - give him time, and your support would help him too.
Balladeer
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18 posted 01-19-2009 11:37 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Similarly, I would suggest that one's president doesn't go out for a casual bike ride one day, stop in at a seven-11, buy a Doctor Pepper and on the way out of the store slip and accidently cause the torture of perhaps a thousand or more people whose connection to terrorist activities is for the most part unprovable.

That's actually quite a sad commentary, Bob.

Interesting that, in the last several posts you have submitted since your return, torture seems to be your mantra. You have basically ignored the rest of the mud slung at Bush, as if just saying "torture" absolves everything else.

In the first place, torture is quite a broad term. The way you toss it out there, it could mean drawn and quartering, cutting off toes and fingers, using electrical wires on testicles or anything else the word conjures up. If  you look back at what all of the "torture" mileage was about, you'll find waterboarding, loud music, sleep deprivation, not giving them the food they want, etc, etc, etc. I don't condone torture of any kind (possible exception of extreme circumstances) but just to throw out the word torture with a pointing finger doesn't give a lot of validity to your point. Second, how does that all land on Bush's plate. I've never seen that any other time in American history. Instead of going after the privates at Abu Ghrab, for example, or their superiors or any number of people in the chain of command, you (as your above quote demonstrates) and the Democratic leadership simply went right after Bush, as if he personally picked up the phone and said "Torture those people now!". You speak as if Gitmo never existed before Bush, as if harsh interrogation tactics  were unheard of before Bush, and the only people sleep deprived or who were tortured with rap music came only as a direct result of Bush orders. Come on, Bob. The torture chant against bush is just another mud against the wall democratic tactic.

I fully expect you to try to justify every smear campaign against Bush over the years, even the ones you have failed to address here, but that's what it is...an attempt at justification. I also fully expect others to scream "petty" for whatever comes up that could put Obama in an unfavorable light.

...and, for the record, I think Bush has a goofy grin. too  

[This message has been edited by Ron (01-19-2009 12:16 PM).]

Huan Yi
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19 posted 01-19-2009 12:23 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"Fortunately in Obama you may just have picked someone who can emulate Christ and walk on water."  

I can't imagine anyone seriously thinking this.  It's not thought but whorship.

.
moonbeam
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20 posted 01-19-2009 12:45 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

"Fortunately in Obama you may just have picked someone who can emulate Christ and walk on water."  
quote:
I can't imagine anyone seriously thinking this.  It's not thought but whorship.


Lol I hope that was a Freudian slip Huan!

But seriously, I cannot imagine how anyone cannot hope that it isn't possible and true.

Sometimes it's better not to think too much.  Sometimes what nations need to drag themselves up out of trouble are not dry  packages of economic measures presented by experienced politicians, but the psychological uplifting that can only be engendered by inspirational leadership.  Obama is already a great man, and what he has already achieved is great.  

The world is at war and in turmoil on all sorts of fronts, and in times of war and turmoil I'd rather have a Churchill or Obama in charge than a Bush or Brown (God help the UK).  

And collected by the CS Monitor correspondents around the world:

    "Saudis … did not really believe in the American version of democracy. How could they when all the presidents of the so-called ‘melting pot' were Anglo." - Eman Al-Nafjan, Saudiwoman's Weblog

    "We always feel we are lower-class people… But if someone of Kenyan origin becomes president there, it will make us feel we are on the same level." George Anyango, shopping mall employee in Kenya

    "[Barack Obama is] what the rest of the world dreams America can be." - Jacques Mistral, transatlantic specialist at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris

    "If an African-American can do it and become president, then people in Africa think, maybe … people who are struggling for democracy in Zimbabwe can do it, and those in power can do what is in their power to change their countries for the better." - David Monyae, independent political analyst in Johannesburg, South Africa

    "We can now think of ourselves dreaming again with the Americans, dreaming about better relations, about a real future." - Harold Herman, lawyer in a Paris firm

    "Obama's story shows that identity is not a fact of nature that locks men up inside their births, but [is shaped] by a conscious adherence to democratic principles…. For the first time in a long time, the New World deserves its name." - Laurent Joffrin, editor of the French daily newspaper Libération

    "I have the feeling that he is another bearer of the ‘American Dream.' " – Liu Na, China
Huan Yi
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21 posted 01-19-2009 04:29 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


.

"Sometimes it's better not to think too much"

Or at all apparently . . .


.
Huan Yi
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22 posted 01-19-2009 04:31 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

I feel compelled to note:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-ehrenstein19mar19,0,5335087.story?coll=la-opinion-center


.
oceanvu2
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23 posted 01-19-2009 05:16 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

RE:  "Sometimes it's better not to think too much"

Isn't this what Sancho Panza was trying to tell Don Quixote?  As I remember, though, Don Quixote was the hero and Sancho Panza the fool.  We need both of them, of course, but if forced to emulate one or the other, I'd say, bring on the windmill.

Of course I care what happens after tomorrow, when Senator Obama becomes President Obama, but tomorrow will be a day of worldwide effect, not not just a parochial transfer of power.

What happened in the last ten or twenty years to turn an impossibility to a possibility to a reality?  Are we growing up?

I think so.  Jimmy
Brad
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24 posted 01-19-2009 05:43 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

From the treasury secretary to the "magic negro"?

The next few years are going to be fun.

M. and Jim,

Yep, that's pretty much what I see and hear over here too. Obama, as a symbol, is the return of the American dream. This has gotta be a good thing. If it makes a few white people feel better about themselves, I see nothing wrong with that.

Now, let's see if he -- we -- can fix the mess we're in.

 
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