A big headline yesterday was that Tim Geithner, Barack Obama's pick for Treasury Secretary didn't pay his taxes from 2001 to 2004. Whoops! There are plenty of people in Congress however, standing up in Geithner's defense, saying things like:
"I believe that these errors, although serious, do not rise to the level of disqualification. He is an extremely competent man. The errors were, in my judgment, honest mistakes. He did not in any way intentionally make those mistakes." -Finance Committee Chairman Max "Voted-for-the-Bailout" Baucus, D-Montana
Senator Baucus, I certainly hope that this was an honest error and that our new Treasury Secretary is not a crooked, dishonest man who would do something so petty as cheating on his taxes while serving a powerful international banking organization. But if that is in fact the case, then it necessarily calls into question his competence. This guy is supposed to be like a big deal when it comes to handling money. He's about to get appointed to the office of Treasury Secretary, for heaven's sake. And he didn't even know how to properly file his taxes? You're telling me that for four years this supposed finance guru didn't know that he was even supposed to pay his Medicare and Social Security taxes? That's a glaring record of incompetence if you ask me, Senator Baucus. You cannot in the same sentence call him honest and competent. You get to pick one. Either way, he's not qualified.
It makes me wonder if Geithner's vocal supporters in the Senate like Baucus, Hatch, and Schumer (all three of whom voted for the bailout) would have the same flippant attitude towards a conservative Republican nominee with the same record of breaking the law, especially if it were a Supreme Court nominee who didn't care much for abortion.
But folks, it's not just the fact that I have the fifth striking example in like a week that our politicians don't really bother about keeping the law anymore. It's the fact that this man, Tim Geithner is part of the problem, not the solution. He was a chief architect of the wildly unpopular, immoral, and unconsitutional Wall Street Bailout last Fall. He even butted heads with current Treasury Secretary Paulson over how the financial crisis was handled because he thought the Federal government should have taken even more drastic action than it did.
Before his nomination, Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. You know? That giant private bank that pumped all the paper money and credit into the economy which is what caused this mess to begin with? Why on earth would you appoint a man who helped cause the problem, to solve it? Why would you appoint to an even higher office, one of the guys who was in charge when it all came crashing down and whose policies led to the crash? Why would you do that, Mr. Obama? Why would you appoint a core member of the Bush administration's crisis team to your cabinet when you promised change and new blood in Washington politics? I'm afraid that problems can only be solved at a higher level of consciousness than that which caused them.
I'm even more afraid that our politicians aren't very conscious at all about how economies actually function.