Not Only For Change, But EXTRA Change!

Don Tequila, tending bar this evening in the Liquor & Rubber Balls Sports Emporium and Vegans-Cleansed-While-U-Wait, silently passes me the newspaper with the following story as he draws me a cold Pilsner Urquel (special tonight):

Timothy F. Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be Treasury secretary, failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in federal taxes, according to the committee and the Obama transition.

After the underpayments were detected, he paid back taxes and interest totaling $43,200.

The underpayments…involve Mr. Geithner’s income earlier in this decade when he was a senior official at the International Monetary Fund before taking his latest job, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in November 2003.

From 2001 until 2004, when he received his final payments from the I.M.F., Mr. Geithner paid his state and federal income taxes but did not pay self-employment payroll taxes.   After a 2006 IRS audit identified the lapse on his 2003 and 2004 tax returns, Mr. Geithner paid tax and interest of $17,230 and the IRS waived penalties, according to the transition.

But Obama vetters discovered the same lapse for 2001 and 2002 and brought it to Mr. Geithner’s attention last Nov. 21, after which he paid tax and interest of $25,970, transition officials say.  That leaves for Mr. Geithner the question of why he did not correct the earlier years’ non-payment of self-employment taxes after the 2006 IRS audit identified the problem for 2003 and 2004. — NYTimes

“Looks like Obama got himself the right guy for Treasury,” says Don, setting down my drink.

How you figure?  Looks like he’s a tax dodger, ferchrissakes.  Great start.

“You mean, he’s like everybody else in the country?  He tries to get away with paying as little as he can?

jfa0168lDon, he’s the top guy.  He’s supposed to be squeaky clean, not weasely bent.

“Ha!  You and Toto really miss Kansas, don’t you, Dorothy?  So I guess if we peeked at your tax returns for the last 10 years, they’d be 100% on the up and up, too, like most American taxpayers.”

I plead the fifth.  And need a drink from one.  Besides, my returns are mostly zeroes — on both sides of the decimal point.

“Don’t worry,” he continues, not that I am (or care). “This won’t mean dickfer. Fact is, a little sneaky maneuver on his part just earns respect from his peers.  Particularly the Republicans.  Oh, they’ll huff and puff and make a political point or two for the rubes back home and the righty bloggers, but the fact is, they’re less likely to trust an obedient asshat who follows the rules than a crafty player taking the angles.”

Comfort level, huh.  He’s one of them, too.

“Damn betcha.  Cheating on your taxes is the ‘Merican Effing Way, especially if you have something to lose.  Here’s a guy with a high-level position serving in a hostile administration.  He takes a gamble, gets caught, pays up, but still leaves himself a little bit out there as a matter of defiance.  Yeah, he’s okay in their book.  They admire that kind of attitude.”

Shit.  How about you, Don?  You’re a righteous dude. How do YOU like it when you find out the guys who make the rules and manage the cash are cheating, lying, and stealing?

Don squints at me for a moment, then reaches around for the Partida.  Grinning, he pops off the cork and pours me a long shot.  Hesitates, then pours a second.  We toast each other silently, then down them straight.  Actually, it doesn’t go that well with the Urquel.  Gotta give up Urquel.

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13 Responses to Not Only For Change, But EXTRA Change!

  1. alesh says:

    Yeah, it’s true, they don’t drink tequila in Europe. Whiskey neither.

  2. Ms Calabaza says:

    You betcha, give the dude a break … it’s the American effin’ way . . .

  3. NME says:

    Change, huh. Just another white collar criminal too good to follow the rules. Make that SMALL change.

  4. "Esq" A Lawyer says:

    The more interesting take is how the Obama transition team keeps slipping up. Richardson is forced out, they get outmaneuvered on a national stage by Blagojovich, and now this.

    The lesson is that running a smooth campaign is easier than running a presidency. Perhaps that’s why so many elected officials don’t meet expectations. Here we go again.

  5. Bernie Madoff says:

    “How do YOU like it when you find out the guys who make the rules and manage the cash are cheating, lying, and stealing?”

    I found this out when I was about 13 years old, at my Bar Mitzvah, when I spotted the Rabbi sneaking a pulled pork sandwich. It changed my life, believe me.

  6. Vegan says:

    Good points, but what’s up with “Vegans Cleansed While U Wait”?

  7. Agustin R. Farinas says:

    Squatty,
    is the typical liberal mantra bullshit: do what I say but not what I do. Al (I invented the Internet) Gore is exactly the same kind of weasel. His home in Tennesee uses about 8 times more electricity than the average American home and he travels in his won private Lear jet while advising the rest of us to stop buying SUV’s and using less electricity.

  8. Squathole says:

    Only bone I’d pick, Auggie, is your discrimination against non-liberals, whose capacity for hypocrisy is every bit as encompassing as everybody else’s. Most blatant exhibit would be the masters of the finance and banking industry in the news these days; fine, conservative upstanding fellows who’ve preached personal responsibility and fiscal conservatism for decades, and turn out to have lied their shit-smeared asses clean off. Under Klieg lights, no less.

    And then there’s the top military commanders making patriotic noises and denying torture.

    Shall we move on to religious leaders next?

  9. B. Pheeder says:

    Oy Vegan: You don’t like your vegans dirty, do you?

  10. Agustin R. Farinas says:

    Squatty,
    my beef was because these liberal guys are always preaching austerity but have none of it in their personal lives. Conservative supposedly are not talking evry other minute about global warming (BTW, have you noticed lately how much global warming we are getting around the US?) or save the world by eating less food and not turning on the lights so the kids in Africa can have better schools or whatever leftist cause is popular these days.
    An example. Pres. Bush is giving credit for destroying the environment, the economy, being a warmonger who has killed hundreds of thousands,not signing the Kyoto treaty, and so on and so forth. But no one says that he did more to relieve the sickeness and poverty for Sub-Saharan countries who live in absolute poverty than all the hypocrite European countries l put together. Under Bush the US has tripled its hep to these countries and have cuadrupled the aid for the medicines needed to control AIDS. These countries have said so themselves that never before have they gotten so much help even to the point of the US buying mosquito nets for them and that as a result of these efforts, the cases of r malaria are almost down to zero in their countries. Yet I do not see one single MSM or liberal giving him credit for that.
    BTW, I saw you had a run in with the nemesis of the Cuban American Blogsphere Mr. Rubber Head aka Fantomas. Glad to see you put him in his place. Kudos to you.

  11. Squathole says:

    Auggie: I never know what anybody means by “MSM” any more. I know that the NY Times, and particularly its columnist Nicholas Kristoff, has praised Bush’s record of assistance to Africa and arranged for exactly the kind of aid you mention here. Just recently I read an editorial noting that his work in Africa is one of the only bright spots of his 8 years as president.

    He’s made some miserable mistakes there as well, particularly his Christian-inspired obsession with abstinence as a precondition for AIDS relief, but on balance, his administration has been helpful.

    Sample

    As for Rubber Head, he’s been such a persistant irritant on RCAB it’s made it difficult to visit the blog and comment. I’ll miss Manny, but I sure won’t mourn fantom-ass.

  12. Agustin R. Farinas says:

    Squatty,
    all of us who visited the RCAB will miss him. He has great insight into Cuban politics and history. His pen is mordant and incisive and his command of the English language is outstanding. I used to love to visit there, read and comment, but since it was allowed to turn into a cesspool by a few of his commenters, with Famtom-ass at the head of the pack, and it has deteriorated greatly. It is sad. Very sad.
    BTW, I was surprised to see you comment there, I guess I did not notice your previous visits..

  13. Agustin R. Farinas says:

    Squatty,
    since you are a baseball fan you should know this piece of news.

    Baseball is in mourning. Pedro “Preston “Gomez the Cuban born former manager of the San Diego Padres has died at the age of 85 in Fullerton, California. Our condolences to his family.

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