The problem is his integrity.
He did not pay taxes that the IMF clearly informed him that he owed, and when he was audited, he still did not make good on all of the back taxes. He also continued to play fast and loose with the system.
And his name has just been sent to the full Senate for confirmation.
The committee passed him, despite all of this, because he's the genius that will fix our economy. Even though he couldn't understand Turbo Tax. (It's pretty simple, really. You hit the prompt that says "self-employed"). Not to mention the fact that the IMF not only apprised him of his tax obligation each quarter, but also wrote him a check intended to cover his tax obligation. So he kept the money from the IMF and did not pay the taxes.
Now many of us ordinary citizens have trouble with our taxes, but if we made this mistake we would pay fines, back taxes, and interest on what we owed. We might be terrorized by the IRS for years to come. Geithner has not experienced that. Apparently, there is not one law for the citizen and the politician in the United States.
What concerns me the most, though, is not Geithner's lack of integrity, although that is a big concern. What concerns me, is that our Senators and Representatives do not think it matters. After all, Geithner is the genius that came up with TARP, which was such an innovative solution that it was not used. So the congress critters have persuaded themselves that he is the only person who can save our economy from certain crash. And this bothers me quite a lot more.
First, the assumption that any one person can save an economy, any economy, by spending money we don't have defies common sense. It is what F.A. Hayek called The Fatal Conceit. Secondly, is it really possible that among a population of more than 303 million people this one, clearly flawed man is the only person who is qualified to be Secretary of the Treasury? This man who can't get his taxes right is the only person to put in charge of the IRS, the bailouts, and the printing presses at the US Treasury?
This kind of desire for a magic solution to all our problems is the same idolatry that made the Obamaniacs so nauseating. Our founders did not set up our system of government to depend on one man. As Thomas Jefferson wrote:
"It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights... Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism. Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence. It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power... Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go... In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
--Thomas Jefferson: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. ME 17:388
Ours is a government of law, not of men.
Should we then give the power over our money, which was unconstitutionally given to the Secretary of the Treasury by our venal politicians last October, over to a man who violates that law? Who, at best, is a genius who cannot understand the portions of the law that he will be charged with enforcing by virtue of his position over the IRS? Should this man have the power to deprive citizens who violate the same code he did of their rights to liberty and property?
I cannot believe that this is practically a done deal.
We have been told today that although his tax code violations would have been a problem in more ordinary times, these extraordinary times make his lack of integrity unimportant.
What? Does this mean that since these times are so extraordinary, the law does not now apply? Isn't it precisely in extraordinary times that character and integrity become extraordinaryly important? In The Crisis, Thomas Paine wrote:
"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value." (December, 1776).
Will a man who, when times were good, did not pay his taxes, and kept the money given to him by the IMF for that purpose, have the integrity to make lawful decisions about our money in these extraordinary times? I think his soul has been tried and found wanting.
We the People of the United States, deserve and should demand accountable leaders who have the courage of their convictions, and the integrity to uphold the Constitution. No one man is the solution to all of our problems. We make the solutions. And as for our leaders, we must "bind [them] down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution."
And we lack wisdom if we do not protest the placement of a man who has already done mischief with his own money in charge of the national purse.