How can a guy who had the kind of experience and net worth that Mr. Geithner has, be using Turbo Tax to do his taxes? We're not talking about some guy who lives in a $200,000 house with his wife, 2 kids and a dog filing a plain vanilla tax return. This guy was short $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare withholding. $34,000 in withholding. $34,000. The median household income in this country is only little over $50,000. This guy failed to pay $34,000 in taxes. I've used Turbo Tax, its not hard to get right.
I am guessing that a guy with those kinds of resources (7 or 8 figure net worth) does not have a plain vanilla tax return. This is a man with vast experience in banking, wealth management and financial services. I guess I could buy where someone could forget to do that withholding, but I can't buy that he trusted his tax return to a piece of computer software. I have to wonder why he was being so cheap or perhaps it is something else. A good accountant couldn't have run him more than grand to do his taxes, which have to be far more than the basic tax returns ordinary Americans fill out every spring. Yet he resorts to a $75 piece of software to fill out the year’s most important paperwork. The wife and I make a nice living, but we still pay a couple hundred bucks for an accountant to do our taxes. I really have to question the wisdom of having a Secretary of the Treasury who does his taxes with Turbo Tax. In my eyes, he's either foolish, naive or just plain dumb at best. I don't think that those are qualities that I want to see in a person who is being elevated to the job of Secretary of the Treasury. At worst, he's a bold faced tax cheat. Either way, this is not the type of person you want to entrust with a job this important.
I have serious questions and issues with how Ben Bernake went about handing the bailouts and buyouts of Bear Stearns, AIG and others, but I never felt like the guy was foolish, naive or dumb. I question his judgment in giving out taxpayer dollars without getting something in return. However, I am not armed with all of the facts and my 6 credits of college economics only qualifies me to get up on my soap box and demand answers to questions which I think are common sense. In fact Tim Geithner was not far removed from many of those decisions Ben Bernake was making, in his role as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.