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Treasury Dept Nominations
Old 03-12-2009, 11:04 PM   #1
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Treasury Dept Nominations

Whether you were for or against the current administration during the election, I think it's safe to say we're all pulling for Obama and his Sec of Treas to be successful in saving our retirements. But what's going on with Geithner being unable to fill his open staff positions? Another key withdrawal from consideration according to this Yahoo article. Is the vetting too tough? Candidates with unsavory skeletons in the closet?

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090312/treasury_withdrawal.html


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Cohen, a partner with the New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, had been considered a leading candidate for the post as Geithner's deputy. The withdrawal was first reported by ABC News, which quoted sources as saying Cohen decided to take his name out of the running after an issue arose in the vetting process.
Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last week, sources said that Annette Nazareth, a former commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission, had withdrawn from consideration for the same job.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Whether you were for or against the current administration during the election, I think it's safe to say we're all pulling for Obama and his Sec of Treas to be successful in saving our retirements. But what's going on with Geithner being unable to fill his open staff positions? Another key withdrawal from consideration according to this Yahoo article. Is the vetting too tough? Candidates with unsavory skeletons in the closet?

Source: attorney withdraws from Treasury job: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
I am sure theywill eventually find someone with Geithner's level of market skill, PR chops, and clean bio.

Ha
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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Everyone has had a housekeeper that they didn't pay Social Security and Medicare for. Everyone. Even me. It's a total deal killer.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:41 AM   #4
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Everyone has had a housekeeper that they didn't pay Social Security and Medicare for. Everyone. Even me. It's a total deal killer.
Not me. And I don't know anyone else who does, either. We apparantly move in different social circles.

However, I could believe that this is a big part of the problem. I wonder how many of the people with experience at the higher levels in finance have housekeeper or tax issues.

Why is it so hard to follow pretty well-known laws?
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Why is it so hard to follow pretty well-known laws?
Old 03-13-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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Why is it so hard to follow pretty well-known laws?

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Not me. And I don't know anyone else who does, either. We apparantly move in different social circles.

However, I could believe that this is a big part of the problem. I wonder how many of the people with experience at the higher levels in finance have housekeeper or tax issues.

Why is it so hard to follow pretty well-known laws?
In order to have domestic help you either have to be fairly wealthy or live close to the border with Mexico.

Especially in the past you could not report payments to domestic help because they were not legal, did not have SS numbers, and didn't really speak English. They had no means to cope with or pay taxes on their end of the transaction. They just wanted cash to pay for life's necessities. That's it. Most people just wanted some household help and paid with cash. These are not wealthy people. They do not have accountants. They do not know how to calculate and pay SS, Medicare, and Federal Tax withholding and make deposits. Most people have no idea what an Employee Identification Number is or how to get one. You will need one to comply with the law if you want to report money paid to domestic employees. So. Yes, people should do all of this and comply with the law. I'm sure you comply with the law, right? You have NEVER exceeded the speed limit right? Oh? Well .. you could have killed someone.

Anyway ... when I used to listen to Rush he said something about good people not wanting to enter public service anymore because they have to undergo a public rectal exam. I think that it is a problem and we are losing the service of some very capable people because of it.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:23 PM   #6
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Anyway ... when I used to listen to Rush he said something about good people not wanting to enter public service anymore because they have to undergo a public rectal exam. I think that it is a problem and we are losing the service of some very capable people because of it.
I believe it. I know Colin Powell was considering a presidential run at one point, and backed out at least in part because he didn't want to subject his family to that "rectal exam."

And that's the real shame of it. They don't stop at the candidate or the nominee any more. They go after family, friends and associates now, too -- which makes me wonder about the integrity of anyone, regardless of party, who would be willing to throw said family, friends and business associates under the bus in order to gain personal power.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:36 PM   #7
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In order to have domestic help you either have to be fairly wealthy or live close to the border with Mexico.

Especially in the past you could not report payments to domestic help because they were not legal, did not have SS numbers, and didn't really speak English. They had no means to cope with or pay taxes on their end of the transaction. They just wanted cash to pay for life's necessities. That's it. Most people just wanted some household help and paid with cash. These are not wealthy people. They do not have accountants. They do not know how to calculate and pay SS, Medicare, and Federal Tax withholding and make deposits. Most people have no idea what an Employee Identification Number is or how to get one. You will need one to comply with the law if you want to report money paid to domestic employees.
That's right. And plenty of people who are not wealthy and do not have accountants, either figure out how to do these things on their own or else do without a maid. Many people would not even consider hiring an illegal alien as a maid, simply because they are in the country illegally.

Those who think it's "OK" to hire an illegal and pay them under the table simply think they are too special to follow the laws that others must, and do, follow. They say to themselves, "Nobody REALLY follows those laws", as a rationalization for their illegal actions. There are plenty of people like that who steal office supplies from work, too, and tell themselves that "Everybody does it". That is not the case and constitutes another rationalization, and many people choose not to spend time with people like that. [/rant]
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:54 PM   #8
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[/rant]
Thanks for the rant. You are right. It really isn't that complicated, though. You would like some household help one day a week and your neighbor has someone who does a good job and is looking for another day and so you ask and they come every Wednesday and you leave them four 20's and everyone is happy.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:18 PM   #9
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From a recent Washington Post article:

"The sources added that the agency is also facing difficulties recruiting financial experts because of rules that require senior Treasury officials to divest of their investments. With the markets plummeting, some candidates have been reluctant to sell their holdings and come to the department."

washingtonpost.com

I can understand folks not wanting to dump their investment portfolios now.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:21 PM   #10
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"The sources added that the agency is also facing difficulties recruiting financial experts because of rules that require senior Treasury officials to divest of their investments. With the markets plummeting, some candidates have been reluctant to sell their holdings and come to the department."

washingtonpost.com

I can understand folks not wanting to dump their investment portfolios now.
It's also heartening to hear that many of these experts are expecting them to recover eventually and thus not locking in "selling low."
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It's also heartening to hear that many of these experts are expecting them to recover
Old 03-13-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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It's also heartening to hear that many of these experts are expecting them to recover

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It's also heartening to hear that many of these experts are expecting them to recover eventually and thus not locking in "selling low."
Excellent point!

And yet, if they know something we don't why are they still in the market now?
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:12 PM   #12
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In order to have domestic help you either have to be fairly wealthy or live close to the border with Mexico.

Especially in the past you could not report payments to domestic help because they were not legal, did not have SS numbers, and didn't really speak English. They had no means to cope with or pay taxes on their end of the transaction. They just wanted cash to pay for life's necessities. That's it. Most people just wanted some household help and paid with cash. These are not wealthy people. They do not have accountants. They do not know how to calculate and pay SS, Medicare, and Federal Tax withholding and make deposits. Most people have no idea what an Employee Identification Number is or how to get one. You will need one to comply with the law if you want to report money paid to domestic employees. So. Yes, people should do all of this and comply with the law. I'm sure you comply with the law, right? You have NEVER exceeded the speed limit right? Oh? Well .. you could have killed someone.

Anyway ... when I used to listen to Rush he said something about good people not wanting to enter public service anymore because they have to undergo a public rectal exam. I think that it is a problem and we are losing the service of some very capable people because of it.
Most of the people who are likely to be Treasury officials don't live close to the Mexican border, so I suppose they are wealthy. If so, think they can spend a few bucks extra to hire a legal worker. They are also pretty smart about financial matters, so I figure they can either sort it out or they can pay an accountant to explain it to them.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:21 PM   #13
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They are also pretty smart about financial matters, so I figure they can either sort it out or they can pay an accountant to explain it to them.
Geithner used Turbo Tax, did his own tax return, and screwed it up. He should have hired an accountant if he had any inkling of going for a high profile government job. Even if the accountant messed things up, he could have had the excuse of relying on a paid professional.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:16 PM   #14
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With his demonstrated personal financial skills, I can infer his professional performance to be about the same. So far he has not come forward with any brilliant solutions, but there is still hope.

It is hard to believe he was The Only choice by the president. Can't imagine anyone willingly working for Geithner.
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Geithner used Turbo Tax
Old 03-13-2009, 08:52 PM   #15
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Geithner used Turbo Tax

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Geithner used Turbo Tax, did his own tax return, and screwed it up. He should have hired an accountant if he had any inkling of going for a high profile government job. Even if the accountant messed things up, he could have had the excuse of relying on a paid professional.
Is that true or a joke?
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Thumbs up Eliot Spitzer!
Old 03-13-2009, 08:54 PM   #16
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Thumbs up Eliot Spitzer!

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It is hard to believe he was The Only choice by the president.
I would give the job to Eliot Spitzer!
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:10 PM   #17
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Is that true or a joke?
Sad, but true:

From the Washington Post 1/22/09:

Treasury Pick Misfiled Using Off-the-Shelf Tax Software - washingtonpost.com

Treasury Pick Misfiled Using Off-the-Shelf Tax Software

Millions of Americans might be surprised to learn that the man nominated to be the next Treasury secretary -- New York Fed President Timothy F. Geithner -- did his taxes using the same software they do: TurboTax, a fact revealed in his Senate confirmation hearing yesterday.

Geithner's tax returns from 2001 through 2004 have become an embarrassment, if not a stumbling block to his confirmation.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:30 PM   #18
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Great!

(From your link): "Instead, many filers -- mistakenly, carelessly, intentionally -- enter the numbers from their statement of earnings as if they were from a W-2, allowing TurboTax to compute what appears to be an error-free return, Flores said."

"The system is not going to stop and ask you, 'Do you work for an international organization that only paid half of your withholding?' "

New headline: TurboTax fixes loophole in program. Billions in new taxes appear out of nowhere.

Don't lots of people earn both w-2 and 1099 income?

Of course they do. Geithner's income should have been entered into TurboTax as 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Income and everything would have been Kosher.

Remamber Steve Martin's bit on how to make a million dollars and pay no taxes?

First, you make a million dollars.
Then, you pay no taxes!

If the IRS asks why, just say "I forgot!"

I think that is what hapenned here.

Exactly.
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Here we go again.....
Old 03-17-2009, 10:53 PM   #19
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Here we go again.....

Citigroup's top economist tapped for Treasury post

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As a Wall Street insider from a bank that has been one of the largest recipients of government rescue funds, Alexander's appointment could raise some eyebrows. In December 2007, he was quoted as saying that while he believed the housing market would remain weak well into 2008, it was more likely that the economy would keep growing than head into recession, adding that the housing bubble was "correcting on its own."
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:22 AM   #20
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I guess that just proves that if you go fishing in a pool of toxic waste you are likely to catch - toxic waste.
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