Geithner is Better than You

Timothy Geithner is more important than you are. That is why tax flubs and omissions that would prevent you from getting a job in the I.R.S. should not keep him from overseeing the I.R.S.

There is not really much to say about this news. The best people should run the new apparatus of the Executive Branch. President-elect Obama says Mr. Geithner is the best of the best. It doesn't matter that he only decided to pay $26,000 of the more than $42,000 he owed the government AFTER he had been nominated to be Treasury Secretary. That would be meaningful if he were one of the plain people like you, but he's not. He knows the right people. He has the right connections. He has been educated at the right schools, and he says the right things.

It is now not merely acceptable that there are two worlds, one where legalisms can ensnare and destroy the unnannointed versus one where legalisms are irrelevant to the officially blessed, it is to be celebrated.

That is "Change we can Believe in".

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at January 14, 2009 10:29 AM
Comments
Comment #273575

Let’s be honest here. If you came to realize that you had underpaid taxes a couple years ago you would not dash home and start an amended return to pay that.

Nobody would and anyone who suggests otherwise is full of it.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 14, 2009 12:08 PM
Comment #273577
In his appearance yesterday, Geithner told the committee that he had failed to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes because he mistakenly believed that his employer at the time, the International Monetary Fund, was deducting those taxes from his paycheck.

It is fairly interesting to see the Republicans jump down somebody’s throat for making a mistake on their taxes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2009 12:25 PM
Comment #273579

Lee do you think Mr Geithner’s involvement with the IMF is more cause for concern than his tax mistakes?
I would think that his inability to keep his personal financial house in order doesn’t lend credence to the claim he has the ability to perform the job of Treasury Secretary of the United States. However according to your article the Obama team was aware of his history and still decided he was the best person for the job. To think that anyone in government must have a completely spotless record to be qualified for a position sets the bar pretty high. A person that has a few mistakes under his belt would seem to be the person that is doing something at the very least. After all if you don’t do anything you can’t do anything wrong.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 14, 2009 12:39 PM
Comment #273585


As a regulator, Geithner watched the banking crisis unfold. He even made warning comments publicly three years ago. But, as a regulator, Geithner did absolutely nothing to try and prevent what was happening. I bet Geithner and Bernanke sold their banking stocks on the same day.

Considering the way our government is bought and controlled by the multinational corporations these days, Geithner is one of if not the most qualified to head the treasury dept.

Posted by: jlw at January 14, 2009 1:45 PM
Comment #273588

Many, out of political beliefs, will defend this appointment by Mr. Obama and they are wrong. Time after time I have read writers here talk about cleaning up government after the mistakes were made.

In this case, Mr. Obama has a chance to clean up government by withdrawing this nomination before a mistake is made and prove to all that he really is someone different than the usual politician who only cares about himself rather than the country.

Schwamp above, suggests than only those who are lying would say they have filed an amended return to report their tax liability correctly. I disagree, having a higher degree of respect for the honesty of most American taxpayers. And after all, Mr. Biden has told us that paying taxes is patriotic.

We have had nominees in the past who have had to withdraw for far less serious circumstances than failing to pay a very substantial tax bill.

I call on Mr. Obama and his followers to demand a much higher bar for his administration concurrent with his campaign promises.

Posted by: Jim M at January 14, 2009 3:23 PM
Comment #273589

jlw-
You can bet as you like, but that’s a different story from showing that they had stock in the companies in question, much less sold it opportunistically.

Also, as a regulator, Geithner’s record contradicts your conclusions about his tendencies. To wit:

Mr. Geithner pushed for earlier, more aggressive action during the crisis, at one point clashing with Mr. Paulson on the government’s response to troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mr. Geithner helped engineer the sale of investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. and was willing to consider a government rescue of Lehman Brothers, whose September bankruptcy filing wreaked havoc on markets.

[…]

“He’s the guy who was issuing warnings about the need for greater regulation and oversight early,” said Obama adviser David Axelrod. “He’s a young, fresh, insightful thinker and someone who’s devoted his life to public-policy issues around the financial system.”

Let me finish by stating that I’m not a big fan of this “government is run by corporations rhetoric”, even when it’s partway true, because once you get down to it, the problem is not one of the American people lacking power, it’s one of of us having that power and choosing not to use it. I believe that the more we give ourselves the out of believing that some oligarchy has control, the easier it will be for those folks to run our lives, if only for the very reason that we have given up on trying to oppose them.

It may be naive sometimes to believe the folks in Washington are listening, but it is always naive to believe that the corporations and political parties will listen if we become cynical and expect the worse to happen, and quit trying to ply our influence altogether.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2009 3:34 PM
Comment #273590

Jim M-
I believe I have addressed the question of the tax bill. If we were talking about somebody fudging his tax returns for the last several years, or having screwed up a tax shelter of some kind, that would be one thing. This seems to be a mixup with an employer about withholding, which last I checked, did not demonstrate the kind of moral failing you’re implying.

Did you get that far, did you take the next step and actually research the situation?

Or did you just see the opportunity to imply that Obama has feet of clay, and suggest that he needs to frustrate his own plans to preserve his political saintliness?

The past generation has raised a school of thought on the right that takes more joy in rhetorical opportunism than realistic appraisal of the situation. The trick of the matter is that rhetoric is always more flexible than reality, and the reality of your party’s situation is that it rarely applied such high standards to its candidates, its politicians, or its appointments. Politics was most important in its calculus of who to hire and why. Qualification was beside the point.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2009 3:45 PM
Comment #273591

stephen

i’de like to know who did his taxes. if it was an accountant, then he would have looked at all the documents, and told the man he owed more, or less. if he was an employee he received a W-2. it would show what was withheld. if he received a 1099 he would know nothing was withheld, and a copy of that document had also been sent to the IRS. i was self employed for years, and received many 1099s. believe me when my tax guy was done i knew what i owed, or didn’t. to suggest that a mistake of that magnitude was an accident is unrealistic, and a bit naive.

Posted by: dbs at January 14, 2009 4:51 PM
Comment #273593

Daughtery writes: “The past generation has raised a school of thought on the right that takes more joy in rhetorical opportunism than realistic appraisal of the situation.” “Politics was most important in its calculus of who to hire and why. Qualification was beside the point.”

Why am I not surprised that Daughtery would spin this story into a way to slam the other party. Obama and his call for change has certainly not changed some folks.

As dbs stated in his post, if one is a self-employed contractor, as I am, you received 1099,s of compensation paid. It is then up to you to figure out how much tax is owed. Surely, that is not a difficult concept or procedure for a would-be SEcTres to understand.

Posted by: Jim M at January 14, 2009 5:15 PM
Comment #273594

stephen

either way you cut this one, it’s still not good. if he made that big a mistake on his own taxes, he’s the wrong man for the job. if he deliberately tried to avoid paying his taxes, he is dishonest, and the wrong man for the job. niether portrays him in a favorable light. did obama know about this before his nomination ? maybe not, but the bottom line is now he has a decision to make. try to get him confirmed, and appear to be a typical politician, or pull the nomination, and prove that he’s not a run of the mill, business as usual politician. this IMO would show character.

Posted by: dbs at January 14, 2009 5:16 PM
Comment #273595

Was not tax problems one of the reasons that Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned over? I remember many news papers and others claimming that alone disqualifited him from serving. So what’s changed? Do we not care about one being responsable for one’s own actions? The leading “Tax Man” must be clean.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: David at January 14, 2009 5:42 PM
Comment #273596

David wrote; “The leading “Tax Man” must be clean.”

Well said. I believe it’s of vital importance that when the Obama administration takes control that there not be any lingering doubts about his nominee’s for top administrative positions, and frankly, all appointments. The Sec Tres must at least be free from doubt and potential scandal. As I have heard many times from many folks…”It’s not just the wrong-doing, but the appearance of wrong-doing that’s important in our political leaders. Well…

Posted by: Jim M at January 14, 2009 5:53 PM
Comment #273598

dbs-
Not everybody is rich enough to afford or need an accountant. Additionally, not everybody, even professionals, concern themselves over every possible technicality. Mistakes and oversights happen occasionally, even to the best of us.

Your argument seems to be aimed at convincing people that Obama is a typical politician. But why? There’s a simple explanation: Republicans and right-wingers want to bring the Democrats down to their level, which is sub-par at the moment. Obama has to be imperfect, have feet of clay, and all his nominees have to be suspect. You folks can’t stand to be out competed, or exiled to the wilderness.

Obama’s picked people most Republicans can’t find major problems with, and those that trouble did begin to brew around, such as Richardson, quickly went away. If Geithner’s demonstrated to be a real liability, he won’t be long for the job. Obama’s shown a lower tolerance for questions of impropriety than Bush did. Unlike the outgoing occupant of the Casa Blanca, Obama doesn’t expend political capital pushing controversial ideologues through the congress.

Jim M-
Daughtery? Call me Mr. Daugherty, or Stephen. I’m not enough of a third person here to merit such impersonal reference.

On a more serious note, let me be plain with you: this seems to be the pattern all the fricking time. You folks are constantly looking for ways to demonstrate how typical a politician Obama is, to make him out to be some hypocritical liar.

Here’s the thing: with minimal digging, I was able to undermine two of the assumptions that the author of this entry were making. There is legitimate question as to whether the people here truly understand what they are getting outraged about, or whether they’re just looking for an opportunity to be outraged without stopping to make an acquaintance of the facts to see whether their high dudgeon was justified.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2009 6:16 PM
Comment #273599

Correct me if I am wrong, but the issue with Geithner’s taxes has to do with his time at the IMF. The IMF does not deduct SS and Medicare taxes for the US employees. However, the IMF does compensate their US employees for this and does regularly warn them about their tax liability. From 2001 to 2004, Geithner did not pay SS and Medicare nor did correct for this until an IRS audit in 2006. Even then, he only paid for 2003 and 2004.

Posted by: Thuycdides at January 14, 2009 9:09 PM
Comment #273607

With a tax system as complex as ours, citizens should not routinely be jailed for oversights, misunderstandings, or simple lapses of thought which we, all humans, are subject to from time to time. That said, and as an Obama supporter, I must also say the following: (I hope Obama reads this)

Obama’s defense of Geithner is an example of power corrupting the individual. Obama has been without sign of corruption until now, with Geithner. Obama obviously believes it is more expedient to defend Geithner and his mistakes while Obama’s ratings are high and political capital strong, than to admit an error in judgment and vetting, select another, and move on.

Obama would do well at this point to simply take a lesson from John McCain when McCain responded to David Letterman’s query as to what happened. McCain said: “I screwed up”. It was a most forgivable moment for McCain.

Obama should just admit to getting the Geithner selection wrong, and make it right. The people require that their leaders histories are not in conflict with the rules and laws of the agencies they are going oversee.

The corruption by power is ever exerting itself to “save face” and make one’s own wrongs right, without consequence or price. Expedience is a close cousin to power’s influence, especially for rulers, kings, and presidents, who have so very much on their plates to deal with.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 3:10 AM
Comment #273615

David R. Remer-
I don’t see it that way. I think Obama considers Geithner well qualified, and doesn’t see Geithner’s tax problem as justification for throwing him overboard.

If this was him cheating on his income taxes, I believe Obama would have thrown him overboard without a second thought. Obama’s not going to ditch somebody to save face, merely for political reasons. He’s smarter than that. If the campaign of 2008 has shown anything, it’s that Obama’s not somebody who shapes his campaign according the principles of abstract PR.

David, what’s the evidence that says this snafu with Geithner’s withholding would make him a bad treasury secretary? That’s what I think would make Obama truly reconsider his selection.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 15, 2009 10:06 AM
Comment #273618

Stephen
What is the evidence that says it is just a simple “mistake” or slight “oversight?”
The IMF gives their US employees extra money to help pay the tax. He signed a tax worksheet saying he has an “obligation of the U.S. Social Security tax, which I will pay on my fund income.”

Now I’m not convinced it was intentional or that it should affect his selection, but questions are warranted and David and the others are making some good points.

You know, its fairly interesting to see you simply dismiss evidence, questions and people when it dares question the Obama or his decisions. Especially after seeing you condemn other people for the doing the exact same thing for Bush the past 8 years.

Posted by: kctim at January 15, 2009 11:13 AM
Comment #273623

Remer writes; “Obama should just admit to getting the Geithner selection wrong, and make it right. The people require that their leaders histories are not in conflict with the rules and laws of the agencies they are going oversee.”

Well said Remer…lately we have been in agreement on a few things…I like that.

Excerpt from the NY Times today. “As much as Mr. Obama and his team may wish it, however, the disclosures cannot be dismissed so easily, or papered over. The just-the-facts report of Mr. Geithner’s tax transgressions, compiled and released by the Senate Finance Committee, paints a picture of noncompliance that is considerably more disturbing than his supporters are acknowledging.”

“Even in the best of economic times, it would be hard to accept a Treasury secretary — who, after all, is in charge of the Internal Revenue Service — with a cavalier attitude toward paying his taxes. Today, in a time of economic peril, the nation cannot afford a Treasury secretary with a tainted ability to command respect and instill confidence.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/opinion/15thu1.html?th&emc=th

Posted by: Jim M at January 15, 2009 12:07 PM
Comment #273624

With this article I thought the discussion would reveal more than I could propose from the outset. That seems to have been true.

First, there is the issue of the appointment itself. Obama’s press office is stating that the issues were well known to the team during the vetting process. If that is so why did the same people choose to avoid discussion of the tax issue until it became an embarrassment? Does that not imply one of two things, either the press office thought news of the tax issue would be a problem so they stonewalled, or, they didn’t really know till the appointment had been made and they didn’t want the appearance of amateurishness that plagued the Clinton transition?

Second, if they did know all of this and just made missteps in publicity, what makes this fellow worth so much that liberals are going to have to distort their own credibility to support him?

Third, the mistakes themselves are a mixed bag. I can understand the issue of taxes not paid on a housekeeper whose status has lapsed. I know of instances in which that seemed a reasonable way not to draw unwanted attention to a loyal employee who could be deported. Give the guy a pass on that, he did pay up before being nominated on those charges.

On the other $22,000, though, the IMF gave several notices of what had been paid and to whom. The report I’ve read on this said Geithner had received four different notices. If, indeed, he was doing his own taxes (not an outlandish idea if he has only limited sources of income and investments) he should have marshalled all those records. There is very little chance an intelligent person would not be able to see that the IMF didn’t deduct taxes, Social Security, etc. I’M supposed to be able to do that. ANY COMMON PLUMBER is supposed to be able to do that. Even David Remer, running a bunch of businesses himself, is presumed to be able to do that.

Does it not make one squirm even a little to think the fellow who is to run our TREASURY is supposed to have had more than a little trouble with this process?

The question I keep asking myself, again, is why is this guy worth so much liberal credibility?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 15, 2009 12:14 PM
Comment #273630

Lee
Everyday, good people are paying back taxes, for different reasons: mistakes, personal reasons, don’t want to, or they simply can’t. It’s kind of unfair to automatically assume the best or worst.
IMO, he was told he owned back taxes, he paid them and it is up to “those in the know” to determine if he should be appointed or not.

I don’t really see any credibility issue here on behalf of Obama either. Heck, I read where his team found that he owed more than the IRS had found, and those back taxes were also paid.

I’m not defending the guy and it is comical to see all the liberals “distort their own credibility” to defend him for purely political reasons. But, to be honest, I think the guy should be allowed to have the people who know the whole story be the ones who determine his outcome.

Posted by: kctim at January 15, 2009 1:03 PM
Comment #273632

kctim-
The questions are warranted, but the inference that this has somehow made Geithner unqualified isn’t.

So is the inference that I’m dismissing evidence. I brought evidence into the discussion, which otherwise wouldn’t be there. I established that Lee was wrong to assume that this was Geithner being a tax dodger, and that it wasn’t federal income tax that he was in arrears on. I established that his shortfall was most likely the result of a mistake, not an intentional dodging of his legal duty to pay taxes.

I’m taking a position, based on the facts that I brought up, that Geithner’s shortfall was a mistake, and that given the usual arrangement that businesses have on such taxes, perfectly understandable. Most people don’t pay their taxes for themselves, they have somebody else do it for them. Then, at the start of the year, they file their taxes and maybe get some of that back. It’s not something people pay a lot of mind to, and if you know what Geithner’s line of work is, you’ll know taxes were not his specialty.

While this is not an airtight deductive argument for Geithner to be forgiven this problem, it’s a good, reasonable inductive argument which makes it very unlikely that this shortfall demonstrates him unqualified or ethically short of the standard of office.

So get off his back. Yes my argument defends him. Yes, I’m an Obama supporter. But whether I would be likely to make such an argument does not figure into whether my argument is sound on the merits.

I believe I have a good point here: the entitlement taxes are a financial obscurity for most people who pay them, and Geithner most likely did not fail to pay them out of some wish to deliberately withhold money. furthermore, his expertise on taxes was not the major reason for his appointment. If you disregard those facts to argue his unfitness for office, then the balance of the problem of bias is on your side, rather than mine.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 15, 2009 1:22 PM
Comment #273633

Stephen,

Taxes are really, really not my specialty, but I’ve always paid the back taxes the IRS pointed out to me after penalties and such in the same year they told me I owed them. Not after I was appointed to the government.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 15, 2009 1:53 PM
Comment #273634

Lee Jamison-
Geithner is known for having considerable experience handling and mitigating economic crisises during the Asian Economic Collapse of the 90’s. He has also been acknowledged in recent times to have seen the problem with the mortgage crisis coming, and for handling the current crisis pretty well. He is acknowledge to be smart, knowledgeable and easygoing.

Your main complaint is that he failed to pay some obscure taxes. You’re trying to turn this into a full bore attack on his credibility. But I’m telling you that this is better explained as a simple mistake, rather than the malicious tax evasion you initially set it out to be.

Geithner has credibility, period. This political notion of acting as if his association with Obama alone saves him is just BS, since we already saw Richardson take his name out of the running for Commerce over a corruption investigation. Obama is not Bush: he will not commit seppuku politically to protect an appointee.

Geithner is qualified for the job, and his minor tax problem has done little to convince people in either party that he’s not qualified. But hey, if you want to blow things out of proportion, be my guest.

Besides, I really don’t want to be told who is qualified by people who looked the other way as folks like Alberto Gonzales, Don Rumsfeld, and John “Let the Eagle Fly” Ashcroft ran their departments into the ground.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 15, 2009 1:55 PM
Comment #273635

Stephen
The “evidence” you brought is that he told the committee it was a mistake and that its not like he was “cheating on his income taxes.” All that you “established” with that evidence is that you think those taxes aren’t as important and that you are willing to take him at his word that it was a mistake.
The only way you can come to those conclusions so easily and be so deadset against any possibility of wrong, is by ignoring the evidence that the IMF gives its US employees extra to pay those taxes and that he signed an acknowledgement that he had an obligation to pay the SS tax and would do so on his fund income.
Why would he not question what the extra pay was for?
Why would he sign something saying he had an obligation to pay those taxes, when he thought the IMF was already “deducting those taxes from his paycheck?”
Please answer those questions honestly and explain why the other side of the argument could not be “sound on the merits.” Then ask yourself why you are so willing to take his word as the only possible explanation.

I have not argued his qualifications or unfitness and I am not on his “back over this.” I have presented no bias either. I just stated that your “realistic appraisal of the situation” seems to rely more on the word of one of your own more than the facts presented to you.
Does that prove ideology brought you to your belief? Not any more than ideology proves that is how those who disagree with you came to their belief.

Posted by: kctim at January 15, 2009 2:45 PM
Comment #273637

I think every poster here is a little previous in their assumptions. Stephen is right about one thing…the tax problems were almost insignificant and obscure. Geithner will head a department that oversees the IRS, but that job does not require a tax expert, merely a good financial administrator, which apparently Geithner is.

Obama’s team vetted to the degree they thought this man was acceptable for the job, and that his tax problems were not caused by corruption . It is now up to the Senate to seat him, or find enough against him to demand another appointee.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 15, 2009 3:05 PM
Comment #273638


Stephen D, there are several articles giving details of Geithner at The Nation website, hardly a right wing rag. If you read those articles, you will see that your whitewashed version of Geithner is just that.

What we are seeing is Obama’s inexperience. He doesn’t know who these people are, hardly knows mnany of the people on his transition team who are advising him. Geithner isn’t Obama’s only mistake. He nominated Richardson with a cloud hanging over his head. Richardson did the honorable thing and withdrew his nomination. Clinton was selected for State even though it violated U. S. corruption laws. No problem, we can fix that because Clinton has less honor than Richardson.

This problem is not unique to Obama. Clinton had similar problems. Bush’s inexperience allowed Cheney to fill the Whitehouse with members of PNAC who infected his foreign policy with their Pax Americana mentality.

Both Geithner and Sommers are proteges of Rubin. Masterminds of the deregulation that allowed what has happened to occure and masterminds of the massive bailouts.

Ralph Nader said it the best, no matter which party wins, the same Wall Street hustlers will have a lock on the government.

Posted by: jlw at January 15, 2009 3:37 PM
Comment #273640

The Republican Study Committee, a group of over 100 House conservatives, think they have a better plan and presented their alternative, the Economic Recovery and Middle Class Relief Act, today.

“President-elect Obama has put economic recovery on the top of his list, for good reason, and it is heartening to see that tax cuts make up a significant part of his stimulus plan.”

Full story; http://townhall.com/columnists/MaryFallin/2009/01/14/a_stimulus_that_works?page=1

Posted by: Jim M at January 15, 2009 4:11 PM
Comment #273641

Stephen D., Hannibal Lecter would make an outstanding White House public relations genius, were it not for his cannibalistic past.

No one I have heard, doubts Geithner’s capacity to grasp and grapple with the issues faced by the Treasury. Who could doubt Hannibal Lecter’s persuasive and diplomatic abilities? But, no one would agree with putting old Hannibal into the White House, now would they. Well, yourself, maybe, if your consistent.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Obama has an obligation to insure that the people he nominates are better than those whom GW Bush nominated. That was the mandate from the electorate. Geithner’s ‘misunderstanding’ with the IRS creates the perception that Obama is not nominating reputable people with clean records on observance of our laws. The electorate voted for a change from those who saw the law as maleable according to their needs.

Geithner was a choice between recruiting the best in capacity and history and expedience. If our democracy teaches us anything, it is that government officials are not irreplacable. Geithner is not irreplacable, and Obama should have demonstrated his observance of this fact.

The fact that he chose expedience instead of a candidate the people could put their full trust and faith in, reflects an error in judgment on Obama’s part. He only gets so many errors before being brought down from his celebratory perch.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 4:21 PM
Comment #273643

stephen

“Not everybody is rich enough to afford or need an accountant. Additionally, not everybody, even professionals, concern themselves over every possible technicality.”

i’m not rich either, but i’m smart enough to know i need a professional to hndle my taxes. do you think the man could afford to pay someone $200- maybe $500 to do his taxes ? if he owed that much in back taxes i bet he can. that large tax obligation is hardly a technicality.

“Your argument seems to be aimed at convincing people that Obama is a typical politician. But why? There’s a simple explanation: Republicans and right-wingers want to bring the Democrats down to their level,”

nope, all i said was he should pick someone else who doesn’t have that hanging over thier head. i never said obama was a typical politician. if you reread my post i even gave him the benefit of the doubt. you need to take the patch off your left eye my friend, and look at this from a less partisan point of view. if this was george bush, you’de be all over it.

Posted by: dbs at January 15, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #273644

Stephen,

Calling this crisis in advance isn’t a qualification for anything. I’ve been fielding predictions of doom, based on fears over loose credit and a housing glut no less, from people who I take to be far right wingers for over two years. Okay, they hit the cause pretty close to the nose. Does that mean we should go back on the Gold Standard? I’ll bet you don’t think so any more than I do.

I’m not saying Geithner is corrupt. I’m saying he’s being cut slack regular people don’t get. The objections of people who point this out, including the NEW YORK TIMES, are not trivial. Things like this cost liberals credibility, just as the names you mentioned cost conservatives (and not just a particular administration) credibility.

Why do you do the same sort of fawning we have been accused of doing?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 15, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #273645

I would be amazed if it was purposeful. Why would someone like Geithner care about 20 grand? This was an oversight. In so many other ways Geithner is uniquely qualified for this position. He was involved with our other economic crises and has the trust of the international financial community. This is very, very, important. Dropping Geithner for this mistake would be cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Posted by: Max at January 15, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #273647

Jim M, not all tax cuts are equal. Obama’s tax cuts aimed at the middle class and poor will have a stimulative effect (though, more from the poor than the middle class), on the consumer demand slump. Tax cuts like those proposed by some Republicans call for a 5% tax cut across the board.

In an environment in which employers are laying off due to falling demand, it makes NO sense for the government to deficit spend by cutting taxes on employers. There is no supply shortage, and therefore no shortage of capital to expand businesses which are in fact, contracting due to falling demand.

Conservatives have no problem calling for the government to stop bailing out corporations and just let them fail according to free market conditions. But, these same conservatives then turn right around and demand that the nation move closer to bankruptcy through deficit spending by cutting taxes on these same corporations even as those corporations are laying off workers due to a slump in consumer demand. It is a contradiction.

There is a real difference between targeted tax cuts aimed at real world economic conditions and the GOP religious belief that all tax cuts are good at all times and for all persons. Anyone concerned about deficits and debt, should be just as concerned about tax cuts, as they are about government spending. In the current environment, cutting taxes OR raising spending BOTH increase deficits and national debt.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 4:46 PM
Comment #273651

Max, you are looking at Geithner’s expertise, myopically. Yes, there is broad consensus that he is an eminently qualified person to handle the challenges being put to the Dept. Of Treasury. But, there is a whole other aspect to his nomination concerning credibility, trust, and confidence in both Geithner and Obama. Obama is risking having Geithner’s past be added to a pile of other risky decisions which may not turn out positively for the Obama administration and America.

If there is another person whose past is squeaky clean and whose abilities match Geithner’s, Obama would do well to admit the mistake and choose the other. That is what it really boils down to. Whether there is another to be chosen whom Obama can equally trust and have confidence in to carry out Obama’s policy direction, is a question I cannot answer.

But, this much is for sure. Iif Geithner, or the deficit spending, debt, or administration of the Treasury fail, for ANY reason, to meet voter’s expectations, then Geithner will prove to have been an unwise choice.

Obama has made his first true calculated risky decision since being elected. Let’s all hope it is a decision that Obama and we, will not regret. There is ample room for hope in this regard so far.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #273656

Remer writes; “Jim M, not all tax cuts are equal. Obama’s tax cuts aimed at the middle class and poor will have a stimulative effect (though, more from the poor than the middle class), on the consumer demand slump. Tax cuts like those proposed by some Republicans call for a 5% tax cut across the board.”

The (RSC) Republican Study Committee stated today the following. Much of this is aimed at the middle class and poor and I believe is a better plan than the one I just read written by Mr. Obay of Wisconsin representing the democrat plan.


“The RSC proposal reduces individual income taxes by 5 percent, repeals the alternative minimum tax for individuals, raises the child tax credit from $1,000 to $5,000 and boosts tax deductions for college expenses from $4,000 to $6,000, while increasing income limits for those deductions.”

“It permanently repeals the requirement that seniors begin withdrawing IRA funds at age 70 1/2 and suspends taxes and penalties for all of 2009 for any IRA withdrawals. This last measure will allow hard-pressed families immediate access to savings, helping prevent foreclosures or bankruptcy. This provision is clearly needed to help our seniors.

Our proposal will prohibit tax rates on capital gains or dividends from increasing in 2010, as they are currently set to, leaving more dollars in the hands of investors.

As unemployment rises, businesses need incentives to expand and hire.

David, didn’t I read a demo plan to provide a $3,000 tax incentive for companies to hire?

The RSC stimulus plan will reduce America’s corporate income tax rate (currently the second highest in the world) from 35 percent to 25 percent, cut the capital gains rate for corporations from 35 percent to 15 percent and index capital gains taxes to offset inflation. These three provisions will allow businesses to forestall layoffs and increase hiring.

We will also encourage growth and entrepreneurship by repealing limits on expensing allowances for depreciable business assets, making the research and development tax credit permanent (they are currently set to expire with the Bush tax cuts) and extending the current two-year carryback period for net operating losses to seven years.

Finally, our plan will impose a one percent across the board reduction in non-defense discretionary federal spending. The RSC sees that as a down payment on future efforts to curb the ravenous spending that plagues the federal government. Unrestrained spending helped create our current economic crisis. We cannot cure it, or avoid future meltdowns, by following the same flawed path.”

Posted by: Jim M at January 15, 2009 6:12 PM
Comment #273662

Jim M, the Republican plan you cite is the height of fiscal irresponsibility. It proposes across the board 5% tax cut, during a time when government revenues could not be more important, and the wealthy are not in desperate need of yet another tax cut.

This is what’s wrong with Republican tax ideology. Their ideology completely and utterly fails to comprehend the concept of targeting tax cuts where needed and where the greatest good can be accomplished for the Federal Government’s budget and debt.

It makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to give Bill Gates a 5% tax cut right now.

And why repeal the alternative minimum tax instead of simply raising its applicable limit? The reason it was created was to close loopholes in which the very wealthy avoided taxation altogether. Repealing the measure would simple OPEN THAT LOOPHOLE again.

Why is it so many conservatives have such a difficult time envisioning enduring solutions instead on again repeal again and on again solutions which are wasteful in the extreme and solve nothing systemically for the nation or its future. The alternative minimum tax was a brilliant solution to a very real problem. And the solution would still be most appropriate, if Congress and both parties had come together to either elevate its triggers or, incorporate an inflation index into it as a permanent solution.

Repealing it just invites the original problem to resurface again and solves nothing but this temporary situation in which the triggers are too low and are hitting income earners the original legislation never intended to target.

If this is the best the minority party can offer, the same failed ideological approaches of the past, they will remain the minority party for decades to come.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 15, 2009 9:55 PM
Comment #273682

Remer writes above that lowering the income tax rate by 5% will benefit the rich stating; “It makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to give Bill Gates a 5% tax cut right now.”

Frankly I doubt that most of the really wealthy people receive most of their income thru earned income, but rather thru investments and unearned income so the 5% doesn’t really affect them much.

Congress has done nothing for years to change the alternative minimum tax so calling for its repeal seems to be the answer for now. Millions of middle class American’s are suffering now and need immediate relief. I did not find any mention in Mr. Obey’s proposal suggesting that AMT be rewritten so I guess its of no concern to the dems.

Mr. Remer conveniently didn’t comment on many of the other great proposals in the Republican plan so I guess these are acceptable.

Posted by: Jim M at January 16, 2009 11:15 AM
Comment #273683

Jim M,

There may be one good apple in a barrel of rotten ones, but why worry about it…just toss the barrel and start anew. Republicans lost the last two elections, it’s time to move on. Old ways ain’t necessarily good ways.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 16, 2009 11:21 AM
Comment #273684

Marysdude writes; “Old ways ain’t necessarily good ways.”

OH…Really, here’s a quote from an article by Charles Krauthammer appearing in Newsweek you may find interesting.

“Which is why Obama is consciously creating a gulf between what he now dismissively calls “campaign rhetoric” and the policy choices he must now make as president. Accordingly, Newsweek — Obama acolyte and scourge of everything Bush/Cheney — has on the eve of the Democratic restoration miraculously discovered the arguments for warrantless wiretaps, enhanced interrogation and detention without trial. Indeed, Newsweek’s neck-snapping cover declares, “Why Obama May Soon Find Virtue in Cheney’s Vision of Power.”

“The very continuation by Democrats of Bush’s policies will be grudging, if silent, acknowledgment of how much he got right.”

Link; http://townhall.com/columnists/CharlesKrauthammer/2009/01/16/bushs_imminent_rehab?page=1

Posted by: Jim M at January 16, 2009 12:25 PM
Comment #273685

Remer writes: “Why is it so many conservatives have such a difficult time envisioning enduring solutions…”

Here’s is one of the enduring solutions of which Mr. Obama proposes and Remer appears to endorse.


A week ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, mentioned Mr. Obama says his goal is for 80% of these three million jobs to be private-sector. That means, Senator McConnell continued, that 20% would be public-sector, meaning this bill would create 600,000 new federal government jobs. For comparison, Mr. McConnell noted this would be the size of the entire Postal Service workforce.

Once government creates a job, it rarely eliminates it. Government swells by nature, feeding on tax dollars taken away from private citizens and employers until it becomes a bloated, sprawling bureaucracy.

So if Mr. Obama creates 600,000 new government bureaucrats, those jobs should be expected to be kept around permanently, long after this economic crisis is resolved. After all, eliminating those jobs means laying off 600,000 people. Who wants to take responsibility for that?

Posted by: Jim M at January 16, 2009 12:35 PM
Comment #273688

Michelle Malkin write this in Townhall.

Geithner is the Dartmouth- and Johns Hopkins-educated president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank who, according to his extensive biography, has also “studied Japanese and Chinese, and has lived in East Africa, India, Thailand, China and Japan.” Apparently, he has been too engrossed in his foreign language studies and too busy traveling abroad to pay attention to crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s of his household records. In addition to his failure to pay four years’ worth of federal taxes (you try getting away with that without getting thrown behind bars!), Geithner also illegally employed an immigrant maid for three months after her work authorization papers had expired.

But wait. That’s not all, folks. Geithner’s employer at the time of his serial tax-dodging was the International Monetary Fund. The agency reimburses its employees for their self-employment taxes. The allowance was made to keep IMF and World Bank workers’ salaries on par with their foreign peers. IMF employees receive an Employee Tax Manual outlining their obligations. (Maybe if it were written in Japanese or Chinese, Geithner would have paid better attention?)

Employees also proactively file an Annual Tax Allowance Request promising to “pay the taxes for which I have received tax allowance payments.” The Senate Finance Committee released one of those forms signed by Geithner. A Senate source confirmed to National Review’s Byron York that Geithner pocketed the cash: “He was getting the money. He was being paid a tax allowance to pay him for tax payments that he should have made but had not.

IRS employment application packets notify potential workers that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration vets all candidates and current employees “who have violated or are violating laws, rules or regulations related to the performance of their duties.” President-elect Obama is standing by a nominee who would oversee the IRS but might not even qualify for a lesser job at the agency. This is insanity.

Screw up, move up: It’s the Washington way.

Posted by: Jim M at January 16, 2009 12:58 PM
Comment #273711

Jim M, Malkin has carefully avoided relevant facts, like the accountants who did his taxes, distorted the truth and reality (lapsing of a worker’s legal status as opposed to employing and illegal), and creating straw man arguments with Geithner’s foreign language education.

If you want propaganda, your reading of Malkin is an excellent choice. Just don’t expect objective purveyors of public information to accept your conveyance of Malkin as somekind of reliable source for truth and objective assessment.

I think the selection of Geithner was a mistake. But, I am not about to use cherry picked information out of context to make my point or convince others of my view, as Malkin has done. I have more integrity than that, and I am not paid to be anyone’s mouthpiece.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 16, 2009 8:05 PM
Comment #273712

Jim M, your adamant dislike for government employees whom your very life and security depend upon, so very well highlights the hipocrisy and cognitive dissonance intrinsic to GOP and conservative supporters. Thank you for such a blatant demonstration of this in your comment.

I never met a military Sargeant Major or officer with ranki of Colonel or above who was not a government bureaucrat with all the requisite skills, education, and training of a government bureaucrat, and soaking the tax payer with some very generous salaries, perks, and benefits for their service to the bureaucracy.

IRS beat nearly all private sector entities in efficiency gains from overhead dollars spent. Before Republicans took it over, that is, and decided to outsource IRS functions to the private sector at 40% higher cost per dollar collected.

And let’s not forget the conservative Party doubling the national debt through small government taxation and big government spending, in just 8 years. Doubling a national debt in 8 years that took 230 years to reach 5.65 trillion, is quite a remarkable feat for the “conservative Party”, don’t you think?

Without government you would have no Bill of Rights of protections or people to enforce them on your behalf. Without government you would put at extreme high risk your life and limb everytime
to drove your vehicle, or walked to the local store. Those bureaucrats you dislike so much provide you with the some of the best quality living on the face of this planet. You may want to consider these things in your future comments.

Government can, should, and must be improved. But, to bash the unelected government workers who are the glue to this unimaginably complex society and nation, is just myopic and ignorant in my humble opinion, and must, by definition include our military, emergency service personnel, and paper pushers who insure our nation’s infrastructure functions as well as it does, despite the politicians who ignore such mundane and absolutely essential substructures to our great nation and society.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 16, 2009 8:20 PM
Comment #273713

Jim M, investment income IS earned income. Perhaps you are not an investor, or you would know this. Or, perhaps you cheat on your taxes by not reporting your investment income, thinking it is an honorable thing to do while lambasting others for their accountants errors?

I am sure there must be other explanations for your lack of knowledge on this topic, but, I just can’t think of them at the moment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 16, 2009 8:28 PM
Comment #273714

Jim M said: “Mr. Remer conveniently didn’t comment on many of the other great proposals in the Republican plan so I guess these are acceptable.”

Jim M failed to cite any great proposals in the Republican plan, so I guess there either aren’t any, or Jim M simply isn’t aware of any.

Using your logical construction this way makes even me sound wanting for a better education. I will leave such illogical constructions to your comments, you write them with such alacrity.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 16, 2009 8:36 PM
Comment #273715

David R. Remer-
What, did Geithner have an IRS agent’s liver for dinner with fava beans and a nice Chianti?

I agree that this is a problem, but it’s not a really big one. It merits embarrassment, not Obama availing himself of his second choice.

You have to ask yourself the question: What does this prove about him that disqualifies him from the job? Does it show he was unethical, that he acted corruptly? No. Does it show he was incompetent? Well if we had any doubts, we could back the value of his competence through his handling of those earlier crisises.

I don’t like this instant presumption of disqualification. Nobody’s perfect here.

Jim M-
I think this notion that Obama’s going to continue all of Cheney’s initiatives reflect more the motivation of many to rewrite history to favor the Bush legacy than any serious understanding of what Obama’s intentions are.

My advice is, face facts: there will soon be an Attorney General in charge, whose view of Cheney’s unitary executive theory is unfavorable to say the least. The unitary executive sensibility, the hypersensitive but unapologetically radical policies that those pundits so love are so strongly in your folks minds that you can hardly think your way around it to acknowledge that Cheney’s approach is not anywhere close to being the only one possible.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 16, 2009 10:32 PM
Comment #273721

stephen

“You have to ask yourself the question: What does this prove about him that disqualifies him from the job?”

if he is that lackadaisical in handling his own finances, he may not be the best man for the job. are you saying there is no one else obama could pick that wouldn’t be a better choice. ?

“Does it show he was unethical, that he acted corruptly? No. Does it show he was incompetent? “

possibly yes. why spend so much time and energy trying to defend someone you know very little about other than he’s obamas nominee. my guess is there are other democrats out there that would be far more qualified, and far less controversial.

Posted by: dbs at January 17, 2009 10:25 AM
Comment #273722


If this were a McCain nominee, the liberals would have a different attitude, and so would the conservatives.

Posted by: jlw at January 17, 2009 12:33 PM
Comment #273727

dbs, he hired accountants to take care of this for him. Two of them missed this. Welcome to the age of specialization. Should we hold you responsible for an accident caused by your auto mechanic’s negligence?

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 17, 2009 1:02 PM
Comment #273729

Stephen D. said: “I agree that this is a problem, but it’s not a really big one. It merits embarrassment, not Obama availing himself of his second choice.”

In your opinion. A failed presidency begins with one error, oversight, mistake. Then another, and another. Usually small at first. The cumulative total of less than blameless judgment calls can potentially destroy a leader’s lead. For that reason, it would, in my opinion, behoove Obama to simply admit the appearance of the Geithner choice was problematic and select another, demonstrating Obama’s continued ability to adjust and adapt as new information comes to light. This is the first example of Obama’s failure to do so.

How many passes does he get? How many did GW Bush get? I think the point is adequately made.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 17, 2009 1:07 PM
Comment #273732

jlw

“If this were a McCain nominee, the liberals would have a different attitude, and so would the conservatives.”

yes the wonderful world of partisan bickering. it’s amazing that anything gets done, or done right for that matter.

Posted by: dbs at January 17, 2009 2:20 PM
Comment #273733

Being in power and having to govern sure make people see things differently. It was easy for Democrats to find fault when they could talk theory. Now that they have real things to do, it is not so easy.

That is the beauty of democracy. The opposition has to put up when they get in. The Democrats needed Bush. They need someone to hate. Now they will begin to tear each other apart.

Of course, liberal Democrats will spend the first couple of months wasting time trying to punish Bush. That is all they are really good at doing, as their last two years in power clearly indicate.

I don’t begrudge them this petty indulgence, although I hope they take their jobs seriously enough to keep the U.S. homeland safe, as president Bush did since 9/11.

As a Republican, I am very happy to give president Obama the benefit of the doubt. He is a smart man and a good speaker. His election by a clear majority of Americans indicates our county’s trimph over racism, and I have great expectations for him.

My prediction is that liberal Democrats soon will be angrier with president Obama than we will be. Most liberal Democrats are p*ssed off most the time. They like to find fault. It is part of their makup and one reason they chose to be liberals. Republicans are calmer and more pragmatic.

Posted by: Christine at January 17, 2009 2:29 PM
Comment #273734

David

“he hired accountants to take care of this for him. Two of them missed this. Welcome to the age of specialization”

thats a good point, however this is a man who makes his living in the world of money. i don’t know about you, but i always go through my returns just in case. granted there are things i may not find, but there are also things that i might be able to identify. looking at your net taxable income and checking the table that shows how much income tax is owed, as well as multiplying the income by @ 7.5% ( or @15% for the self employed) will tell you @ how much soc. sec. is owed. do you believe that a man who doesn’t even bother to that shoud be handling our money ? i’m not saying it was deliberate, it may not be. on the other hand it does raise serious questions as to whether this individual is really the man for this job.

Posted by: dbs at January 17, 2009 2:36 PM
Comment #273736

Remer writes; “Jim M, investment income IS earned income. Perhaps you are not an investor, or you would know this. Or, perhaps you cheat on your taxes by not reporting your investment income, thinking it is an honorable thing to do while lambasting others for their accountants errors?”

Sorry David is feeling out of sorts today and is making some huge mistakes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Unearned income refers to income that is not a wage.

It includes interest, dividends or realized capital gains from investments, rent from land or property ownership, and any other income that does not derive from work.

Unearned income has often been treated differently for tax purposes than earned income, in order to redistribute income. Such a tax structure is most often seen implemented by a socialist government. For instance, income tax on high unearned incomes reached 98% in the United Kingdom in 1979. Supporters of this say that the people who obtained this income did not work to get it and that it should be used to benefit the general population.

In more recent times the pendulum has swung the other way, and most western countries tax unearned income more favourably than income from work.

Some economists claim that unearned income is compensation for deferring consumption, freeing up those resources to be invested in improving the future, by funding research and development of new technologies and services, capital equipment and education to improve the productivity of labor and so forth. This view also holds that unearned income provides an incentive to save, and capital markets facilitate allocation of resources to those enterprises which will provide the best economic benefit. Extra taxes on unearned income can interfere with these mechanisms. This point of view also asserts that all income is ultimately earned, and ask why tax should be higher on work that was done 100 years ago than work that is done today.

Remer also writes; “Jim M failed to cite any great proposals in the Republican plan, so I guess there either aren’t any, or Jim M simply isn’t aware of any.”

Obviously Remer didn’t read these proposals;

“It permanently repeals the requirement that seniors begin withdrawing IRA funds at age 70 1/2 and suspends taxes and penalties for all of 2009 for any IRA withdrawals. This last measure will allow hard-pressed families immediate access to savings, helping prevent foreclosures or bankruptcy. This provision is clearly needed to help our seniors.

Our proposal will prohibit tax rates on capital gains or dividends from increasing in 2010, as they are currently set to, leaving more dollars in the hands of investors.

“So if Mr. Obama creates 600,000 new government bureaucrats, those jobs should be expected to be kept around permanently, long after this economic crisis is resolved. After all, eliminating those jobs means laying off 600,000 people. Who wants to take responsibility for that?”

In response to this plan presented by Mr. Obama, Remer writes with furious pen…

“Jim M, your adamant dislike for government employees whom your very life and security depend upon, so very well highlights the hipocrisy and cognitive dissonance intrinsic to GOP and conservative supporters. Thank you for such a blatant demonstration of this in your comment.”

My question for Remer is simple. Are you certain that 600,000 additional government employees are enough? Why not 1 or 2 million or more? Hard times do call for sacrifice and what better way to get our economy growing than with hundreds of thousands of additional government workers.

Perhaps Remer is thinking of all the additional government employees that will be necessary to monitor conservative radio talk show hosts to be certain that the flawed liberal view is represented as they seen unable to find their own venue.

Calling those who support smaller government hypocrites and cognitively dissonant as Remer does hardly strengthens his argument. Rather Remer, it demeans you by placing your intolerance on display.

Posted by: Jim M at January 17, 2009 3:29 PM
Comment #273738

Christine writes; “Of course, liberal Democrats will spend the first couple of months wasting time trying to punish Bush. That is all they are really good at doing, as their last two years in power clearly indicate.”

“Couple of months”…are you sure Christine. Hell, they are still blindly blaming President Reagan for today’s ills and incapable of ever shouldering any blame themselves.

Should Mr. Obama’s presidency be viewed as a failure at the end of his first term it will not be the fault of conservatives but rather, his own party.

Posted by: Jim M at January 17, 2009 3:43 PM
Comment #273768


Obama will not stray far from the desires of the corporate oligrachy and will be considered successful if the economy is back up and running.

Posted by: jlw at January 18, 2009 1:05 PM
Comment #273786

David R. Remer-
One mistake doesn’t make a bad presidency. It’s a consistent resistance to recognizing when one’s mistaken. Obama has already proven himself capable of gathering input and shaping his policy to avoid big dust-ups. There was one brewing about big tax breaks for corporations, and he changed it when he started getting objections to it.

He’s not going to be another Bush. It isn’t about the number of passes given or anything like that. It’s the quality of leadership. This doesn’t seem to me to be a good reason to kick somebody off the job to me, even if Obama were not the President.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 18, 2009 5:25 PM
Comment #273833

Daugherty writes; “Obama has already proven himself capable of gathering input and shaping his policy to avoid big dust-ups. There was one brewing about big tax breaks for corporations, and he changed it when he started getting objections to it.”

Like Clinton, Obama stands for nothing and takes his cue for national policy from polls. Mr. Biden attributed to Mr. Obama a spine of steel. Looks more like a rubber-band to me.

Posted by: Jim M at January 19, 2009 1:45 PM
Comment #273841

In Lee’s original post he stated; “The best people should run the new apparatus of the Executive Branch. President-elect Obama says Mr. Geithner is the best of the best.”

Along this same line I am submitting the quote below from Burt Prelutsky writing on Townhall for your amusement.

“Speaking of politicians, in a letter to the editor, a reader of the New York Times grumbled: “It’s amazing that Andrew Cuomo, who owes his whole career to his dad, may not get the Senate seat of Hillary Rodham Clinton (who owes her whole career to her husband) because David Paterson (who owes his whole career to his dad) may give it to Caroline Kennedy (who owes her whole career to her dad). You would think a state as large as New York could find someone who deserves something on his or her own.”

Posted by: Jim M at January 19, 2009 2:36 PM
Comment #273861

Jim M,

Townhall again, Jim M? Is that the only rag you read? At least refer to Drudge or some other now and then…Townhall has become trite. The vision of the editors and writers over there is much to restrictive and on message to be a valid reference.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 19, 2009 6:08 PM
Comment #273923

Marysdude writes; “The vision of the editors and writers over there is much to restrictive and on message to be a valid reference.”

Thanks to marysdude for his observations. Does his remark imply that he prefers pandemonium and conflict in his messengers?

Posted by: Jim M at January 20, 2009 1:53 PM
Comment #273999

ummm, at Townhall…yep.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 21, 2009 3:16 PM
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