Congratulations to Timothy Geithner our 75th Secretary of Treasury

Congratulations to Timothy Geithner who is now our new 75th Secretary of the United States Treasury.  Understandably there were a few embarrassing moments for you during your confirmation, but it is my feeling there was very little substance to negative questions and statements made, perhaps not against you personally but more so from the jealousy that exists within the GOP over the President’s selection of you to fill one of the most important offices in the administration at this time.

Senate confirms Geithner as treasury secretary

Associated Press Writer
Jan 27, 12:12 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner won confirmation Monday as President Barack Obama’s treasury secretary despite personal tax lapses that turned more than a third of the Senate against him. Obama immediately put him to work fixing an economy in “dangerous jeopardy.”

The Senate voted 60-34 to put Geithner in charge of the administration’s economic team as it races to halt the worst financial slide in generations. The swearing-in followed less than an hour later, the administration seeking to emphasize that it was wasting no time in trying to address the financial crisis.

Geithner, 47, served as undersecretary of the treasury for international affairs during the Clinton administration. As president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, he’s been a key player in the government’s response to collapsing financial institutions and the housing and credit markets since last summer.

The ambivalence dogging lawmakers was reflected in the fact that a third of the chamber voted against Geithner, in large part because of his failure to pay all his taxes on income received from the International Monetary Fund in 2001 and in three subsequent years.

Ten Republicans overlooked that matter and voted for confirmation. One Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, told reporters earlier in the day that he would vote yes, only to change his mind and vote no.

Three Democrats and one independent voted against Geithner’s confirmation, including Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., the longest-serving senator in history.

“We are at a point of maximum challenge for our economy and our country,” Geithner said to a standing-room only audience in Treasury Department’s ornate Cash Room. On hand were Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, now director of Obama’s National Economic Council.

From Politico some negative responses, especially from Senator Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, who voted against the nomination.  This to me is disappointing and disturbing considering I have always though of Senator Grassley as a man of vision and understanding.  Mr. Geithner’s tax problems were small and more embarrassing than with any substance to them.

Here are excerpts from Politico’s article:

Geithner sworn in at Treasury

1/26/09 6:48 PM EST

Geithner won the post Monday on a 60-34 vote, despite being dogged throughout the confirmation process by his failure to pay more than $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001 to 2004. He’s since paid $42,704 in back taxes and interest for the four years.

“These were careless mistakes, they were avoidable mistakes, but they were unintentional,” Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee, which considered his nomination. “I want to apologize to the committee for putting you in the position of having to spend so much time on these issues.”

“In the past, nominees who had tax issues as serious as this nominee’s, and some who have had less serious issues, have not attained Senate confirmation,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, who voted against the nomination. “I feel it is improper to judge this nominee by a different standard. I realize that times are tough right now, but if anything, that should be an incentive for us to raise our standards and not lower them.”

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, however, heralded Geithner as uniquely qualified for the post. As president of the New York Federal Reserve, he has close ties with Wall Street, having played a key role in the government rescues of Bear Stearns, the American International Group, and the decision to let investment bank Lehman Brothers fail.

“We are going to need sweeping changes in regulatory policy, the oversight structure and in our tools for crisis management,” Geithner wrote last week in response to questions from Sen. Carl Levin, (D-Mich.). “I very much believe that federal oversight needs to be strengthened.”

A New Treasury Secretary!


1 Response to “Congratulations to Timothy Geithner our 75th Secretary of Treasury”

  1. 1 llabesab
    February 16, 2009 at 8:31 AM

    Of the 74 former Secretaries of the Treasury, how many failed to pay taxes? And if there were any who failed to pay taxes, how many put the blame on “Turbo Tax? My bet is that the “smarmy nerd” was the first in both instances. But, he does fulfill the Annointed One’s vow to bring “change.” The Messiah brought to Washington an Administrator like no one before him. Now, that’s “..change you can believe in.”

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