Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Maureen Dowd on Geithner

How does a guy on the fast track to be Treasury secretary fail to pay $34,000 worth of federal taxes ($43,200, including interest), or forget to check on the immigration status of a house cleaner — the same sort of upstairs-downstairs slip-up that has tripped up other top-drawer prospects on their way to top jobs here? Americans expect the man who’s in charge of the I.R.S. to pay his own taxes.

Geithner’s transgressions may seem petty given the kind of transgressions that have taken place in the Bush administration, and given the dire warnings of Obama’s choice for budget director, Peter Orszag, that the end may be nigh if the U.S. continues to spend beyond its means.

But Obama has proselytized about a shiny new kind of politics, and it’s déjà vu all over again with the smart being dumb, the rich being greedy, the powerful being sketchy.

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