Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | January 28, 2009

Becky FengerAn issue of trust

A liar or a dolt? Which one is Timothy Geithner? Either way, he is not fit to serve as Treasury Secretary. Yet chances are by the time you read this he is grinning his way into President Barack Obama’s Cabinet Room.

When I was growing up in northeast Iowa, my father taught me more than I appreciated at the time. Dad taught me to shoot a gun and would let me go hunting with him once in awhile.

Since he worked in rock quarries, he would spot small game while driving home from the job site. Squirrels, rabbits and pheasants ended up on our supper table. Even snapping turtles made the mistake of crossing the road in front of his old pickup truck. When he chopped their heads off with an axe before butchering, he cautioned us to stay away from the severed heads. They could chomp down in a painful bite for an hour after the axe fell. What a dark, rich gravy their meat would yield.

My father lectured all of us on getting a vehicle serviced regularly. I remember he was a stickler on taking steps to keep oil leaks off the driveway, and to this day I apologize if my car leaves an impolite spot on a host’s parking area. And woe to the kid who washed the family car in the sunshine instead of the shade.

Above all, I can hear him warning us not to lie. “When someone lies to you, you can never trust that person again,” dad would say.

Enter Timothy Geithner. He repeatedly cheated on his income taxes and—- when caught—- chose to pay only those taxes he owed that were not covered by the statute of limitations. He accepted cash from the government for taxes he never paid. That’s morally bankrupt. He tried to take his son’s stay at camp as a business deduction. That’s a slippery move.
Geithner told Congress he was sorry, but so do most cheats after they are caught, aware of Americans’ weakness for apologies. We want this man to lead us out of economic disaster and head the IRS? Geithner tap danced around questioning by our U.S. Senator Jon Kyl about whether he knew he owed the taxes. His smarmy defense was that Turbo Tax let him down. That’s another lie. Turbo Tax executives said their program issues prompts to pay when money is owed.

Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter claims that the U.S. Senate must approve Geithner because he is the only man in Washington who understands TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program).

This would indicate to thinking persons that TARP should be jettisoned, not Geithner forced
upon us. Amazingly, “Geithner the Brilliant” doesn’t know what happened to the first $350 billion he doled out, yet we should trust him with a trillion more? The man in charge of our monetary system can’t prepare his own taxes even with a crutch? He isn’t honest unless someone is watching, and even then won’t pay the full amount he owes. Think of the money he can play loosey-goosey with as Treasury Secretary.

“Only in Washington do you put the arsonist in charge of the Fire Department,” lamented columnist Michelle Malkin, who points to Geithner’s record of failure beyond his tax issues and his secret employment of an illegal immigrant. “As Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, this guy looked the other way while Citigroup failed and basically presided over all of these failed bailouts.” She wonders how he can now do the oversight of our economy that he wouldn’t do when he was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. Right on, pretty mamma!

I think our leaders have gone haywire when our President hands a thief the keys to our bank vault.