Sunday, January 18, 2009

TimmyG - As The Story Unfolds

We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

LA Times columnist David Lazarus spins the Tim Geithner saga as the result of a "broken tax code", not TimmyG's fault at all. I'm feeling better already. I gather from Lazarus that in California nothing is anybody's fault. That might create self-esteem issues. No, find something else to hang the rap on is the name of that game. "I'm just here for the credit, not to answer for the consequences of my acts." It's the tax code, stupid. Only it isn't.

Let's review: If you work for the IMF you get to declare as "self-employed", IRC definitions to the contrary. (At IMF, are there no working hours? But I digress.) IMF is a special place for very special people to hang out. Just ask them.

Self-employeds file IRS Schedule C to determine whether they made a taxable profit after deducting all business-related expenses, a profit that they report on Line 31 as "Net profit or (loss)". The on-page instructions (i.e, it's not some kind of secret tax trap) for Line 31 begin with "If a profit, enter on both Form 1040, line 12, and Schedule SE..." (my italics). You have to look at that line if you're doing your own taxes, as did TimmyG. Yet... nothing. For four years running, nothing.

The tax code is pretty screwed up but it didn't trip up TimmyG and it's not the issue. He cheated, got caught TWICE (IRS and Obama vetting team) and paid up. End of story for most of us, no big deal, skipped SE tax is all, ponied up $43 large. But this man is probably going to be the top guy at US Treasury. That IS a big deal. Will we soon define Obama's Treasury Dept. as the fiefdom of a tax cheat? Looks like it from here.

In case you're wondering, I really want Obama to succeed. He's the best we've got. We need immensely talented and driven people to lead us out of the mess we're in and we don't offer them half the salaries some of them could command elsewhere. We really need them. BUT... it's an affront to America to propose a tax cheat to lead us out of our financial wilderness.

TimmyG exemplifies the attitude of DC elites toward the rest of us. He IS the wilderness. Want to know why TimmyG did his own taxes? Maybe because no reputable tax pro would sit still for that kind of nonsense and he couldn't live "No, Tim, you can't do it that way, you really do have to pay."

Leona Helmsly famously announced "Only the little people pay taxes". The difference is, no one proposed her for SecTreas. Poor us. Would we have Bernie Madoff lead us out of the SEC debacle? No? Then why TimmyG? He is a known quantity and I don't like what I know.

Me, I propose whoever did TimmyG's vetting as our new SecTreas. S/He has knowledge, courage and credibility. Exactly what we're going to need from our next SecTreas. See the difference?

1 comment:

  1. Now Timmy is blaming Turbo Tax. But no, not really. He says he takes "full responsibility" for the error. Yeah, right.