Thursday, January 22, 2009
Congress takes the appointment of cabinet members seriously. As seriously as managers and owners take the placement of new employees in their offices, factories, and shops. Just as applicants backgrounds are examined for any sign of trouble, Congress uses a fine tooth to comb through the background of suggested cabinet members.
Timothy Geithner is under scrutiny as he applies for the coveted Secretary of Treasury position in the Obama administration. His appointment was expected to be swift and easy, most of the members of Congress, republican or democrat supported him.
Geithner has long been the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a position unlike any other in the country. Geithner is said to have performed in this role "brilliantly, non-politically, ethically, firmly, and quietly," qualities many have much admiration for.
However, it came to attention that Geithner had not submitted payment for his 2001 or 2002 tax returns until Obama and his team began looking at him for the role of Secretary of the Treasury. He submitted some $30,000 to the IRS after the statute of limitation had already passed.
Geithner admits "These were careless mistakes. They were avoidable mistakes. But they were unintentional," he said. "I should have been more careful." But some members of Congress don't see it as a mistake at all, rather a deep smear on his nearly impeccable record.