Theodore's World: No Ethics, Low Character Timothy Geithner Approved 60 - 34

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January 27, 2009

No Ethics, Low Character Timothy Geithner Approved 60 - 34


Timothy Geithner won confirmation as U.S. Treasury secretary on Monday and vowed to act quickly to protect the U.S. economy from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

"We are at a moment of maximum challenge for our economy and our country," Geithner said as he was sworn into office shortly after the Senate approved him on a 60-34 vote.

Some lawmakers were disturbed enough by Geithner's late payment of $34,000 in self-employment taxes to vote against the nominee even though they felt he was well suited for the job otherwise. Only 10 Republicans voted in support, while three Democrats opposed him.

"I would rather have a battle hardened veteran at the helm who knows the shoals and whirlpools than a neophyte who has to wade into these churning waters for the first time," Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said in explaining his support.

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.

"Had he not been nominated for treasury secretary, it's doubtful that he would have ever paid these taxes," Byrd said in a statement.

Even so, not everyone was convinced that the need for a speedy confirmation should trump concerns about the candidate. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, didn't buy Geithner's contention that he skipped paying some taxes because he was confused by the complexities of the tax code.

"They were described by the nominee himself as 'careless mistakes,'" Collins said in prepared remarks. "It has become clear to me that this is not merely a matter of complexity leading to mistakes, but of inexcusable negligence."
Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., agreed and noted that his is one of the few voices of dissent.
"Nominees for positions that do not oversee tax reporting and collection have been forced to withdraw their nomination for more minor offenses. They have been ridden out of town on a verbal rail," Enzi told the Senate. "The fact that we're in a global economic crisis is not a reason to overlook these errors."
"The Senate," he scolded, "is not supposed to be a group of 'yes' men."
Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa lined up against the nominee, asking how someone of Geithner's "financial sophistication" could innocently not pay the taxes and then head up the agency that oversees the IRS.
"How can Mr. Geithner speak with any credibility or authority?" Harkin said.


Grouped By Vote Position YEAs -—60

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Burris (D-IL)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Ensign (R-NV)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

NAYs -—34

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feingold (D-WI)
Grassley (R-IA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sanders (I-VT)
Sessions (R-AL)
Specter (R-PA)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting - 4

Bond (R-MO)
Brown (D-OH)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Wyden (D-OR)

Wild Thing's comment.......

This guy, is unfit to hold this office. Our system is completely broken. A guy who wouldn't pay his taxes is sworn in as secretary of the treasury. Like there isn't anybody else in our country who could do that job AND has been paying their taxes??

I’m truly shocked that Cornyn voted ‘yes.’ He’s always been a reliable conservative. And I am just as shocked that Rino McCain voted no.

Posted by Wild Thing at January 27, 2009 03:44 AM


McCain knew this creep would be put in office so he could act like a Republican and not really upset his Democrat power base.

Just when I think I can't get any more cynical than I already am, somebody like Cornyn sticks it in me. Hang 'em all! Of course, I lived in Utah for eleven years in the eighties and Orrin Hatch was senile then. Expect him to always be weird.

Posted by: horace at January 27, 2009 11:09 AM

Geithner absolutely should not have been confirmed as Sec of Treasury. If he is that reckless and ?error? prone with his tax responsibility how can he head the IRS that demands accuracy from the rest of us?

I am also surprised at Sen Cornyn voting 'yes'. That is the second time recently that he has gone against the conventional conservative stance. However, he has also been the lead in some other conservative efforts. That's politics!

Posted by: TomR at January 27, 2009 11:25 AM

The thing is the IMF gave him a check, noted on the check what it was for, to pay his taxes every year, Mistake my ass. He knew exactly what the money was for and what he was supposed to do with it. He decided t keep it, he willingly did this. anyone else would be on their way to jail for defrauding the Government... The man is a cheat.

Posted by: Mark at January 27, 2009 12:10 PM

Al Capone for bank manager? Just print MORE money without the needy putting up equity / collateral? My GOD these left wing bats have sunk US!
- MONOPOLY 1929 / 2009!

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at January 27, 2009 06:27 PM

Horace, yes Hatch is odd and I will never trust him, and Spector too I find I can't count on him either. Well heck hardly any of them can be counted on.

I am way past cynical. hahaha I have lost it completely as of this week.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 27, 2009 07:05 PM

Tom, yes it is politics. I wish the politicians would realize just how much we want them to do the right thing and would be supportive of their courage. I honestly think they forget this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 27, 2009 07:12 PM

Mark, exactly, in jail and their property taken too probably to pay for the taxes.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 27, 2009 07:14 PM

Darth, YES , good point. That would fit right in to all of this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 27, 2009 07:16 PM