Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Why I hate Timothy Geithner (and still love Tom Daschle)

The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don’t know when it’s through if you are a crook or a martyr. –Will Rogers

The Discovery

For those who don’t know, health care reform is my second baby, loved and cared for only slightly less than my real baby. So you can imagine how far my heart sunk when I heard the Daschle tax news on NPR at 6:30am and then the resignation news mid-day. I can barely write this now, both because I had a mojito martini tonight and because it’s too fresh in my mind. But I also had my first ill-fated frappachino after not drinking caffeine in almost 2 years, so I feel the energy and need to put the proverbial pen to cyber-paper about today’s events. I almost don’t know what I think. I reserve the right to feel differently tomorrow, and I may add to this note.

The History/Manifesto

Last night on my flight to Orlando for a work trip, I was drafting an outline of my “executive summary” of Tom Daschle’s book about health care reform. I was going to present said summary to my office so that everyone would be in the loop about his great plans before they were enacted. And great his plans were. I’ll sum up the 240-page book in one sentence for those of us in Gen X/Y (or whatever the hell tarnation they’re calling the generation with 5-second attention spans…have I lost you yet?): Daschle suggests creating a Federal Health Board, like the Federal Reserve, which would operate independently of the whims of the Executive & Legislative Branches, thereby setting the standard medical practices paid for by insurance and massively controlling/reducing the spiraling-out-of-control health care prices. In my mind, Daschle presents the perfect combination of progressiveness and political inclusiveness. And you should care about my opinion even if you don’t share my political beliefs. Not only because health care should NOT be a political issue and only is so courtesy of organizations like the AMA (which is a discussion for another day), but also because I’m 99.9% positive I know more about health care reform than you. I’m not into tooting my own horn, I’m just sure of myself this time. Care to take me on in a health care reform duel? I accept!

The Thesis Statement

So on to why I hate Timothy Geithner. To be honest, like many Americans I didn’t even know who he was until he was nominated as treasury secretary. However, his measly $34,000 in unpaid taxes brought him on my radar screen. I’m not saying measly because I think taxes aren’t important—they are not measly, pay for important programs, and in most cases I think they should be raised. But I digress. I say measly because most of these guys make big bucks, and it’s easy to make mistakes with smaller sums of money. Plus, if you’ve heard the details of his mistake, it’s like “Say what? He didn’t pay what?” It’s annoyingly confusing and not at all juicy enough to make a real scam story. If you’ve noticed, it’s the Republicans who have juicy stories. But that was a cheap shot brought on by my sadness and mojito-filled brain, and I digress again.

There are 2 reasons I hate Geithner:
  1. Duh, if you’re going to be nominated as TREASURY secretary, be damned sure your tax record is clean. If they can look into it, so can you. Therefore, he’s a dumbass. Therefore, I hate him.
  2. I’m fairly sure the only reason Daschle had to step down is that Geithner’s “scam” paved the way for a magnified nomination process for the rest of the candidates. Need I say more? Hate him, hate him, hate him.

The Discussion

My quickly-digested verdict over today’s events is the following: Daschle knew it wasn’t worth Obama’s presidency being tarnished this early in the game over his indiscretions. The stakes are too high, and so he threw himself under the bus. Again, I am NOT saying it’s not important to pay taxes. As a former member of the Senate Finance Committee, how could he be so careless? I agree with you. Hire a damned tax attorney you fool! But please read up on the missed taxes instead of just watching Fox News. C’mon, he miscalculated a car and driver. Big whup. AND, keep the big picture of how much in total taxes he was paying (he made over $5 million in book deals and other revenue) and how much of the $100k he paid today was probably penalties. Stupid? Yes! Worthy of his untimely demise? No. If you disagree with me and voted for Bush, I now permit you to explain to me why it’s ok for Bush to snort coke but not for Daschle to miscalculate his taxes…go ahead…I’m waiting. No? Ok then, case closed. On the other hand, if you did not vote for Bush, and you uphold extremely high standards by which all politicians may not lie, cheat, steal, or miscalculate taxes, then I bow to you as a better person (picture me bowing, I’m doing it right now).

The Tiniest Violin

I could write about how I cried when I found out one of my health mentors f***ed messed up in a big way, but that’s just girl stuff and gets me nowhere in a man’s world. Truthfully, I feel worst for Ted Kennedy because all his eggs were in Daschle’s basket, and he’s too sick to make new eggs. Ok, so I suck at applying sayings to real life situations. But I have a point! Alas, I’m too tired now to get more in depth on my health care reform views. Plus, this note is already of epic length. Maybe I’ll write more on a day when I’m not so disenfranchised. I’m still an Obamamaniac, and I feel strongly that if this event is what makes you hate Obama, you were waiting to hate him anyway.

The End

3 comments:

Lauren D said...

i think we need to look at this from a bipartisan standpoint. it sucks that our great nation (because i firmly believe it is still great despite its too-many-to-count flaws) can only come up with leaders (both dems and reps) who think they don't need to abide by laws like the common people do.

whether its drugs, not paying your taxes or other acts of indiscretion... out of all the millions of people in this country, shouldn't we be able to come up with smart leaders who follow the rules?

it's a sad state of affairs.

Lauren D said...

p.s. i did not post that at 5:58am. your blog must be on pac time. i wish i was on pac time.

Dad said...

Great passion !
That's what us liberals need is more passion !
So happy to see you are itching for a duel with some W-loving losers.

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