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Geithner Makes Successful Apology for $34,000 Mistake

Sometimes sorry seems to be the hardest word, but Treasury Secretary-nominee Timothy Geithner apologized profusely at his confirmation hearing today for underpaying $34,000 in taxes. And that seems to be enough to ensure he’ll get the job, the New York Times reports.

From The Times:

Mr. Geithner, departing from prepared remarks, said the nonpayment of payroll taxes in the three years he was at the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2004 “were careless mistakes, they were avoidable mistakes. But they were unintentional. I should have been more careful.” He apologized that the committee had to spend so much time on his taxes when so much more serious issues are before it and the country. Disclosure of the tax problems last week caused Mr. Geithner’s confirmation hearing to be delayed a week, past Mr. Obama’s inauguration.

With the banking system in a free fall, lawmakers have little choice. Besides, Republicans like Geithner, and non-payment of taxes probably isn’t the greatest sin, as far as many of them are concerned. Senators from both parties lobbed a few questions at Geithner over the tax problems – he used Turbo Tax, in case you are wondering – but also said publicly that he’ll be confirmed soon, according The Times.

So soon it will be on to bigger matters for Geithner. Like stabilizing the financial system, stopping foreclosures, getting credit moving again, fixing the housing market’s woes, deciding whether to prop up ailing banks …

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