January 15, 2009
According to news reports, Geithner also claimed improper dependent-care deductions, mishandled a withdrawal from a retirement plan and made other mistakes that required him to pay additional taxes and interest in recent months. Based on what we've read so far, we're willing to accept Geithner's contention that his errors were inadvertent. Assuming the Senate agrees and confirms him, we'd like Geithner to do us all a favor in return: lead the fight for a radically simpler tax code that is easier to enforce and harder to evade.
The complex rules that trip up financial sophisticates such as Geithner are a minefield for the honest and a gold mine for cheats. It's long past time for Washington to whittle down the tax laws, stripping the layers of incentives and disincentives in favor of a system that simply raises the money needed to fund the government in a fair and equitable way. Then, perhaps, we can spend more time talking about nominees' expertise and less about their tax returns.
Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times