Secretary of the Treasury Nominee Tim Geithner should be asked if he believes that private retirement accounts should replace Social Security taxes, because he didn’t pay any SS taxes when at the International Monetary Fund. The Senate Finance Committee has moved the Geithner confirmation hearing from this Friday to next Wednesday, January 21 at 10 a.m. presumably to deal with this growing controversy.
According to a document posted on the Senate Finance Committee website:
The most significant tax concern is identified as Mr. Geithner’s failure to pay Social Security taxes during his entire tenure at the IMF, which began in 2001 and concluded in 2003 (some compensation was not paid until calendar year 2004). He paid no FICA taxes or self-employement taxes with respect to the IMF income during that time.
One would think that this is a “serious obstacle” to confirmation, yet Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) has shrugged off the errors as “honest mistakes.” At a minimum, this controversy should jump start a debate on tax simplification.