Friday, February 6, 2009

Why Was Geithner Treated So Much Better Than IRS Employees?

All right, one more post about taxes and politics and then we're moving on.

As a former IRS employee, and as someone who's married to a current IRS employee, the question of why Geithner was treated so much better than any IRS employee was the first thing we thought of. Finally, someone else has asked the question:
Timothy Geithner is one lucky man ... because when he cheated the government on his payroll taxes, he wasn't working for the IRS.

Had Geithner been working at the IRS, here is what he could have expected for being suspected of shorting the government tens of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes: He might have been rousted from bed before dawn in a commotion that terrified his children and embarrassed his wife when it awoke the neighbors. He would have been treated like a scheming criminal and, while not subjected to what the Bush administration euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation techniques," he would have been scared enough to suffer a stroke or heart attack, like some of those grilled by the agents from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. ...

Any suggestion by Geithner that it was just a mistake, that the law is too complicated, or that the software made him do it would have drawn derisive laughter and worse, based on what IRS clerks whom TIGTA went after have told me and have testified about in proceedings aimed at saving their jobs.

The simple answer is that Geithner wasn't, and won't be, an employee of the IRS. But then that begs the question: why are IRS employees deprived of certain rights that others enjoy?

Maybe if Geithner is confirmed that'll be a good thing. IRS employees may finally enjoy some sense of equal protection under the law.

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