January 15, 2009

LIKE ME, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer sees Rangel and Geithner’s tax travails as an argument for tax reform:

We get that people make mistakes. It happens because the tax code is too complicated. So dense that even Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the House committee that writes tax laws, owes the government money for taxes he failed to pay.

There’s another problem here: transparency. Obama’s staff told senators about the tax problems on Dec. 5. We should have been clued in, say, Dec. 6. It should not come up hours before a Senate confirmation hearing — not when it’s clear that transparency is supposed to be the standard for this new administration. We can only imagine what we would have said had Geithner been a Bush appointee.

Should this news derail the nomination? Probably not. But it sure ought to be “Exhibit A” for tax code clarity. On the other hand, perhaps we all have a new defense come April 16.

“I forgot!”

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