There was a part of me that “hoped” my central critiques would bear no fruit. While most liberals get all titillated about steamy social issues, they have little interest in the economic questions of the day. While Obama often was not a good progressive, he was always a good liberal.
The saddest thing about this whole Obama storyline is it was the economic front that put him in the oval office, and it is those issues where he tends to be the most pathetic. Last night on Bill Moyers both David Siroto and Tom Franks tried to argue while disappointed thus far in Obama’s economic choices, they had some optimism that the events of the day would push him in a progressive direction. I think they are dead wrong on this issue.
Karl Marx once said religion is the opiate of the masses. He was not bashing religion outright, but only pointing out it pacified the working class from changing their lives. The corporate power brokers know, as well as Siroto and Franks, that their is a strong current of events, and have faith that Obama, in Marx’s terminology, can serve the function of religion to the masses.
Geithner, is a free trading, right winger who can’t seem to pay his taxes. This is the guy we want setting the country’s economic vision and running the IRS. Both Bush’s and Clinton’s nominations were pulled for this exact same reason. For some reason this Geithner character gets the easy treatment.
There are two ways to look at this issue, tax evasion or incompetence. If Geithner was intentionally trying to evade paying taxes, and only paid them right before being nominated, it calls into question his qualifications for this position, if any. Chavez got her nomination pulled as Labor Secretary for a similar infraction, and so did Zoe Baird as Clinton’s Attorney General nominee. It seems to me that tax evasion is a far more serious character flaw for Treasury Secretary than the other two. In whose world view does it seem acceptable to have a tax evader running the Internal Revenue Service, and enforcing the same laws he has been unable to follow for the past five years.
Well, a liberal might respond, shit happens. We all make mistakes, and after eight years of incompetent governing, we need to let the small things go in the name of governance. The big problem with this is if something makes continual mistakes on their taxes for the past five years, are they the one we want to head the Treasury Department. In short, if he is unable to keep his own house in order, do we want him managing the people’s house. Personally, I have a much bigger problem with Geithner if this was a “mistake” than if he was an outright tax evader. One could be a tax evader for 5 or more years and still be competent, but competency is highly unlikely with someone making “mistakes” on their taxes for the last 5 years.