As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nannygate 2: the Nannygatening

I think the larger issue here is that rich people have nannies, the law on green cards is unclear and confusing, those who employ nannies are often at the mercy of the employee who may have little understanding of English to get compliance, and even if you do everything right, the media will pick over it because it's an easy story to cover and it fits into one of their little boxes.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is raising questions about a housekeeper who worked briefly for Treasury Secretary-nominee Timothy Geithner without proper immigration papers, and multiple years when Mr. Geithner didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for himself.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) has summoned committee members to his office this afternoon to air the matter ahead of any public confirmation hearing.

According to people familiar with the matter, Mr. Geithner employed a housekeeper whose immigration papers expired during her tenure with Mr. Geithner, currently president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The woman went on to get a green card to work legally in the country and federal immigration authorities didn't press charges against her, these people said.

The second issue involved taxes due while Mr. Geithner worked for the International Monetary Fund between 2001 and 2004. As an employee, Mr. Geithner was technically considered self-employed and was required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for himself as both an employer and an employee.

I forgot a W-2 form a couple years ago and paid the taxes owed with interest as soon as I was alerted to it. I am now disqualified from public office forever?

It's silly, nonsensical and common mistakes like this that turn good public servants off from the public square. I have no idea if Tim Geithner is worth defending (he seems OK, but just OK) but that's not the point. This may not derail his nomination but the media carping gives the impression of "trouble" where no trouble exists. These things kind of burn me up.

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