On Monday, the Obama administration announced a plan to cut down on tax evasion by companies employing overseas workers, and with seeming disregard to the obvious hypocrisy, let Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner -- who has tax problems of his own! -- introduce the President to provide the details.
I kid you not!
When media outlets report this announcement and the proposed reforms to the tax code, will they share with readers and viewers the delicious irony inherent in Obama using Geithner as his setup man?
Before answering, consider the following transcript of Geithner's introduction (video embedded right):
Mr. President, when you took office, you promised to reform our tax code so that it would be more simple and more fair for hard-working Americans. And you promised to ensure that our tax dollars would be used to strengthen the American economy, and American competitiveness. Today, we are taking another important step towards those goals by ending indefensible tax-breaks and loopholes which allow some companies and some well-off citizens to evade the rules that the rest of America lives by. We believe in a level playing field. Unfortunately, we have a tax code which gives businesses that invest and create jobs overseas a competitive advantage over those who invest and create jobs at home. In a global economy, we need American companies to compete in overseas markets. But we will no longer provide tax incentives that disadvantage American innovation and American workers. Today, the President will announce a series of measures to reform deferral rules that encourage overseas investment, to eliminate loopholes that allow companies to legally avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes, and to crack down on the abuse of tax havens by individuals. These are critical steps in reforming our tax laws, and improving enforcement. And along side these measures, the Internal Revenue Service, under the strong and able leadership of Commissioner Doug Schulman, are making an unprecedented effort to upgrade and strengthen enforcement capacity. The President's budget will add up to 800 full-time IRS employees devoted to detecting and bringing to justice those who unlawfully hide assets and income.
Given Geithner's own tax problems revealed after Obama nominated him as Treasury Secretary, was it a good idea to have him do today's introduction?
Or is it a safe play for the President as his adoring media mightn't be willing to point out the hypocrisy?