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Inhofe Floor Speech Opposing Geithner Confirmation

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Published on Jan 26, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today expressed concern and intends to vote against President Obamas nominee for Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner. The following are excerpts of Senator Inhofes Senate Floor speech.

I do not believe Mr. Geithner has been entirely candid about his tax issues and he has been less than forthcoming about all the facts, Senator Inhofe said. For example, Mr. Geithner accepted compensation from his employer to offset taxes, when he had never paid those taxes to begin with. And, having been informed about his oversight for tax years 2003 and 2004, he never bothered to check for 2001 and 2002. I can tell you that for people in Oklahoma and across the country, small businesses or an individual, who made an honest mistake on their taxes have found their governments treatment of them slightly more aggressive than they have seen the treatment of Mr. Geithner a man about to head the IRS.

This is one of those things that make people so angry about their government. The man who wants to be in charge of the IRS messed up his taxes, and got a pass from the U.S. Senate. For as much as we talk about a level playing field, it sure looks like we dont walk the walk when we have the opportunity.

However, I want to emphasize that my objection to Timothy Geithners nomination to head the Treasury Department has nothing to do with his tax issues. I want Senators to realize what a vote for Mr. Geithner really is. It is ratifying aggressive federal government intervention in the economy. It is flippant use of billions in US taxpayer dollars to prop up favored institutions and pick winners and losers in the marketplace. This has created great uncertainty in the market, which is precisely what we dont need right now.

The government has gone too far, and under Mr. Geithner, all indications are that we are not going to slow down anytime soon. We need a change of course. We need to finally, trillions of dollars later, find the strength to let those who made poor decisions bear some of the consequences, instead of taxpayers. Timothy Geithner will take the helm of the Treasury Department at a time when the government has entangled itself into the economy to an unprecedented extent. Given his strong support—stronger by many accounts than Secretary Paulson himself—for ad hoc bailouts of big firms, I cannot support his nomination.

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