I love Seinfeld. I think it was one of the funniest television shows to ever hit our living rooms. Its humor touched all of us because the writers took real-life everyday situations and subjects and showed us how funny they can be in the extreme or in the abstract or just in general. And now, I’m proud to say that I have discovered what is driving our Treasury Secretary to say and do the things he is doing. He is simply living out George Costanza’s philosophy on opposites. See if you remember this:
You see, you have to look back at Tim Geithner’s history a little to understand why I have come to this brilliant conclusion. It is the only explanation I can come up with for his most recent comments. But first, a short look back.
In October 2003, Mr. Geithner became the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Since that time and especially since August 2007, Mr. Geithner has been in a position to deal with the coming financial crisis we are now in. It was 2006 that he became one of the individuals in the “Group of Thirty.” This was a Washington-based financial advisory committee. (ok, now I’m boring you)—
It was Geithner that designed the $30billion bailout of Bear Stearns (remember that one–I know too many bailouts ago). It was Geithner that decided not to help Lehman Bros. but to assist AIG. It was around that time that he began to change course and do—the opposite of what he knew was right.
AIG: Prior to the election, Mr. Geithner worked closely with AIG regarding their compensation issues including the bonuses and concluded with a committee of others in 2008 that the bonuses could not be “legally” blocked. After reviewing the company and its complete failure at administering itself–he decided to do the opposite and pour billions of dollars down the AIG toilet.
Then there was his decision regarding his taxes (from Wikipedia-sources included):
At the Senate confirmation hearings, it was revealed that Geithner had not paid $35,000 in self-employment taxes for several years, even though he had acknowledged his obligation to do so, and had filed a request for, and received, a payment for half the taxes owed. The failure to pay self-employment taxes was noted during a 2006 audit by the Internal Revenue Service(IRS), in which Geithner was assessed additional taxes of $14,847 for the 2003 and 2004 tax years. Geithner also failed to pay the self-employment taxes for the 2001 and 2002 tax years until after Obama expressed his intent to nominate Geithner to be Secretary of Treasury. He also deducted the cost of his children’s sleep-away camp as a dependent care expense, when only expenses for day care are eligible for the deduction.Geithner subsequently paid the IRS the additional taxes owed, and was charged $15,000 interest, but was not fined for late payment.As President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Geithner annually completed an ethics statement noting any taxes due or unpaid, along with any other obligations. Geithner’s completed statement did not surface during confirmation hearings.
As a Johns Hopkins graduate with a Masters in International Economics–it is likely he knew that he had to pay self-employment taxes and that summer camp is hardly “day care” but he chose to do the opposite again.
And NOW: Faced with his role at the Secretary of the Treasury Mr. Geithner believes that HE should have the ability to fire CEO’s or pressure banks to oust their CEO’s if the Government doesn’t like the way they are operating???
Well, again he is doing the opposite. Here is the stated role of his office in the Government:
“The Secretary of the Treasury is the principal economic advisor to the President and plays a critical role in policy-making by bringing an economic and government financial policy perspective to issues facing the government. The Secretary is responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy, participating in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy, and managing the public debt. The Secretary oversees the activities of the Department in carrying out its major law enforcement responsibilities; in serving as the financial agent for the United States Government; and in manufacturing coins and currency.
See he is supposed to oversee the “Department” not department stores or departments of private industry–but the Department of the Treasury–you know the guys that are making money faster than Al Gore is printing Global Warming books. But Timmy has decided to do—the opposite and now he wants to run private companies.
Well the consequences have been staggering. Taking their cue from Mr. Geithner the following individuals have decided they are also going to do the opposite:
1. Oprah Is Going to Stop Dieting
After all, she has been on more diets than she can count and so now it appears she is just going to do the opposite.
2. The Pittsburgh Pirates Are Going To Win Games
After years of feeble play, the Pirates have announced they will actually try and win some games and maybe even make the playoffs. They credit Geithner for coming up with this opposite plan.
3. Nancy Pelosi Is Going To Read
Worried for years that reading anything at all may actually cause her brain to re-fire and begin working again, Ms. Pelosi has decided to “do the opposite” as they are calling it in Washington and sit down and read a few books. She decided to start with Danielle Steele and take it slow. She is hoping to have her brain all turned on again by 2013.
4. Charles Manson To Write Children’s Books
Inspired by the Secretary, Mr. Manson declared recently that instead of killing young people, he would write cute little stories to inspire them. “I owe it all to Geithner” he stated gleefully to a group of reporters.
5. Baylor To Attempt a Tournament Championship
Finally, the Baylor Bears basketball team will play Penn State tonight in the NIT Championship game. Baylor, typically losing games of any significance, and having been inspired to do the opposite will try tonight to bring home a trophy. One player was quoted as saying, “Costanza and Geithner, they are practically the same person.”
Baylor, I couldn’t agree more. Sic’ em!