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Geithner confirmation expected, tax experts say his tax mistake is common

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GOP doesn't appear that upset:

Several key Finance Committee Republicans have already voiced strong support for Geithner, saying that Obama needs to have his full economic team in place quickly in order to deal with the ongoing financial crisis facing the country.

“I think he’s a very fine man,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). “I’m not one who holds mistakes against people. And, I believe, having chatted with him personally about this, it was an error and a mistake that human beings can make.”

Another Finance Committee member, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), said that the information about Geithner was “troubling and concerning” and that it was “critical” that members of the committee meet with him before his hearing to ask him about it. But, Snowe said, “Based on that review and his answers to our questions, I believe the process should move forward and that these regrettable issues ultimately should not preclude support for his nomination at this time of monumental challenges for our economy.”

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) joked that Geithner “was just cruising along with the traffic — he may have broken the speed limit, but he wasn’t weaving in and out of lanes, he wasn’t drunk and he wasn’t endangering anybody.”
And tax experts says Geithner's mistake is a common one, and not unexpected:
Should the U.S. treasury secretary know how to do his own taxes?

Maybe not, say payroll lawyers, accountants and tax professors, who consider Timothy Geithner’s failure to pay four years of Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes to be a fairly common mistake — even for a top economist chosen to run the Treasury Department, including the Internal Revenue Service.

“This is a very discrete issue,” said Michael Lloyd, an employment tax lawyer at Miller & Chevalier. “If you’re not a payroll tax lawyer, you’re not immersed in this, you are probably not getting it at first blush.”

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