GLENN: Tim Geitner, he is the guy who is running the New York Fed. He is the guy who designed the TARP bailout. He's the guy quite honestly that my deep throat has raved about for quite some time, and several of the people that I talk to that are in these levels that deal with these people, they all rave about him, say he's a genius, he's a genius. And my deep throat has been in the past for him and says, well, you know, he's -- in fact, he said basically Paulson and Bernanke, if it was up to those two, we would be dead; it's this guy who has moved the bailouts forward. And I said, "That's not a really good thing." But again remember the people in the financial community believe that, you know, we've got to have these bailouts. Well, they were the people that designed this system. I mean, why should we start listening to them now? Oh, yeah, the experts that got us here. Oh, okay. Good, thank you.
So I have nothing against Tim Geitner. In fact, I almost said before he was nominated that he's the only guy on the horizon that I know of that could do the job, but I didn't. For some reason I didn't. And when he named -- when Obama named him, I thought, "Well, he's the only guy that I know of that could do the job. So that's really a good thing." And I regretted not saying it because I wanted you, in case you didn't follow who this guy is, to know that he's probably a good guy, you know, he's probably the best out there.
Well, I've changed my mind on that and here's why. Yesterday he goes to congress for his confirmation process and they have a closed door session which I want to get back to. But remember, a closed door session. In it they talk to him about his tax problem. He worked for the IMF, the International Monetary Fund. The International Monetary Fund, we're the biggest contributor to it. Your tax dollars go to the IMF. Basically it's where all of the countries go into one big bank, countries can borrow from it, et cetera, et cetera but it's your tax dollars at work. It's such a sweet gig that you don't have to pay income tax. Yeah, your money is tax-free. Well, actually it's not tax-free. You have to pay your income tax but then you're reimbursed after it. So they equal it out. They balance it back out. So it's like you're not paying income tax. Sweet gig, huh? But you're what's called a contractor.
Now, anybody who knows what a contractor is, I didn't know what a contractor was until I started working here in New York. Contractors are everywhere in New York, and it's not a hammer-and-nail person. What it is is, for instance, most of my staff, you know, at television are contract workers. They're not employees. Like all of my Mercury staff, they are employees of me. But Stu is a contractor for Fox, which means he's not an employee, he doesn't get the benefits and everything else. But as a contract worker you still have to pay your taxes. You still have to pay your FICA, your Social Security, and you still have to pay for Medicare and all of that stuff. And you know that. If you are a contract worker, it's not that hard. They tell you, "By the way, you are a contract worker." Your accountant definitely knows what a contract worker is. You may not.
So you can give Tim Geitner maybe, maybe the benefit of the doubt that he didn't know, but the paperwork at the IMF is clear: You are responsible for your own country's taxes and then we will reimburse. You get a 1099. So what happened here? Back in 2005 he's audited by the IRS and they noticed that for four years he didn't pay his FICA and he didn't pay all of the payroll taxes. They only audited him for two years because after that two years, then the statute of limitations kicks in. So they only audited him for two years. And he says, gee, an honest mistake; I didn't know. All right. And they don't fine him and they make him pay his taxes.
Now, to his credit -- let me play devil's advocate here because this is really your decision, not mine. I'm not passing judgment. I've made my decision, but you have to make yours. To be honest, you know, there's a lot of people -- do you know what you're filing on your tax as far as you know really for sure? I mean, you're making your best guess if you're doing it by yourself. Or when you hire somebody, you're hiring somebody and you usually give them instructions before: How loose do you want to play this thing. But there's a lot of times, because I mean, I think I file in, like, 600 different states because I do stage shows and everything else. I don't even know. I'm sure that there's a possibility that I have done something wrong in one of my taxes and I would have no idea. Things like that do happen.
So you give Tim the benefit of the doubt here that he didn't know, and that's what the IRS did. He didn't know it was a mistake, just pay the taxes and don't worry about the fine, okay? But then he goes back to his accountant and says, okay, so are we square? Now, I personally would have gone and fired an accountant that didn't understand how a contract worker agreement worked. You didn't know that? I get a 1099, I gave it to you, you filed taxes but not Social Security? I mean, how bad of an accountant are you? Remember, this is the guy that everyone in the financial community is saying is a genius. He doesn't -- it's my understanding that he doesn't fire that firm. But let's just say he does fire that firm, okay? He said yesterday behind closed doors that he talked to his accountant and said, "Okay, are we clear?" He said, "Yes, you don't owe the money for the previous two years because the statute of limitations." So he doesn't pay that. Even though he owes it, they can't get him for it. So he doesn't pay it, okay? He's going to take that money out. He's not paying his fair share. He worked for two years tax-free. The statute of limitations. And he doesn't make good. He just moves on. Okay?
Now what happens? Here's where it gets really interesting. In the next two years he starts making claims on his income tax and claims things that are business that are personal. He's writing things off that he can't write off. He writes off, you know, like a CYO camp or, you know, some sort of a summer camp for his kid. It's a week-long stay-overnight summer camp. You can't write that off. And he writes it off as "Child care." That's not child care. What kind of lousy accountant do you have? It's not only is that not child care, you can't write off these other things because they're personal and not business.
And then there's one more piece. He has a housekeeper who is here legally with papers but then they expire while she's working and she just keeps working until then she goes and has a baby. Okay. Let me tie this up for you. Here's a guy who we can say made some honest mistakes. Let's just give him the benefit of the doubt, made some honest mistakes. The genius that is going to be the architect made some honest mistakes on how to pay his income tax as a contract worker. Wow. Then he either told his tax attorney, "Okay, good. Hey, don't worry about it. You're still with me," or he fired and got an equally incompetent tax attorney. Or more likely, he told his tax attorney, whether it be new or the old one, "Look, whenever there's a doubt, it goes to me." Because every tax attorney I've ever had has always said, "How do you play this?" "What do you mean?" Was the first time that was asked to me, I asked, "What do you mean?" "Well, there are some gray areas that you're not really sure. How much risk do you want to take?" My answer is zero. I don't ever want to see anyone that says "IRS." I don't ever want to see them. If we're in doubt, we round up. We round to the government. I don't want to pay more but I don't want to pay less if we're in gray areas. We pay what we're supposed to pay, period. I don't want the hassle. It's not worth the hassle.
This guy apparently plays it fast and loose. He's willing to take the -- he's willing to take the risks. He's a risk-taker, and he's willing to give him the benefit of the doubt instead of just saying, "It's not worth $4,000, it's not worth it. It's not worth -- what did that trip cost me? It's not worth the $250 that I'm going to save on my income tax. It's just not worth it. It's stupid." It's Martha Stewart coupled with the arrogance of having a worker -- look, not only is it against the law to have somebody work for you who's not a legal alien -- or a legal worker, but it's stupid. I do everything I can to make sure that everybody who works for me is legal. I do everything I can. I take more steps than you could possibly imagine. Could it be that maybe sometime there is a situation where I'm hiring somebody and I'm like, I really did, I really thought that they were legal? Yeah, that could happen. But I would immediately terminate that person. And even if I really liked them, I would say, look, I really like you, you are a good worker, but you are not here legally. If I didn't care about the law, I would care about my own career and I would say, "But you know what, I can't have you working here because this could come back and bite me in the ass, this is not -- I just can't do this. I love you and everything but I can't hire you." Wouldn't you do that just in common sense if you had a career and you thought that you weren't invincible. This guy is arrogant, this guy plays fast and loose. This guy did not have to answer questions in public meetings. These questions were addressed by congress behind closed doors. They immediately asked him these questions behind closed doors. This is a guy who's going to work for me, not for you, congress. You are asking questions of this man because you are asking in my voice, not your voice. I'm in charge of this country. The guy next to me is in charge of this country. The guy who's on I-84 right now driving a truck, he's the owner of this country. You're asking, you're representing us. I want to look this man in the eye. Not after you've now had the time to rehearse it. I want to be able to look these people in the eye. We don't have a liquidity problem. We have a trust problem. And now what is everybody saying in Washington? "Okay, he did some things wrong and this would destroy anybody else... but... he's too important to lose. He may be the only guy to do the job." If we begin to believe that, we are in even deeper trouble than I thought. He's too big to fail. But this isn't a company. This is one guy. He can play by different rules. We don't have to hold him accountable. We'll let him be in charge of our printing presses, our Secret Service and the IRS even though he didn't really play by the rules.