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Treasury Secretary's Blind Spot

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.

Looks like Tim Geithner is going to be approved as the new treasury secretary. And its bugs me a little. You and I have made mistakes on our taxes before. The IRS lets us know about it and we make amends.

But what if for whatever reason you didn't pay part of your taxes. The IRS catches your error. You pay what they ask for but not thousands more for what they didn't catch. We owe what we owe. There's no ambiguity.

Geithner didn't voluntarily pay up until it was clear he was going to be nominated for a Cabinet post. Maybe it's not a character flaw. But it sure is a blind spot. And it doesn't seem to meet President Obama's standards.

Geithner has apologized and said that he'd never put himself in a position where he was intentionally not meeting his obligations as a taxpayer. Perhaps we should take him at his word. But if he's not smart enough to do his taxes right how will he tackle the U.S. economy?

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