Grassley on Lew’s Cayman Islands holdings: “The irony is thick.”

posted at 5:31 pm on February 9, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Well, this is rich.

We have a tax code that perpetually makes it a worthwhile endeavor for wealthy people to use up the time and resources it takes to store various aspects of their income in offshore accounts — and just like everyone else on Planet Earth, even wealthy people are partial to saving more of their own money if they can. If politicians take umbrage with that, perhaps they should address our highly uncompetitive, convoluted, and heavy-handed tax code, instead of class-warmongering against the millionaires and billionaires trying to protect their finances. Don’t hate the player, hate the stupid game.

President Obama, of course, made much ado — much ado — of absolutely hammering Mitt Romney for being such an unpatriotic, ungallant, greedy vulture capitalist who has dared to have offshore accounts as part of his portfolio. Obama waged nothing short of a moral vendetta against the guy, constantly extolling how it is rich people’s duty to “pay a little more” in the name of simple decency and fairness. It was one of Team Obama’s favorite themes, and they hit it early and often.

 

But President Obama’s noble, everyman scruples evidently only apply to Republican opponents, and not to his friends. Because, consistency. Via NBC:

Jack Lew, President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee, previously held up to $100,000 in investments in an offshore hedge fund located in the Cayman Islands, according to financial disclosure forms.

Lew’s financial disclosure forms, filed in 2009 and 2011, showed that Lew had invested between $50,000 and $100,000 in a fund called Citigroup Venture Capital International Growth Partnership (Employee) II, L.P. — the very type of fund President Obama has repeatedly criticized.

… According to his official White House biography, Lew served as managing director and chief operating officer of Citi Global Wealth Management and then Citi Alternative Investments (CAI) from 2006 to 2008. …

The source also told NBC News that Lew had no role in creating, managing or operating the fund, and that Citigroup had organized the fund in the Cayman Islands and made it available to other employees. The source said that many other Citigroup employees had investments in the fund.

Hmm — is that kind of like a blind trust? But it gets better, via The Hill:

Congressional Republicans are raising new questions about the Treasury nominee’s offshore financial holdings. …

At issue is an employee investment fund based in the Cayman Islands that Lew bought into during his time working at Citigroup before entering the Obama administration. …

“President Obama has been almost obsessively critical of offshore investments,” Grassley said. “He called Ugland House ‘either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record.’ ”

The Ugland House is a building in the Cayman Islands that serves as the legal address for thousands of corporations seeking favorable tax breaks. In a 2009 speech, Obama called the use of the adders “the kind of tax scam that we need to end.”

“For years, we’ve talked about shutting down overseas tax havens that let companies set up operations to avoid paying taxes in America,” Obama said.

Our president’s qualms run deep.


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More of the same.

CW on February 9, 2013 at 5:36 PM

I have zero problem with offshore accounts yet I hope they CRUCIFY Lew for them. It’s high time the progs have to live up to the idiotic standards they demand of others.

Let him burn . . .

SoRight on February 9, 2013 at 5:37 PM

the hypocrisy of this Admin. seems to be neverending

gsherin on February 9, 2013 at 5:38 PM

May hypocrisy consume all who practice it. Spontaneously combust, all of you, from the very top on down.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2013 at 5:41 PM

After Timmy Tax Cheat, anything goes. There are no high standards, rather, hypocrisy seems to be a prerequisite. “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Brat on February 9, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Thankfully we know Poppa Bark has no offshore investments and no investments in evil companies like Exxon / BoA / Ishmash / Hitlerburton…

Like Mohammed, he truly is the ideal man.

CorporatePiggy on February 9, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Our daily lesson in hypocrisy. What we know for sure is that whatever Obama criticizes is something he or someone in his administration has done or will do…shortly.

STL_Vet on February 9, 2013 at 5:44 PM

“Mr. Lew, the committee would like to play a few campaign commercials from your potential new boss. Once completed, we would like for you to share your thoughts”….

Let’s go guys, shove it down their throats sideways..

hillsoftx on February 9, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Ugland House. How ironic!

tommy71 on February 9, 2013 at 5:48 PM

“Shut up, peasant!” They explained…

MunDane68 on February 9, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Apparently the FATCA legislation is not well received by American living abroad, nor by governments and financial institutions around the world.The whole thing demonstrates how the US Government under Barry thinks it can just willy-nilly bully other governments and financial institutions. The law mandate foreign financial institutes to disclose information on US clients having accounts there. The agreement was supposed to be reciprocal, yet US banking laws and practice do not allow disclosure of information on foreign citizens holding accounts in the US at this point.

http://about.bloomberglaw.com/2013/01/28/full-reciprocity-under-fatca-is-a-work-in-progress-irs-official-says/

galtani on February 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Not to defend Obama, the hypocrite, but to expose him further, and Lew too (scroll down, flaw with the link):

“We don’t necessarily have to do 10% but it’s the principle. He didn’t say if your crops fail, don’t give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you’ve got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, ‘Well that’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.’ Where does it say you’ve got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don’t need to hurt him. It’s that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs.”

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2013 at 5:54 PM

it is rich people’s duty to “pay a little more”

Well then, that explains the tax dodges of Tim Geithner, Charlie Rangel, John Kerry and the Kennedy Clan.

Or is it: ‘it is the DUMB (Conservative) rich people’s duty to “pay a little more”‘?

GarandFan on February 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Because, consistency.

Is this ironic? Or do you mean consistency like promoting folks to handle the country’s finances who do things like fail to pay their taxes?

GWB on February 9, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Well, bet he knows how to use turbo-tax…that’ll make him a shoe in.

What was his job when the banking industry fell apart about four or five years ago?

What was his job prior to Citigroup?

He is, and was, a big part of the overall fiscal problem foisted on all of us in 2008.

For this, he deserves a promotion?

Guess it worked for Turbo-Tax Timmy, why stop now?

coldwarrior on February 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Does anyone else sometimes get the idea that the actual people that run this nation are Citibank and Goldman Sachs?

LegendHasIt on February 9, 2013 at 6:23 PM

They only cared about offshore accounts because Romney was the nominee and it played into their narrative about him. Now that Romney has been
defeated, they could care less about this stuff. The same way that the anti-war movement ended the minute Obama became the CAC. This game only works because they’ve got the MSM acting as their propagandists.

Until the GOP realizes that their #1 priority should be all out war against the MSM, they’ll just keep spinning their wheels.

ardenenoch on February 9, 2013 at 6:47 PM

At least this is legal, unlike Turbo Tax Timmy’s actions.

talkingpoints on February 9, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Lew is a 1%er.Where is OWS?

docflash on February 9, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Don’t forget, too, that the sequester plan came from Jack Lew, who passed the idea on to Clean-Hands Obysmal.

onlineanalyst on February 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM

I have zero problem with offshore accounts yet I hope they CRUCIFY Lew for them. It’s high time the progs have to live up to the idiotic standards they demand of others.

Let him burn . . .

SoRight on February 9, 2013 at 5:37 PM

This will never happen. The press doesn’t hold Democrats accountable for anything any longer. They only hold Republicans accountable – and sometime for things that aren’t even their problem or fault. The “press” is just another arm of the Democrat party now.

famous amos on February 9, 2013 at 7:17 PM

This will never happen. The press doesn’t hold Democrats accountable for anything any longer. They only hold Republicans accountable – and sometime for things that aren’t even their problem or fault. The “press” is just another arm of the Democrat party now.

famous amos on February 9, 2013 at 7:17 PM

The public relations department of a company does not publicize the failings of that company, why would we expect the public relations department of the DNC to publicize the failings of one of its own?

/really liking that description of the MSM offered here yesterday by one of our regulars, it is just so spot on

AZfederalist on February 9, 2013 at 7:27 PM

I have zero problem with offshore accounts yet I hope they CRUCIFY Lew for them. It’s high time the progs have to live up to the idiotic standards they demand of others.

Let him burn . . .

SoRight on February 9, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Alinsky’s “Rules” work both ways.

The leftists always seem to forget that…

…of course, we seem to forget it, too.

Solaratov on February 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM

it is rich people’s duty to “pay a little more”

Well then, that explains the tax dodges of Tim Geithner, Charlie Rangel, John Kerry and the Kennedy Clan.

Or is it: ‘it is the DUMB (Conservative) rich people’s duty to “pay a little more”‘?

GarandFan on February 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM
…ding…ding…ding…ding…ding…ding ding!

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2013 at 7:47 PM

As Col. Walter E Kurtz would say “The horror, the horror”

RdLake on February 9, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Time for Lew and several dozen of the white house staff to have the taxpayers fund an all expense paid trip down to the Caymens so that he can review his holdings and reward the extremely hard working government workers of the white house.

acyl72 on February 9, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Nothing shocks me when it comes to these lying liars. Hypocrite-in-chief.

Philly on February 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Does anyone else sometimes get the idea that the actual people that run this nation are Citibank and Goldman Sachs?

LegendHasIt on February 9, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I’ve said for years that the old conspiracy theorists were right: we already have one world government, and its name is Citigroup.

rockmom on February 9, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Does anyone else sometimes get the idea that the actual people that run this nation are Citibank and Goldman Sachs?

LegendHasIt on February 9, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I’ve said for years that the old conspiracy theorists were right: we already have one world government, and its name is Citigroup.

rockmom on February 9, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Masters of the Universe would not see the stock price of the evil empire go down 95%.

galtani on February 9, 2013 at 10:19 PM

The GOP needs to go full Alinsky: Force your opponent to live up to his own rules.

Travis Bickle on February 9, 2013 at 11:49 PM

Two-faced Obama:

Both Sec. Treas.have issues — Turbo Tim Geithner committed tax fraud by signing papers while at IMF that additional payments to pay individuals’ national income taxes was supposed to be used exactly for that — and then Tim blamed Turbo Tax when he did not pay his federal taxes.

And Obama pushing for comprehensive amnesty while he has TWO illegal alien family members defying multiple deportation orders.

(And MSM keeps ignoring these ironies.)

fred5678 on February 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM