Skip to comments.Grilled about Cayman Investments, Jack Lew Chooses the Iím-a-Moron Defense
Posted on 02/16/2013 9:37:59 AM PST by Kaslin
Every so often, you get a teaching moment in Washington, and we now have an excellent opportunity to educate lawmakers about the offshore world because President Obamas nominee to be Treasury Secretary has been caught with his hand in the tax haven cookie jar.
Mr. Lew not only invested some of his own money in a Cayman-based fund, he also was in charge of a Citi Bank division that had over 100 Cayman-domiciled funds.
As you can imagine, Republicans are having some fun with this issue.
Mitt Romney was subjected to a lot of class-warfare demagoguery during the 2012 campaign because he also invested some of his wealth in a Cayman fund, so GOPers are hoisting Lew on a petard and grilling him about the obvious hypocrisy of a leftist utilizing both personally and professionally a jurisdiction that commits the unforgivable crime of not imposing income tax.
In a sensible world, Lew would say what everyone in the financial world already understands, which is that the Cayman Islands are an excellent, fully legal, tax-neutral platform for investment funds because 1) theres no added layer of tax, 2) theres good rule of law, and, 3) foreigners can invest in the American economy without creating any nexus with the IRS.
But we dont live in a sensible world, so Lew instead wants us to believe hes a moron and that he didnt realize that funds were domiciled in Cayman.
And I guess all the other wealthy leftists with offshore-based investments probably think that as well, right?
Anyhow, Im taking a glass-half-full perspective on this kerfuffle since it gives me an opportunity to educate more people about why tax havens are a liberalizing and positive force in the global economy.
Oh, what about Lew as Treasury Secretary? Well, as I explain for Real News, hes competent but misguided.
In other words, the chances of any good reform in the next four years are asymptotically approaching zero. Based on his background (and also based on the views of the President hell be serving), its virtually impossible to envision good entitlement reform, pro-growth tax reform, and any changes to lessen the likelihood of future Greek-style fiscal collapse (as amusingly illustrated by this cartoon).
So with any luck, theyll be some tax havens around that the rest of us can utilize when that day of reckoning occurs.
The US government and legal system is moving towards totalitarianism. Seemingly slowly right now, but it’s moving in that direction. The leadership is mostly idiots.
A self described moron should NOT be running the Treasury. Wake up you voting morons in the Senate and do not confirm him. We already had a tax cheat for four years and look where we are now!
....the same defense that stood Tim Turbo Tax Geithner in good stead.
Amazing how the “smartest guy in the room” turns dumber than dirt when testifying....
Maybe it depends on what the meaning of “is” is ?
The thing I would now wonder about...who exactly in the White House reviews the folks who they send up for nominations? They had to know something about his Cayman Island connection, and just thought the stupid senators would never figure the connection? I don’t get it. There are forty-odd professors from various university positions that would have at least been clean and unconnected to anything, and show some knowledge over the economy.