web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » News & Views

Jewish Nominee for Treasury May Hit Wall of GOP and Far Left

And guess who had close to $100,000 in assets socked away right there in the Cayman Islands? Jack Lew.
Jack Lew

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

Jack M. Lew, President Obama’s frum former chief of staff and budget director, and now his nominee to head the U.S. Treasury, will face the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday at the formal vetting stage prior to confirmation.  Until several days ago, the nomination seemed to be a slam dunk.

Not anymore.

One of President Obama’s pet peeves has long been tax advantages for the wealthy.  In 2007, when Obama ran for president the first time, one of his favorite targets for vitriol was “overseas tax havens,” in places like the Cayman Islands.  And guess who had close to $100,000 in assets socked away right there in the Cayman Islands? Lew.

While he was president, Obama railed against a specific five-story building on Grand Cayman Island called Ugland House, which nearly 12,000 businesses claim as the address of their corporate headquarters.  The Cayman Islands is a tax-free jurisdiction in which corporations can be “housed,” at least on paper, thereby enabling those companies and wealthy individuals to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

In 2008 the Senate Finance Committee held hearings on Ugland House. The Committee chair, Sen. Max Baucus, explained the committee was “concerned that U.S. taxpayers are creating offshore business entitles solely to evade their U.S. tax obligations, [and] seeking to confound I.R.S. collection efforts by obscuring the true ownership of American assets or income.”

In 2009 Obama said, “for years, we’ve talked about shutting down overseas tax havens that let companies set up operations to avoid paying taxes in America.  About Ugland House, he said, “either this is the largest building in the world, or the largest tax scam in the world.  And I think the American people know which it is.  That’s the kind of tax scam that we need to end.”

But according to The New York Times, as recently as 2010, Jack Lew had invested money in a CitiGroup venture capital fund whose address was Ugland House, Grand Cayman Island.  And based on Lew’s tax filings in 2009 and 2011, he had as much as $100,000 in such investments.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) is fuming.  He called it ironic that Obama’s nominee to head the Treasury Dept., someone who has been, according to reports by conservatives, “inflexible” about spending cuts, benefited from the very offshore tax shelters Obama has repeatedly attacked.  That, and the fact that the IRS is located within the Treasury Dept. and the long arm of the IRS is what gets blocked by tax shelters such as the one provided by  Ugland House.

Others pointed out that many Obama supporters criticized Mitt Romney for holding investments in the Cayman Islands.  According to NBC News, an ad during the  2012 campaign asked, “Why would Mitt Romney invest millions in the Cayman Islands?”

A White House statement issued in response to this latest controversy, pointed out that Lew sold off his investments in the Cayman Islands based fund, and “he paid all of his taxes and reported all of the income, gains and losses from the investment on his tax returns.”

The Times revealed that although Lew had previously worked for the administration, it was not until 2010, after he was confirmed as director of the Office of Management and Budget, that Lew fully divested from the Ugland House CitiGroup fund.  Investments in those funds are not for the short-term, and the sale cost Lew more than $50,000.

Obama and Lew supporters are pooh-poohing the offshore tax shelters issue, especially given that the information was available when Lew went through prior confirmation hearings, albeit for non-Cabinet positions.

And at least one other Treasury Secretary, former CEO of Goldman, Sachs Henry Paulson, who served under President Bush, had extensive financial holdings in the Cayman Islands.

On the other hand, Republicans were not the ones vilifying “the rich” for trying to evade paying U.S. taxes through legitimate ventures, while the Democrats have practically raised that criticism to an art form.

Which brings up a likely ally – if they want to avoid being called hypocrites – for the Republicans who want the Ugland House tax shelter issue to be raised at the hearing: the radical leftist street theater group, Code Pink, and one of their close uber-leftist allies, The Nation.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

6 Responses to “Jewish Nominee for Treasury May Hit Wall of GOP and Far Left”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Anyone hated by both left wing and right wing extremists must be pretty good. :)

  2. If Lew is turned down, perhaps Obama would appoint Paul Krugman or Robert Reich, Jewish economists who recognize that we need a major jobs program that would restore and improve our crumbling infrastructure, thereby bringing in much more tax revenue, reducing the need for unemployment and other benefits, and helping greatlt improve our economy.

  3. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    He has REPEATEDLY lied under oath; he took Citi to the verge of bankruptcy (which is obama's obvious goal for the US so why not someone with experience), and condemns foreign accounts while he himself retains a rather extensive portfolio in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands.

    As some allege hom to be an "Orthodox" Jew, he reminds me of someone (a true gannif) I met once who, when I decried her for her business practices as she wore her sheitel, commented that "business is business, religion is religion. They have nothing to do with each other."

  4. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    He has REPEATEDLY lied under oath; he took Citi to the verge of bankruptcy (which is obama's obvious goal for the US so why not someone with experience), and condemns foreign accounts while he himself retains a rather extensive portfolio in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands.

    As some allege hom to be an "Orthodox" Jew, he reminds me of someone (a true gannif) I met once who, when I decried her for her business practices as she wore her sheitel, commented that "business is business, religion is religion. They have nothing to do with each other."

  5. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Socialism is NOT the answer. Obama has been pushing bigger government, taxation and welfare for four years. It does NOT work so you say continue the failed policies by bringing an avowed socialist like Reich in?

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    "he took Citi to the verge of bankruptcy "

    Absolute nonsense. He was nowhere near the top of the management hierarchy and didn't have that kind of power.

    'As some allege hom to be an "Orthodox" Jew'

    Which you clearly are not, since you spread motzi shem ra against someone who is publicly known to be a frum Yid.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Which glass has the poison?
State Dept. Complains New Homes in Jerusalem ‘Poison’ US Peace Plan
Latest News Stories
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat puts cement on the official cornerstone celebrating the reopening of the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in Jerusalem's Old City.

Why doesn’t Obama also label Jerusalem Arabs as “illegitimate settlers?”

Rivlin at Slichot

Israel’s President Ruby Rivlin recites Slichot, the prayers for forgiveness that are said leading up to Yom Kippur. This slichot prayer session was held at the President’s official residence. Speaking of presidential pardons, it would be good if this were the year that Jonathan Pollard was let free.

Poster on University of California's Santa Barbara campus accuses Jews of being behind 9/11.

American university campuses have become fertile ground for seeds of evil.

Letter of protest charges SJP with “harassing and intimidating Jewish students.”

Biden’s new national security adviser dissed Israel in the Democratic party platform and mocks Iran’s danger.

PA leader Abbas demands UN force Israel back to 1949 Armistice Line by Nov. 2016.

Car fires are car fires,” said the Atlantic City fire chief. But the car was parked!

US admits its ‘no-strike if any civilians might be hit’ policy does not apply to its airstrikes against ISIS.

Israeli police revealed on September 30 that they are now investigating the possibility that a fellow Arab worker may have cut the cable that held Arami as he was doing exterior work on a building.

A 14-year-old Dutch Muslim high school student is suspended after posting a video saying he is “from ISIS” and wants to “behead Jews.”

PM Netanyahu and US Pres. Obama met Wednesday evening for 75 minutes at the White House in Washington DC.

Israel talks with building blocks. The Palestinian Authority throws them.

The Palestinian Authority continues to remove its mask and show it is Hamas in sheep’s clothing.

How do some of the other issues Obama discussed in his 2013 U.N. General Assembly speech look through today’s lens?

“I think there’s no question that support for Israel will, I think, increase dramatically with the Republican leadership in the Senate,” Matthew Brooks, executive director of the RJC and the Jewish Policy Center think tank, told JNS.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.

Biden’s new national security adviser dissed Israel in the Democratic party platform and mocks Iran’s danger.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Sept. 8, 2014.

US admits its ‘no-strike if any civilians might be hit’ policy does not apply to its airstrikes against ISIS.

B’Tselem is once again able to use Israel’s national service volunteers to attack Israel’s efforts at self-defense and sovereignty.

‘Jews Against Genocide’ pervert the Ice Bucket Challenge into a “blood bucket” attack on the IDF.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted murderer of a Philly cop, was chosen as college commencement speaker.

The blatantly hostile state department press corps belittled and mischaracterized Netanyahu’s UN speech.

PLO member and PA spokesperson Saeb Erekat ridiculed state dept. spokesperson for Abbas criticism

Suicide bombing reported as new president of Afghanistan sworn in.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-treasury-secty-nominee-hits-snag-uniting-gop-and-far-left/2013/02/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: