web analytics
August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


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.

In late December of 2012, Code Pink had a historic protest at the very center of the controversy: Ugland House.  Code Pink was on a fundraising voyage for The Nation aboard a Carnival Cruise ship.  When they docked at the Grand Cayman Island, they staged an impromptu but widely promoted protest against the injustice of “big companies” using the Cayman Islands to shelter their money and avoid paying “their fair share” of taxes.

Code Pink Protests Tax Shelters in Cayman Islands, Dec. 2012

Code Pink Protests Tax Shelters in Cayman Islands, Dec. 2012

The Code Pinkers held up big signs and banners which said, “Take Our Money Home,” and “U.S. Tax Money Out of Cayman Islands.”  They also sang several song parodies, one of which was to the Harry Belafonte tune “Day-O,” the lyrics rewritten to “Tax evaders’ time to bring the money home.” Watch the video here.

And if Senator Grassley is noting the irony of liberal policy makers using tax shelters, here’s another one.  According to dailyfinance.com, Carnival, the operator of Code Pink and The Nation‘s cruise ship, is “one of the largest corporate tax evaders” of all.

 

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. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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.

Current Top Story
Ali Akbar Velayati, Security Adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader.
Iran Openly Refuses UN IAEA Inspectors Access to Military Sites
Latest News Stories
Ali Akbar Velayati, Security Adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader.

Iranian double talk is clear when a top official praises the nuclear deal but warns of no IAEA inspector access to military sites.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

President Rouhani tells Iranians his nation has the right to enrich uranium under the new nuclear deal.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egypt’s Pres. El-Sisi signs law that paves the way to new parliamentary elections.

Graffiti found on the burned home in the village of Duma.

Israel’s Security Cabinet classifies Duma arson as “terror attack,” creates ministerial counter terror committee.

RJC Demands Obama stop demonizing Jews for opposing the Iran deal.

Arabs and Jews rallied together for co-existence Sunday at the Gush Etzion junction, joined by MK Yair Lapid.

Settlers, Sheikhs, Rabbis and secular politicians came together on Sunday evening for a joint prayer session at the Gush Etzion junction.

Israelis have broken the nation’s record for energy consumption in this week’s heat wave.

The body of missing Israeli back packer Dor Cohen has been found in Georgia.

A 16-year-old girl has died of her wounds after being stabbed at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade.

Officials looked again at the sprouting wildfires after a terror victim memorial was torched in Mt. Hebron.

There is a new kind of arms race that involves producing the most impenetrable virtual fortresses of cybersecurity to resist catastrophic threats.

An Israeli citizen is killed in Thailand while traveling from Pattaya to Bangkok.

PM Netanyahu says Israel’s zero tolerance for terror distinguishes it from its neighbors.

They managed to collect $3,300 from ISIS recruiters, before they were caught by the Chechen police E unit.

Iran is already banking on the lifting of sanctions; vow to raise oil production to 1 million bpd.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
U.S. President Barack Obama

RJC Demands Obama stop demonizing Jews for opposing the Iran deal.

Cong. Albio Sires (D-NJ-8)

Cong. Albio Sires of New Jersey is the third Democrat so far to come out against the JCPOA because it won’t bar Iran from becoming a nuclear state

California Democratic Congressman will vote against Iran deal because it fails to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state.

Kerry justifies keeping Iran deal “side deals” from the American public, while skipping Israel on ME trip.

A poll suggesting American Jews support the Iran deal is flawed, while a new poll reveals the opposite.

Netanyahu called Pollard’s wife over news of his impending release from prison.

12,000 people filled Times Square at the Stop Iran Now rally in NY’s Times Square.

The NYC rally against the Iran deal must show Congress, which must show the world, that Americans don’t support this deal.

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: