January 19, 2012

I DON’T BLAME HIM: ABC News Reports Romney Has Millions Parked Offshore.

It’s peanuts compared to Apple’s offshore billions, of course. But I imagine Romney’s doing it for the same reasons Apple is.

Meanwhile, Andrew Morriss writes: “As someone who has actually been to the Caymans, and spoken repeatedly with Cayman hedge fund professionals, here are a couple of things ABC News missed that they would have found if – say – they had bothered to use a sophisticated research tool like Google to learn about the hedge fund industry. With even minimal digging, they might have found an expert like Houman Shadab at New York Law School, the best academic writer on HFs around, who could have explained how HFs work. Instead they went to the Tax Justice Network, a highly partisan group dedicated to impoverishing the people of the small jurisdictions that specialize in international business. . . . Had they looked a little more, they would have found that Delaware is the top US domicile for hedge funds. Perhaps they could have asked VP Biden for a comment on why HFs cluster there.”

Meanwhile, from Dan Mitchell: ABC News Produces Empty and Biased Story on Mitt Romney and Tax Havens. “You’re probably thinking you missed something, because there’s nothing to the story. But that’s because the reporters don’t have anything. And if you think I excerpted unfairly, feel free to read the whole article. The only thing you’ll discover is that Ross and Chuchmach are biased hacks. Because not only did they write a story about nothing, they also quoted two left-wingers, Jack Blum and Rebecca Wilson, and failed to give the other side even an inch of column space. Blum is a former John Kerry staffer who is most famous for making unsubstantiated claims (which he later admitted were fabricated) that tax havens resulted in $100 billion of lost revenue to the Treasury each year. And Rebecca Wilson works for Citizens for Tax Justice, a union-funded group so radical that even congressional Democrats usually are reluctant to work with them.”

Related: Isn’t Obama, umm…rich? “I mean Obama and the Democrats keep making noises that approximate a tune that goes like this: ‘millionaires and billionaires are bad.’ . . . What seems to be lost in this endlessly playing sing-along is the fact that President Obama and his wife are millionaires who have no problem enjoying $81 dollar American Wagyu steaks during an evening out. . . . Understand, I don’t want the Obama’s $81 steaks. I don’t even want their access to a tony restaurant or a private dining area. I’d rather not have to get dressed up. But it seems to me that a president should not want to eat an $81 steak if he is disdainful of others who do so.”

UPDATE: A reader emails:

As a Newt supporter watching the Obama media dept. that is MSNBC this morning, the Cayman Island Romney funds aren’t about dodging taxes but making it easier for different investments to pay Romney his profits.

If anything the “tax haven investment story” says more about how federal banking regs hurt the US economy, not that Mitt is a cheat of some sort.

Indeed.

MORE: John Kerry and the Cayman Islands Tax Shelter.

Until now, Kerry has never disclosed details of this tax shelter, which utilized offshore companies registered in the Cayman Islands and a “straddle” scheme of forward contracts to buy and sell commodities. . . . He also did not cite the investment in his financial disclosure statements filed with the US Senate, and only a fragment was in his Massachusetts statement of financial interests for calendar year 1983, when Kerry was lieutenant governor.

Read the whole thing.