Ed Driscoll

Yet Another Obama Appointee has a Cayman Islands Trust

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. In 2012, Barack Obama’s Organizing For Action political advocacy group asked, “Do you have an offshore bank account?” Pounding Mitt Romney for his:

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Here’s what the caption under the YouTube clip says:

Vanity Fair and the Associated Press have reported that Mitt Romney has put huge sums of money into investments in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. Is he avoiding paying U.S. taxes by having money in those tax havens? Was he trying to hedge against the dollar by having a Swiss bank account? We asked some ordinary Americans what they think of Mitt Romney’s financial arrangements.

Perhaps they should have also asked Jack Lew, Obama’s Treasury Secretary, as NBC reported in February:

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.

And perhaps they should have asked another Obama nominee, based on this report in the New York Times today:

Michael Froman, a longtime White House economic aide nominated to be President Obama’s trade representative, holds close to $500,000 in the Cayman Islands and received millions of dollars to divest himself from Wall Street accounts that rely on a tax loophole the administration has sought to close.

The information was contained in financial documents provided to the Senate Finance Committee by Mr. Froman. Republicans on the committee say they plan to accuse Mr. Obama of hypocrisy for making the elimination of such tax loopholes a centerpiece of his re-election campaign while promoting Mr. Froman for the position of United States trade representative.

“When he was first elected, the president said tax avoidance through international tax havens forced ordinary Americans to ‘pick up the slack,’ ” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and a Finance Committee member. “He railed against fat cats who avoid taxes offshore.”

As Glenn Reynolds quipped when the story of Lew’s offshore trust broke, “Hey, the campaign’s over. You’re not supposed to take that stuff seriously. It’s just for the rubes!”

Oh, and speaking of Obama’s Organizing for Action group: GOP Rep. Aaron Schock asked today, as Allahpundit paraphrases at Hot Air, “If the left cares so much about tax exemption being abused, why is Obama’s OFA group seeking exemption?” Allah wonders “why Issa and company haven’t been hammering this point since the first hearing on the IRS scandal:”

They operate Obama’s own Twitter feed, which he himself uses occasionally to tweet. They also refuse to voluntarily disclose employer and occupation information for their donors, which makes it much harder to tell which special interests are bankrolling O’s agenda. A “social welfare” group working openly for the president, under his aegis, is the definition of 501(c)(4) abuse, and yet at the moment OFA slogs on in the name of gun-grabbing, amnesty, and other good ideas. Why? Their tax-exempt application will, I trust, be DOA when it finally hits the IRS’s desk. Right?

At Breitbart.com, John Sexton adds:

Rep. Schock effectively pointed out how myopic this view is. One person’s social welfare is another person’s political activity. Democrats don’t get to set the rules for everyone. Not only did people at the IRS not understand this, it seems the Democratic Party as a whole is still struggling to grasp it.

And note the disparity in scale:

Schock caused Jim McDermott (D-WA. Or maybe whaaaaa) to has a sad:

I wonder if ““Baghdad Jim” was thinking that nobody sassed back to Saddam Hussein back in his heyday