Remember when liberals slammed Mitt Romney for his holdings in the Cayman Islands? If not, you can refresh your memory here, here, here, and here? After smearing him for being a dog abuser, the harbinger of cancer, and a birther, the media used this Cayman Islands tangent to paint Romney as a person not paying his fair share in taxes, even though he’s subject to capital gains levies, due to his income being primarily from investments. Those rates were kept lower when Obama extended the Bush Tax Cuts in December of 2010.
Now, with White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew nominated to replace outgoing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the fact that he has investments of his own in Cayman is the definition of ironic. The next Secretary of the Treasury has investments in a tax haven, which I thought liberals considered an anathema to our fiscal health. According to Talesha Reynolds and Rich Gardella of NBC News, they wrote yesterday that Lew:
…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.
The fund is an international venture capital fund for employees of Citigroup. According to his official White House biography, Lew served as managing director and chief operating officer of Citi Global Wealth Management and then Citi Alternative Investments (CAI) from 2006 to 2008. Lew himself isn’t commenting, but a person familiar with Lew’s investment told NBC News that Lew invested a total of $56,000 and sold it at a loss for $54,418 in November 2010 after being confirmed as director of the federal Office of Management and Budget.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that the “irony is thick” concerning this development.
President Obama has been almost obsessively critical of offshore investments,” Grassley said in a statement Friday. “That makes this Cayman Islands investment of his top official and now Treasury secretary nominee worthy of attention. The irony is thick.”