Jack Lew

Obama, Corporate Inversions, and Grotesque Hypocrisy

Last month, I put together a list of six jaw-dropping examples of left-wing hypocrisy, one of which featured Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

He made the list for having the chutzpah to criticize corporate inversions on the basis of supposed economic patriotism, even though he invested lots of money via the Cayman Islands when he was a crony capitalist at Citigroup.

But it turns out that Lew’s hypocrisy is just the tip of the iceberg.

It seems the entire Obama Administration was in favor of inversions just a couple of years ago. Check out these excerpts from a Bloomberg story.

Hey, Barack Obama, businesses are moving overseas because of a terrible tax climate made worse by you

There’s been a lot of talk lately from President Barack Obama and administration officials about “economic patriotism.” They say that corporations shouldn’t be allowed to move overseas to escape paying the corporate income tax.

“Even as corporate profits are higher than ever, there’s a small but growing group of big corporations that are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes,” President Obama said at a stop in Los Angeles on Thursday. “They’re keeping, usually, their headquarters here in the U.S. They don’t want to give up the best universities and the best military and all the advantages of operating in the United States. They just don’t want to pay for it. So they’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship.”

Earlier this month, President Obama suggested that Congress (read: Republicans) lack “economic patriotism” to work with his administration on issues the country faces. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew dropped the same term in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) as he urged Congress to pass legislation to end corporate inversions.

“What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism, where we all rise or fall together. We know that the American economy grows best when the middle class participates fully and when the economy grows from the middle out,” Lew wrote in the letter to Wyden. “We should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”

ObamaCare Employer Mandate Penalties Delayed Until 2015

Barack Obama and Jack Lew

In April, the soon-to-be-retired and chief ObamaCare author Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) warned that the looming 2014 full implementation of ObamaCare was on track to be a train wreck.  The Administration finally conceded as much on Tuesday when it announced that it will be delaying enforcement of ObamaCare’s employer mandate until 2015.

The Treasury Department confirmed the delay in a blog post ironically titled “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.”

Over the past several months, the Administration has been engaging in a dialogue with businesses - many of which already provide health coverage for their workers - about the new employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively.  We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so.  We have listened to your feedback.  And we are taking action.
[…]
Accordingly, we are extending this transition relief to the employer shared responsibility payments.  These payments will not apply for 2014.  Any employer shared responsibility payments will not apply until 2015.

Senate Republicans should oppose Jack Lew

Jack Lew

At the end of last week, President Barack Obama nominated Jack Lew, who currently serves as White House Chief of State, to replace Timothy Geithner as the next Treasury Secretary. While he may eventually win confirmation, the White House and Lew may have a fight on their hands in the Senate:

Republicans say Jack Lew will have to answer for what they view as the president’s bare-knuckle tactics when Lew undergoes the Senate confirmation process for Treasury secretary. 
[…]
Republicans are frustrated that Obama has not put forth what they would consider a credible plan to reform entitlement programs. And they were angered when after the election he traveled to Pennsylvania and Virginia for campaign-style events to pressure Republicans to extend the middle-class tax cuts.

Senate GOP aides say Lew will be called to account for the White House’s tactics when he comes before the Senate Finance Committee.

“He’s coming to the Senate from the chief of staff’s role in the White House and this White House just points the finger at everyone else. It refuses to take the blame for the bad things that are happening. This is a White House that is overly political and not really interested in alternate points of view,” said a senior Senate GOP aide.

“He’s going to be facing a lot of questions related to his involvement in the White House. He’s the top dog over there. He’s responsible for the direction,” the aide said. “It’s a shame the president would send along such a divisive figure.”

Today in Liberty: Obama’s Treasury secretary wants forced “economic patriotism,” Ted Cruz backs Justin Amash in Michigan primary

“People acting in their own self-interest is the fuel for all the discovery, innovation, and prosperity that powers the world.” — John Stossel

— Treasury secretary wants to force “patriotism”: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has penned a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) in which he called on Congress to pass legislation that would discourage American-owned businesses from moving their operations overseas to more friendly tax climates. “What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism, where we all rise or fall together. We know that the American economy grows best when the middle class participates fully and when the economy grows from the middle out,” Lew wrote in the letter to Wyden. “We should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. I hope that you will support these legislative initiatives to reverse the trend toward corporate inversions.” The U.S. has the highest marginal effect corporate income tax rate of any of the 33 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to the Tax Foundation. That’s the reason why businesses are moving overseas. Corporate inversions “hollow out the U.S. corporate income tax base,” Lew says, which is the real reason why the Obama administration is trying to get Congress to act. Businesses act in their own self-interest, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They shouldn’t be compelled to stay in the U.S. by some Orwellian sense of “economic patriotism” when the problem here is a broken tax code that discourages investment.

How many people have signed up for ObamaCare? Good luck getting an answer…

The Obama Administration won’t say how many Americans have enrolled in a health insurance plan through the ObamaCare exchanges. The White House has been touting the number of hits the exchange websites have had since their launch at the beginning of the month, despite many reports of glitches.

But during an interview this weekend, President Barack Obama couldn’t say how many people had enrolled for coverage. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew completely avoided the question. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was unable to provide numbers last week and during his briefing yesterday with reporters. He did say, however, that data would be released on a monthly basis.

Jack Lew’s Cayman Adventure

Written by Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

Every so often you get a “teaching moment” in Washington. We now have one excellent example, as President Obama’s nominee for treasury secretary has been caught with his hand in the “tax haven” cookie jar. Mr. Lew not only invested some of his own money in a Cayman-based fund, he also was in charge of a Citi Bank division that had over 100 Cayman-domiciled funds. This provides an opportunity to educate lawmakers about the “offshore” world.

As you can imagine, Republicans are having some fun with this issue. Mitt Romney was subjected to a lot of class warfare demagoguery during the 2012 campaign because he had invested some of his wealth in a Cayman fund. GOPers are now hoisting Lew on a petard and grilling him about the obvious hypocrisy of a “progressive” utilizing—both personally and professionally—a jurisdiction that commits the unforgivable crime of not imposing income tax.

FY 2013 budget deficit on pace for $1 trillion

budget deficit cartoon

While Jack Lew, former K Street lobbyist and President Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, says that the budgets submitted the White House will get the the country to the point where Washington “can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore; we’re spending money that we have each year”; the Congressional Budget Office recently noted that the budget deficit for the first quarter of the FY 2013 fiscal year is still running deeply in the red:

The federal government ran up a $293 billion deficit in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, which ended Dec. 31, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated Tuesday. The government’s fiscal year starts on Oct. 1st.

At this pace, the deficit would be on pace to top $1 trillion for the fifth-straight year in 2013. All the trillion-dollar deficits have taken place under President Obama.

By the White House’s own estimate, the New Year’s Eve tax deal with Congress will only reduce the deficit by $4 billion this year, once increased spending such as on unemployment benefits is taken into account.

Jack Lew’s History Of False Statements

See Video


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.