The Washington Post reports that Jack Lew, President Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, held money in an investment fund registered in the very Cayman Islands building that Obama called a notorious haven for tax abuse. The address of the fund is a building called the Ugland House. Obama singled out that building in a 2009 speech against tax haven abuse. With his characteristic subtely, the president declared, “Either this is the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam in the world.”
Obama’s screeds against holding money in off-shore funds aren’t limited to this occasion, of course. During the 2012 campaign, he attacked Mitt Romney on similar grounds.
Personally, I have no problem with Lew holding money in any legal investment instrument, and the fund in question appears to be perfectly legal. Moreover, there is no indication that Lew cheated on his taxes, as his predecessor Tim Geithner did. Thus, his use of what Obama calls a tax scam doesn’t bear on his fitness to head the Treasury Department.
What we have, instead, is the umpteenth installment of Obama’s nauseating hypocrisy. If I live long enough, I’m confident of one day learning that Obama himself has benefited from this or that mechanism he has denounced as a tax scam.