Friday, July 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mark Shields: Barack Obama’s vs. the Cayman Islands

By
From page A4 | June 26, 2013 |

Barack Obama has never minced words about the Cayman Islands. As an Illinois senator, Obama co-sponsored legislation to crack down on wealthy American individuals and corporations using offshore investments and tax shelters to avoid and to minimize what they would owe the U.S. in taxes.

As a presidential candidate, speaking of Ugland House in the Cayman islands — which, according to a 2008 investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, served as the registered office for 18,857 entities (nearly half of which had U. S. billing addresses) — Barack Obama spoke bluntly: “You’ve got a building in the Cayman Islands that supposedly houses 12,000 corporations. That’s either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record.”

During the 2012 campaign, Republican nominee Mitt Romney — having lacked the wit or the imagination during his six-year quest to divest himself of the political liability of his offshore holdings — became a punching bag for the Obama campaign. Recall Romney’s unsuccessful London visit for the Olympics? All the time Romney was overseas, the Obama camp was running an attack ad that began with the president, on camera, stating, “I approve this message,” which told the viewer that Mitt Romney “had millions in a Swiss bank account” and “tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.”

The argument has understandable appeal. Investments and wealth in these offshore tax havens, which have no corporate taxes and no taxes on capital gains, are shrouded in secrecy. As Romney told Robert Costa of the National Review, while explaining why, as a presidential candidate, he had kept his own island accounts, “The so-called offshore account in the Cayman Islands, for instance, is an account established by a U.S. firm to allow foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction.” That’s pretty straightforward: The offshore account’s purpose is to enable the investor to avoid paying taxes he could otherwise owe to the U.S. Treasury.

Of course, our neighborhood dry cleaner, barber or bakery has neither the deep pockets nor the high-priced accountants necessary to minimize or avoid the taxes they owe by setting up a dummy corporation in the Cayman Islands.

But hold on. It turns out that Barack Obama is outraged by wealthy individuals profiting from Cayman Islands accounts only if those wealthy individuals are card-carrying Republicans.

First, it was revealed that Jack Lew, whom President Obama nominated and whom the Senate eventually confirmed as secretary of the treasury, had, as an executive of Citigroup, a Cayman Islands account worth the pocket-change amount of $56,000 located at the aforementioned Ugland House — “either the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam in the world” — on the Cayman Islands.

Citigroup, let the record show, had only 121 such accounts.

Next came Penny Pritzker, Chicago billionaire and hotel executive, whom Obama nominated to be secretary of commerce. Her disclosure report revealed that she had received some $53.6 million last year from an offshore trust in the Bahamas. That’s a whole lot more than millionaire Mitt Romney earned from his offshore accounts.

Most recently, President Obama chose his Harvard Law School classmate and friend, Michael Froman, his longtime economic advisor, to be the U.S. Trade Representative. Thanks to The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman, we find that Froman, another alumnus of Citigroup, held $490,845 in a fund managed by his employer and housed — you guessed it — at Ugland House.

Three presidential nominees, all with serious offshore holdings, demand some serious explaining from the White House. Are offshore investments only evil when Republicans make them and somehow insignificant when they enrich Democrats?

To find out more about Mark Shields and read his past columns, visit the Creators Webpage at creators.com.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
COPYRIGHT 2013 MARK SHIELDS

Comments

comments

Special to the Democrat

.

News

District 2: Candidates debate jobs versus lifestyle

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Accident: 1 bullet hits 2

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
 
Scaffolding issue makes for contentious meeting

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Help available for breastfeeding mothers

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: A3

 
El Dorado County School Board vacancy

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

The weekly Daley: A good time to be there…

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
Something to think about: More than what you see

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A4

Popular science

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Watch whom you’re calling ‘conservative’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Fake ‘small farms’ steal from residential EID customers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

People of Placerville

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Computer scam phone calls

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Support of Director Prada

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Uphold the Third Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Bureaucracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Imagination Theater’s play

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Quarter century later, Rypien wins ACCG again

By Andrew Hazard | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Paddle time

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Midget Lites join tomorrow’s action

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A6

 
El Dorado rallies for last-inning victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6

Sports Scene: July 24, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Rush sit a win from Series

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A7

Tasmanian Devils go undefeated

By Patty Pope | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

El Dorado wines win in Amador

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B1

 
Suds entice the taste buds

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: July 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Rhythm and Views goes bluesy

By | From Page: B3

Have an Hawaiian vacation at Carson Road wineries

By Carson Road Winery Asociation | From Page: B3Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Summer fun is happening in Twain Harte

By Fire On | From Page: B4Comments are off for this post

Manzanita doubles the music

By Table Nectar And Manzanita | From Page: B5

 
Recording artist at Busby Cellars

By News Release | From Page: B6

Hands4Hope hosts school supply drive

By News Release | From Page: B6

 
Supergroup plays Harris Center

By Carrera Productions | From Page: B6

Artists invited to go western

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B7

 
Visit Tahoe artists during tour

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B7

Reggae on the River celebrates 30 years

By Reggae On | From Page: B7Comments are off for this post

 
.

Essentials

Building permits 7/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Lake levels 7-24-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 11-13

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

 
Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

.

Comics

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A9

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope, Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Friday, July 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
.

Home Source

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4