Monday, July 28, 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

Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

 
Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Letters

Want more water?

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

 
Refugee crisis

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

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

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

 
.

Sports

Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

 
As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

 
After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8