Jack Lew has been nominated to run the Treasury Department. Last week he went before his congressional committee for intense questioning. Among other things, Mr. Lew was forced to answer questions regarding a $56,000 investment:
President Obama’s nominee to lead the Treasury Department defended his $56,000 investment in a Cayman Islands fund at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, saying he was unaware it was based in a nation famous for having offshore tax havens.
“I always reported all income, I always paid all taxes,” he said. “I was aware that it was an international fund investing in emerging markets … I actually didn’t know [its location] at the time.”
Seriously. Lew was forced to endure question regarding a 56k investment in a legal fund established in the Caymans. This isn’t a case where the funds should have been taxed and Lew cheated to avoid paying money that he owed. No. This is the case of a man making intelligent decisions balancing risk with reward and diversifying his portfolio.
This is what people who have money, often why people HAVE money to begin with, do to make sure they will continue to have more money later.
Now, to be sure, the only reason -I’ll give ’em the benefit of the doubt- that the republicans went after Lew is because Obama demonized Mitt Romney during the campaign for the exact same reason; his off-shore Cayman investments.
And if THAT wasn’t enough, the republicans kept at it:
Lew also addressed a bonus of nearly $1 million he received as Citigroup was receiving billions in government support amid the financial crisis. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) questioned whether it was “morally acceptable” for Lew to accept a bonus at Citi briefly before the bank tapped the government for billions of dollars in bailout relief. Lew said his compensation was not out of the norm at the time, and that he disclosed everything as he should.
“I was compensated for my work,” he said, adding that he was aware that Citi was about to receive a large federal guarantee when he received the bonus.
“I do believe it was comparable for people in positions like mine in the industry,” he added. “I don’t think there’s anything that hasn’t been fully transparent both in what I did and what I earned.”
Surely I’m aware of the beautiful bitter irony, but just because a democrat NOW is speaking truth doesn’t mean that he’s wrong to say it. Listen to what he’s saying, “I have a job maybe not 1,000 people in America could do as well as I do it. And for that, I get compensated. Of COURSE I feel justified in cashing that check.”
I don’t know, maybe politics demands that the questions be asked and answered. While Lew played stupid on the Cayman island thing, and we can’t use stupid to defeat democrats, he did provide ammunition in the class-war that the left is waging.
Maybe it’s worth it, but I wish we governed in a way and manner in which we didn’t need that.