In a brutal campaign ad last year, Barack Obama showed Mitt Romney warbling “America the Beautiful” while pictures of a sandy beach appeared and the ad declared: “He had millions in a Swiss bank account.?.?. tax havens like Bermuda … and the Cayman Islands.” It concluded: “Mitt Romney’s not the solution. He’s the problem.”
Well, apparently someone else is part of the “problem”: Obama’s nominee for Treasury secretary, Jack Lew.
It turns out Lew had $56,000 invested in a Citigroup venture capital fund based in .?.?. wait for it .?.?. the Cayman Islands. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a member of the Finance Committee before which Lew will soon appear, declared, “The irony is thick,” pointing out that “President Obama has been almost obsessively critical of offshore investments.”
Grassley is right. Just last week, during a “60 Minutes” interview before the Super Bowl, Obama declared, “When you look at some of these deductions that certain folks are able to take advantage of, the average person can’t take advantage of them. The average person doesn’t have access to Cayman Island accounts.”
It’s a recurring theme for the president. In a 2009 speech, Obama focused his ire on “a building in the Cayman Islands that had over 12,000 businesses claim this building as their headquarters” — a building called Ugland House. Obama said, “And I’ve said before, either this is the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam. And I think the American people know which it is: The kind of tax scam that we need to end.”