Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another nomination for The Whitey - Jeffrey Goldstein

A little more than a year ago, I set up an awards program for those who had done the most to eliminate government waste. 
There are lots of ways to stop government from wasting your money, the simplest of which is.... don't pay  taxes.  I named the award "The Whitey". 
The nominations go to the best individual effort to reduce government waste by not paying taxes.   
Previous nominees include Timothy Geithner, Tom Daschle, Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, and the two guys who took their dead friend's rotting corpse into a liquor store in a failed effort to cash the dead guy's final Social Security check.  (Those guys wanted to spend the money on alcohol, rather than see it returned to the Treasury and wasted.) 

When I first set up the program, I was shocked, shocked, I say ! to discover how many people work so hard to keep their money away from the government.  Especially when those same people claim that government makes the wisest decisions about how to spend money. 

During the first months of the Obama administration, there were so many "winners" that it was looking like the Special Olympics.  So many people had been working so hard to protect their own wealth from....people like themselves.  I changed the program from "winners" to "nominees".   We might declare a winner at the end of Obama's first term, or at the end of the Obama presidency, whichever one the Lord blesses us with first. 

We have another nomination, this one from Byron York of The Washington Examiner:

Jeffrey Goldstein, the Obama administration's nominee to be the Treasury Department's Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, worked for a private equity fund that set up offshore shell corporations which allowed investors to avoid U.S. income tax, according to Senate Republican sources. The Senate Finance Committee is set to hold a hearing on Goldstein's nomination Tuesday.

The firm for which Goldstein worked was Hellman & Friedman, and the shell corporations were located in the Cayman Islands. Goldstein, who was at Hellman & Friedman from 2004 to 2008, received income from the offshore investments -- money he was able to enjoy while paying a lower tax rate than most Americans pay on regular income. Goldstein earned what is called "carried interest," which is taxed at the lower capital gains rate rather than be taxed as regular income. It is unclear how much Goldstein made during his time with Hellman & Friedman.

The arrangements appear to have been legal, but in the past, prominent Democrats, including President Obama, have strongly criticized such tax-avoidance schemes. On the campaign trail, Obama often denounced "corporate loopholes and offshore tax havens," and last May, he unveiled a plan to reform "a tax code that makes it all too easy for a small number of individuals and companies to abuse overseas tax havens to avoid paying any taxes at all." Just last week, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who would be Goldstein's boss, testified on Capitol Hill that "We want to close the so-called 'carried interest' loophole by taxing the income of hedge fund and private equity managers in the same way we tax the income of teachers and firefighters." Democrats have often pointed to the Cayman Islands as a particularly notorious tax haven.
Congratulations, Jeffrey Goldstein ! !   Your efforts to protect your money to the group that forcibly takes our money....well, all your hard work has finally been noticed.  Here's your Whitey. 

One quick note for everyone who advocates government schools, government healthcare, government mail delivery, government wars, government retirement, government subsidies, and government-run traffic signals:

Do you claim any tax deductions, and if so, why?  Do you ever feel guilty for not paying more? 

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