Senator Max Baucus is the senior senator and chairman of the powerful US Senate Finance Committe, as the state run media back here in Montana always likes to remind us. That means he is in a critical position when it comes to President Obama’s nominee to serve as Treasury Secretary.
How’s he using that power? Well, it turns out, as Dana Milbank writes in a Washington Post opinion column, that Sen. Baucus is actually defending Treasury nominee Jack Lew and his Cayman island investments. All this, as President Obama spent several months on the campaign trail beating up Mitt Romney socking away money in the Caymans as well.
So it’s a bit, well, rich that Obama chose as his new Treasury secretary a man who received a big corporate payout for dubious work and who socked away money in the Cayman Islands.
This awkward fact pattern forced a role reversal Wednesday on Capitol Hill, as Obama’s nominee, Jack Lew, came before the Senate Finance Committee for his confirmation hearing. Republicans expressed outrage about his compensation and his investment — in other words, giving him the Mitt Romney treatment. And Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), an outspoken foe of offshore tax havens, helped Lew defend himself.
FLASHBACK: Baucus Condemned Cayman Investments in a July 24th, 2008 senate hearing, as noted on a GOP YouTube page.
Marc Thiessen referenced remarks similar to those made by Baucus above in another Washington Post article on President Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee headlined, “Obama’s hypocrisy on Jack Lew.”
Well, guess who was involved in the “largest tax scam” in the world? Jack Lew. According to the New York Times, Lew’s Cayman Islands fund was based in “the notorious Ugland House, a building whose mailboxes are home to nearly 19,000 corporate entities, many of them tax shelters.”
Someone else who was deeply concerned about Ugland House is the man who will consider Lew’s nomination, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). In a 2008 hearing, Baucus said of Ugland House, “Many of those tenants are feasting at America’s taxpayers’ expense.” Now he must decide whether to confirm one of those tenants as our next secretary of the Treasury.