Earlier this year, I defended Mitt Romney and Bain Capital from the absurd accusation that they did something wrong by utilizing low-tax jurisdictions.
In a follow-up post, I mocked ABC News for a ridiculous non-story as they tried to make Romney appear guilty for following good business practices.
The issue has become hot again, so I talked about Romney and tax havens with Jason Riley at the Wall Street Journal.
Since nobody has claimed that Romney violated U.S. tax law, this kerfuffle only exists because the left wants to create the impression that tax havens are bad and then tar the GOP’s presumptive nominee with guilt by association.
Brian Garst of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity nails the issue in his column for the Daily Caller.
People who invest or bank overseas do not hate America. Oftentimes, they are simply banking where their money is earned to avoid the hassle of exchange rate and wire transfer fees. …It’s also smart practice to diversify. …Mitt Romney should not be cowed into shame over his banking practices just because he doesn’t strictly park his after-tax earnings in American banks, but should instead seize the opportunity to more aggressively defend against populist attacks on financial privacy and explain the benefits of jurisdictional tax competition.
That’s good advice, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for Romney to defend Switzerland and other jurisdictions with good policy. That would require an underlying belief in freedom and liberty, which seems to be lacking.
But you would think that he might respond by noting that many top Democrats directly invest in tax havens, and that presumably all of them – as I noted in my WSJ interview – are indirectly invested in these financial centers.
P.S. It’s probably a lost cause, but I’m an old-fashioned guy who thinks that people shouldn’t blatantly lie, so here’s my obligatory complaint that many politicians, journalists, and policy folks are repeating the debunked assertion that so-called tax havens deprive the U.S. Treasury of $100 billion per year. Obama threw around that make-believe number in the 2008 campaign, as seen in this video. But as shown in the final video of this post, the $100 billion figure was concocted out of thin air by a former John Kerry staffer, who confessed he made up the number when the Congressional Research Service asked for his methodology.