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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press NYT Tells us that People Without Names Accuse Republicans of Playing Politics In Lew Nomination

NYT Tells us that People Without Names Accuse Republicans of Playing Politics In Lew Nomination

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 08:04

The NYT reported on questions from Senate Republicans on the investments of Jack Lew, President Obama's nominee to be Treasury Secretary. The questions focused on whether Lew had taken advantage of tax havens in the Cayman Islands. It then told readers:

"Privately, officials involved in the confirmation process called the spate of attacks on Mr. Lew politically motivated, arguing that the Cayman Islands criticisms are a direct reprisal for attacks leveled at Mitt Romney during the presidential campaign for his offshore bank accounts."

It's not obvious why "officials involved in the confirmation process" could not make their views known on the record or why the NYT should print their views if they insist on being off the record. The article also cites Lew's assertion that he did not enjoy any tax advantage because of the investment's location in the Cayman Islands and his claim that he lost money on the investment.

While the claim that he lost money is obviously intended to imply that there was nothing improper about the investment, the piece should have pointed out to readers that this is a non-sequitur. Suppose that Lew was offered the opportunity to buy $1 million in lottery tickets at half price as a way of making a payoff to him. The fact that Lew may still have lost money on his tickets would not change the fact that he had accepted a payoff. It would have been helpful if the NYT had reminded readers of this logic. 

Comments (4)Add Comment
ends ameliorate the means
written by frankenduf, February 26, 2013 8:20
how about this analogy: guy cheats on wife, wife confronts him, guy points out that his mistress dumped him for some other guy, so there's no real transgression
Lew d behavior....
written by pete, February 26, 2013 8:53
Yet more evidence that there is only one party in this country, running with the silly facade of two. This keeps folks like Paul Krugman and Dean excited, since they can elaborate about how evil the republicans are, while all the time the shenanigans are set up.

I am probably the only one who thinks "they" put Obama in as president over Hilary (remember she had the popular vote and more elected delegates) so that he could do the drone thing and more neocon stuff and no one would complain. If McCain was drone bombing women and children he would be impeached. And of course on financial matters, we have too big to regulate, encouraged by raising the fixed costs of doing banking.
Actual Event
written by James, February 26, 2013 9:29
Former GOP Alaska Senator Stevens retorted to the FBI that there was no ethics violation or gray issues bc his free house remodeling by VECO was nothing bc he ended up losing money on the house after the housing bubble collapsed.

written by Chris Engel, February 27, 2013 1:16
That's like saying you stole money from the public coffers and hid it in your oven.

And then your wife turned on the oven and it burned up the money, thus absolving you of the original problematic action.

I don't trust Lew at all. He's part of the faux-liberal Rubinite Citi crowd that puts markets above country.

Good bye state capitalism, hello unfettered anti-national market capitalism.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.