The Real Reason For McCain's Friday Night Phil Gramm Dump

Stephen D reports on a Phil Gramm Friday night dump attributing Gramm's resignation from the McSame campaign to the "Americans are whiners!" comment. I think that is just cover for the more likely real reason:
UBS, LGT Helped Hide Assets, Evade Taxes, Senate Says

By David Voreacos and Carlyn Kolker

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- UBS AG and Liechtenstein bank LGT Group aided rich U.S. clients who wanted to disguise ownership of accounts and evade taxes on hidden assets, a Senate subcommittee said.

UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, hid as much as $17.9 billion for 19,000 Americans who didn't declare assets to the Internal Revenue Service, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a report released in Washington late yesterday. LGT, owned by Liechtenstein's ruling family, fostered a ``culture of secrecy and deception'' while assigning code names to U.S. clients, the panel said.

Remember that Phil Gram works for and lobbies for one arm of UBS in the USA. More below... And an interesting side note from similar article ABC story posted earlier before you get there:

A former UBS private banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, has agreed to a plea deal and is reported to be cooperating with US authorities in bring charges against American citizens on tax evasion charges.
As soon as I read that article linked out by jimstaro at ePM I figured there might be a link.
UBS is still Phil Gramm's gig, isn't it? So sayeth his Wiki:
"Gramm is a vice-chairman of UBS Investment Bank."
And we all know about McCain's lobbying troubles because of Gramm:
U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign faces questions regarding a top economic adviser's work for Swiss banking giant UBS Warburg.
Economist and former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm is vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank and has lobbied Congress on the company's behalf.
UBS has been hit hard by the U.S. housing and mortgage meltdowns.
Smoke >>> Fire? Might be worth fanning the flames a little? Face it... Calling Americans whiners is nothing compared to things that republican criminals typically do.

It would be interesting if Cindy McCain's (or one of her trusts') name was on that list of IRS tax dodgers, eh? That would clearly typify a republican circle jerk we have come to expect from the GOP these days. Nevermind the fact that Cindy McCain has a proven track record of not paying her taxes. And when there is a Friday Night Dump involving corrupt republicans and meant to distract the candy coated media from the real story, timing is everything.
idredit, over at Booman Tribune where this is x-posted, as well, chunked in the last piece I was about to go looking for.

you may be on to something here...

but it depends on the meaning of resign Gramm remains in the background as an advisor. But coupled with the UBS naughty naughty, there's the deep in the poop sub-prime debacle.

The Carpetbagger Report
Is Gramm gone, or is he only kinda sorta gone?
Yesterday, the McCain campaign disputed part of Novak’s report, saying that Gramm would no longer be a surrogate. But the report also said Gramm would advice McCain on economic matters, and on this, the campaign said nothing.
Gramm’s decision comes after word that, in his weekend column, Robert Novak was to report that the Gramm and McCain had talked subsequent to the ill-time remarks and that he’d stay on as a surrogate and adviser.
But McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said earlier today that Gramm would no longer represent the campaign.
Gramm’s move tonight appears to be a move to clarify his status. But when asked whether this meant he’d no longer advise or represent McCain, Bounds only said that it was Gramm’s decision to step down from his co-chair post.
So, it’s just another round of double-talk from McCain. First the campaign agrees with Gramm, then it doesn’t. Gramm is a surrogate, then he isn’t, then he is, then he isn’t. Gramm is an advisor, then he isn’t, then he might be.
I can understand the campaign’s embarrassment, but this is ridiculous. Gramm not only thinks we’re a “nation of whiners,” he’s also, more importantly, the man whose financial deregulation efforts made the market meltdown possible.

While Gramm's help in advancing banking deregulation is widely considered partially responsible for the Mortgage Crisis, you have to remember that his deregulation also made it easier for UBS to enter into all kinds of schemes that helped along their offering these illegal tax havens.

The deregulation is much bigger than just mortgages when you look at Gramm.

[update] Welcome to Crooks and Liars readers who may have made their way over here from Mike's Blog Roundup. And also thanks to idredit for saving me a lot of time in finding the last piece of a story that I was editing and building on the run.


Anonymous said...

I seem to recall Bush having fairly recently made a typically snide comment about the futility of substantive tax reform; that the super rich will invariably seek out and find tax shelters to avoid pulling their weight. If this scandal explodes prior to November, I'm confident Obama will see fit to incorporate that quote in his stump speech.

Anonymous said...

my memory of what bush said is that rich people have accountants.

what i want to see made public is the list of 19,000 people who were hiding income.

perhaps the bigger issue than gramm being employed by USB is his name and the names of republican "leadership" and corporate bigwigs turning up on that list. "getting rid of gramm" at least takes the name USB out of the spotlight, reducing somewhat the chance that someone will start naming names.

my aunt and uncle used to live on taylor terrace there in good old new milford ('60s-'80s). howdy!

Connecticut Man1 said...

Howdy, too! New Milford, Connecticut?

With Gramm's involvement in so many failures on the economic front (UBS, Mortgages, Enron, etc) It is hard for him to leave the McCain campaign after McCain calls him his guru.

Judging by what the Capetbagger report said, we should continue to operate under the assumption that Gramm has only symbolically stepped aside and keep slamming McCain for his special BFF.

Thanks for your comments.

Scott Turner said...

According to an AP report, a newspaper in Italy published the list of tax cheats, but I don't know if that was just the Italians or all of them. I couldn't find it online after a brief search, but perhaps someone can track it down.

Anonymous said...

From the february edition of the New Republic:

Rich Avoid Taxes, So Let's Give Them Tax Cuts

When Chris Wallace sits down for a not-quite-Valentine's Day love fest with President Bush, you can be sure there will be some fun moments. This one caught my eye:

WALLACE: "How does [McCain] overcome all of that and..."

BUSH: "Because there's two big issues. One is, who's going to keep your taxes low? Most Americans feel overtaxed and I promise you the Democrat party is going to field a candidate who says I'm going to raise your tax.

If they're going to say, oh, we're only going to tax the rich people, but most people in America understand that the rich people hire good accountants and figure out how not to necessarily pay all the taxes and the middle class gets stuck.

We've had -- we've been through this drill before. We're only going to tax the rich and all you have to do is look at the history of that kind of language and see who gets stuck with the bill".

What a truly remarkable answer. The Democrats want to raise rates on the wealthiest Americans, but Bush is saying that in fact this will screw the middle class because the rich have ways to avoid paying taxes. The obvious question is, then, why has Bush spent so much time giving tax cuts to the rich?!?!

--Isaac Chotiner

Connecticut Man1 said...

Scott, supposedly the leaker gave local governments only lists of names that were of personal interest to their local authorities. There are reportedly 3 CDs with the 19,000 Americans and their billions of tax dodging dollars handed over to US authorities.

Isaac, you raise an interesting point, though it is off topic. I know that my kids (and their kids, etc.) will be paying for the bush follies for generations to come.

I see nothing but death and taxes on into infinity under continued GOP rule. If we end the insanity now we can only hope a few generations off will have finished paying for these "conservative" mistakes.