Score another one for the openness administration.
This is from Fox News Sunday. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew clearly knows about how many people have been able to sign up for Obamacare, but he won’t tell.
This is a pretty disgraceful amount of obfuscation from a Treasury Secretary, who is not supposed to be a political hack. But Lew was put in his position not because he has any particularly knowledge about finance, but because Obama could rely on him to behave just like this.
At least Chris Wallace makes him pay the full price for hiding information from the public.
Gay couples legally married in the United States will be permitted to file jointly under normal rules for married taxpayers, even if they reside in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, the Treasury Department announced this afternoon.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” said Secretary Jacob J. Lew. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”
The ruling comes in the wake of the Supreme Court decision striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which held marriage to be between a man and a woman.
CORRECTION: This story originally stated that Lew learned of the IG investigation in the fall of 2012 while he was White House chief of staff. It appears to me that I misinterpreted what he said, and that he actually was indicating he learned of it in March 2013 as Treasury Secretary. He actually said, as you see below, that it was a “matter of public knowledge” in the fall of 2012, which I interpreted to mean that he had learned of it then. I apologize for the error.
Below is a newly edited version of the story, updated Friday, May 17 at 10:30 pm ET
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said today that he was aware in March 2013 of the Treasury inspector general probe of the IRS targeting of conservative groups, but he claims he did not know the details of the investigation.
However, it’s not clear what Lew means by “details,” and he was not specific on the extent of his knowledge.
Lew spoke during an appearance on Bloomberg TV’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” which will air tonight at 9:00 pm ET. Lew said what he learned last fall was “a matter of public knowledge.” From a a transcript of the interview:
I think that there was – the heads-up that I got was something that was a matter of public knowledge. It was posted on the IG’s website in the Fall of 2012. I believe that other is typically the practice that an inspector general notify the agencies when matters are opened. I was not aware of any details.
Lew said he was made aware of the IG investigation in March – after he had become Treasury Secretary – during a getting-to-know-you chat with the IG, though again he says he was not apprised of details.
Instead, Lew said he was not aware of “details” until last Friday, when news broke of the IRS targeting of conservatives.
Former White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew was confirmed in the Senate today by a 71-26 vote.
President Obama released a statement saying he was “pleased,” and,
At this critical time for our economy and our country, there is no one more qualified for this position than Jack.
Actually, there a lots of people more qualified, and Obama knows it. But Lew will be a reliable foot soldier in Obama’s planned war of attrition with Republicans.
His reputation as a master of fiscal issues who can work with leaders on both sides of the aisle has already helped him succeed in some of the toughest jobs in Washington.
Actually, he’s had trouble working with Republicans, who view him as a rigid partisan. And as Obama’s budget chief he had to be forced into getting serious about cutting the deficit by Republicans after a submitting a budget that was laughed out of Washington.
He may be a “master of fiscal issues” – he figured out how to achieve the difficult task of running $1 trillion deficits – but he has little experience with the financial issues a Treasury Secretary deals with.
President Obama will officially announce his appointment of White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to be Treasury Secretary at 1:30 pm ET. I will live stream the event for your personal enjoyment.
BTW, the Wall Street Journal has a great piece today about why Lew is a political appointment who will be programmed to advance Obama’s agenda. Like, as opposed to someone whose first priority is the economy and the health of the financial markets.
President Obama will announce Thursday that he is choosing White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, according to Reuters.
Yes, the same Jack Lew who as Obama’s Office of Management and Budget director and White House chief of staff has overseen Obama’s annual trillion dollar-plus deficits, lousy economy, and persistently high unemployment. Quite a success story.
What’s more, Lew has little experience with the financial markets, spending only a brief and un-illustrious time on Wall Street managing a Citigroup unit that bet on the housing market to collapse and lost money anyway in his final year there, 2008.
He was well compensated, of course.
The Lew nomination showcases the irredeemable insularity and hubris of the Obama White House, where everything that’s wrong is attributable to George W. Bush or – since the Blame Bush shelf life is expiring – the fault of Republicans Congress that won’t do everything Obama says.
Obama and his budget chief Lew have overseen the highest federal outlay of cash as a share of the economy since World War II and didn’t get serious about cutting spending until Republicans started to make threats the White House deems irresponsible.
This nomination is not about cutting the budget or really even improving the economy, it’s about defending and expanding Obama’s legacy.
As Charles Krauthammer noted last night, Lew is valuable to Obama because he is intricately familiar with the budget – knowledge he can use to parry Republican attempts to cut spending and alter Obama programs.
Short on achievements but long on loyalty and commitment to Obamaism. Meet your new Treasury Secretary nominee who – the Senate can pick only so many fights – will almost certainly be confirmed without much argument.
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