FLASHBACK: Top Obama Official Illegally Revealed Conservative Group’s Tax Status in 2010
In 2010 top Obama Official Austan Goolsbee, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman, revealed private tax disclosures on Koch Industries during a phone call with reporters.
The Politico reported:
The Treasury Department is looking into allegations that Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee illegally snooped into the tax status of a privately held corporation run by some of the country’s biggest conservative political benefactors.
Several prominent Republican senators pressed the department’s inspector general to investigate why Goolsbee claimed Koch Industries hadn’t paid corporate taxes.
The White House says Goolsbee, who made the remarks in a late August background conference call with reporters — just before his appointment to CEA chairman — misspoke…
…During the call, Goolsbee, identified as only a “senior administration official” in the transcript, speaks about the need to close tax loopholes. “So in this country, we have partnerships, S corps, we have LLCs — we have a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax. Some of which are really giant firms,” he said. “You know, Koch Industries, I think, is one, is a multibillion dollar business, and so that creates a narrower base, because we got literally something like 50 percent of the business income in the U.S. is going to businesses that don’t pay any corporate income tax.”
That elicited a complaint from the company — run by billionaires David and Charles Koch — along with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and other Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, who demanded to know how the White House stumbled upon tax disclosures that are supposed to remain private. If Goolsbee did peek at the Koch tax files – he peeked poorly.
On Sept. 22, an attorney for Koch Industries told The Weekly Standard that “Koch Industries does pay corporate income taxes and is compliant with all its tax obligations”—meaning Goolsbee got it wrong.