Via David Firestone at the New York Times:
Republicans aren’t just in favor of lowering taxes; now they’re applauding wildly complex efforts by the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying billions in taxes by shipping capital to other countries.
“It’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, on Tuesday. He was defending Mitt Romney, who, as this morning’s editorial in The Times notes, appears to have the most elaborate history of tax avoidance—offshore tax havens, disputed sheltering mechanisms, complex trusts—of any major presidential candidate in history.
Invest in the Cayman Islands, Mr. Graham seems to be saying. It’s the patriotic thing to do.
That peculiar vision of the American way doesn’t go back very far. Mr. Romney’s financial practices aren’t unusual just because he is one of the wealthiest candidates ever to run; it’s because previous well-to-do candidates would have been embarrassed to admit they had gone so far to enrich themselves at the public treasury’s expense.