Posted by Curt on 29 May, 2013 at 5:18 pm. 1 comment.


Becket Adams @ The Blaze:

Austan Goolsbee, former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, last week deleted a confusing tweet explaining his 2010 claim that Koch Industries pays no corporate income taxes.

The claim against billionaire philanthropists Charles and David Koch “was made at the same time that top Democrats, including President Obama himself, were demonizing Charles and David Koch, the owners of Koch Industries, for giving money to Tea Party groups,” the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack writes.

“Goolsbee’s remark led to a federal investigation, the results of which have never been released,” he adds.

Austan Goolsbee Tweets Bizarre Koch Tax Explanation, Later Deletes It

But now that the Internal Revenues Service has come out and admitted to targeting conservative groups during the 2012 election, Goolsbee’s mysterious command of what should have been private tax information has come under scrutiny once again.

Koch Industries lawyer Mark Holden disputed Goolsbee’s smear in 2010, arguing that it simply wasn’t true. But Holden wondered whether someone in the Obama White House was illegally leaking personal tax information.

McCormack provides the details:

The White House never formally explained how it came up with the claim, but an anonymous White House official told Ben Smith, then a reporter at Politico, that the claim was based on testimony to President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and publicly available sources, such as Forbes magazine and Koch Industries’ website.

Koch lawyer Mark Holden said the White House’s explanation didn’t make sense: ”[C]ontrary to the administration official’s statement on what sources were used by the administration, neither the Koch website nor Forbes’ list of private companies has information regarding Koch’s tax filing status.  This is confidential information.”

At GOP Senator Chuck Grassley’s request, Treasury inspector general J. Russell George investigated whether the Kochs’ personal tax information had been leaked.

“But after the investigation was completed, George wrote in an October 2011 letter to Senator Charles Grassley that, due to confidentiality provisions of the law, he could not tell Grassley if anyone had illegally accessed Koch Industries tax returns or if the inspector general had taken any actions following his investigation,” McCormack explains.

The only members of Congress who have access to confidential tax information are the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (Sen. Max Baucus) and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (Rep. Dave Camp). Neither of them has commented on the IG’s Koch report.

So until we see the IG report, the questions remains: Where did Goolsbee get his information?

The former economic adviser tried to answer that question earlier this month by tweeting the following:

@joerepublic1 there was no secret info on koch bros. It came fr/… but was a mistake–one of the other Koch bros.

— Austan Goolsbee (@Austan_Goolsbee) May 14, 2013

But if you click on the link provided in the now-deleted tweet, it takes you to a 2003 story about a different Koch brother who pays no corporate income tax in the state of Florida.

Yeah, it’s not about Charles and David Koch.

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