On Sunday, our very own Cody Hoesly took note of the interesting tidbit in the New York Times -- apparently, Senator Gordon Smith has been collecting tanlines and campaign cash in the Virgin Islands while protecting a millionaires' tax dodge.
Today, the Oregonian's Steve Duin picked up on the story - and let Gordon 'splain himself.
Smith flew down to the Caribbean last spring and was treated to a fundraiser and a tour of the Islands. "It's Third World," he said Monday. "It's a place of abject poverty. The people there are poor in ways most Americans can't imagine. This (tax break) has become the cornerstone of their economic development. They were making the case to me that if you have to be there physically half the year, a lot of these businesses won't stay there, which may eliminate a quarter of their budget."
But now, from the Senate Majority Project comes this news...
Apparently Senator Smith changed his mind about this kinds of loopholes right after he raised $47,000 from folks in the Virgin Islands (that's more than he got from anywhere in America except Oregon, Washington, and Virginia):
[In 2003, Smith] said he would work to shut down tax loopholes that have allowed large corporations to escape taxes, such as moving headquarters offshore to tax havens such as Bermuda. Smith also pushed a bill in the Senate Finance Committee that sought to give companies a temporary tax break if they returned their headquarters to the United States, ultimately bringing back an estimated $200 billion in tax revenue. (AP, 4/16/03)
But times have changed.
In 2005, after accepting $47,000 from Virgin Islands corporate interests, including a fundraiser thrown on his behalf by supporters of the tax loophole, Smith changed his tune.
Unlike his 2003 stance, Smith last year opposed a budget amendment that would have repealed tax incentives for domestic companies that move their manufacturing plants to offshore locations. The measure’s resulting revenue projected to reduce the federal deficit by $3.2 billion from 2006 to 2010.