After reports of an Obama administration official, Austan Goolesbee, describing an in-depth knowledge of the tax structure of Koch Industries, Inc., Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and six other members of the Senate Finance Committee asked for an inspector general review of whether the administration violated any laws. Well, the inspector general responded that he has “ordered the commencement of a review” into allegations that the Obama White House improperly accessed and disclosed the tax information of one of its political enemies.
Goolsbee’s line, according to the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack, came in a briefing with reporters on corporate taxes. Goolsbee reportedly said:
So in this country we have partnerships, we have 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, you know Koch Industries is a multibillion dollar businesses. So that creates a narrower base because we’ve literally got something like 50 percent of the business income in the U.S. is going to businesses that don’t pay any corporate income tax. They point out [in the report] you could review the boundary between corporate and non-corporate taxation as a way to broaden the base.
It may be that Goolsbee was simply speculating, but such speculation is just plain weird: Of all organizations to cite, he just happens to choose Koch Industries, which was maligned in the New Yorker for funding some of the opposition to the administration’s policies? Hard to imagine. It sounds like more of a shot across the bow.