Tags: Jack Lew

Lew: IRS Investigation Was on Inspector General Web Site in Fall 2012



AL HUNT, HOST, BLOOMBERG NEWS: We’re going to get to larger economic questions in a little bit, but first the IRS, which reports to Treasury. When were you first notified that IRS agents were targeting conservative groups like the Tea Party?

JACK LEW, TREASURY SECRETARY, U.S. GOVERNMENT: Al, I learned the substance of this report last Friday when it became a matter of public knowledge. Before that, in mid March, I had had a conversation, just a getting-to-know-you conversation, with the inspector general right after I started, and he went through a number of items that were matters they were working on. And the topic of a project on the 501c3 issue was one of the things he briefed me was ongoing.

I didn’t know any of the details of it until last Friday. When I learned about it — from the moment I learned about it, I was outraged. The Secretary of the Treasury, as a citizen, it is a matter of the highest priority that the IRS be beyond suspicion in terms of its (inaudible).

HUNT: Did Tim Geithner or Neal Wolin or the general counsel know about it before him?

LEW: I think that there was — the heads-up that I got was something that was a matter of public knowledge. It was posted on the IG’s website in the Fall of 2012. I believe that other is typically the practice that an inspector general notify the agencies when matters are opened. I was not aware of any details. My deputy was not aware of any details until it became a matter of public knowledge.

J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, today told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel of his audit on June 4, and deputy Treasury secretary Neal Wolin “shortly thereafter.”

While the inspector general’s report was still ongoing, anyone at the highest level of the Treasury Department could see that the IG had been investigating the topic for several months. And yet no one in the entire Treasury Department felt the president should be notified?

Tags: IRS , Jack Lew

Our New Treasury Secretary Nominee,
Mr. Doodling Know-It-All


From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt . . .

Meet Our New Treasury Secretary Nominee, Mr. Doodling Know-It-All

And another cabinet slot gets filled:

President Obama plans to nominate White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as his next Treasury secretary, choosing a trusted adviser with deep experience in the nation’s budget challenges and in the legislative warfare that will test Obama’s second term, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ed Morrissey:

So much for that private-sector outreach in 2011-2, eh? Lew’s predecessor as chief of staff, William Daley, was supposed to facilitate connections to the private sector. Instead of getting a Treasury Secretary with extensive experience in financial markets, we’re going to get one with extensive experience in expanding government control and manipulation of markets. I’ll bet Wall Street will be overjoyed with this development . . . but probably not surprised.

Capital New York:

Lew reportedly angered both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner during the administration’s debt ceiling battle in 2011. The New York Times, in aprofile last month, said those negotiations “ended uncharacteristically badly” and that Boehner’s office viewed him “as an uncompromising know-it-all.”

So when President Obama delegated the lead role in the latest fiscal cliff negotiations to the current Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, it was widely seen as a move to preserve the remaining goodwill toward Lew, in advance of his appointment.

Say, what kind of reputation does Lew have on the Hill?

Several Republicans said Tuesday they don’t view Lew as a man interested in hearing GOP concerns. One aide called him “tone deaf” in understanding the compromises that Republicans could accept during high-stakes talks.

“No matter what you’re proposing or no matter what compromise you’re trying to forge, he comes at it from a position of, ‘Whatever you want, I have to be against,’” the GOP aide said. “It doesn’t advantage him in the negotiation, he doesn’t get a different policy outcome than he would otherwise. It just irritates people. . . . It’s as much personality as anything else.”

[Nebraska Sen. Mike] Johanns said it’s also about policy, saying a Lew choice would be “controversial.”

“I just think there are economic policies in this administration that haven’t been well received, and Jack Lew is in the middle of that,” he said.

“We’ve got to have a person who has credibility with the leaders of the American and world economy, someone who has credibility with the Congress, and I would feel like Mr. Lew’s nomination would be a mistake,” [Alabama Sen. Jeff] Sessions said.

Finally, our currency could soon feature a signature that looks like this:

Kevin Roose of New York magazine says the scribble that represents Lew’s actual signature reminds him of:

– a Slinky that has lost its spring

– one of those Crazy Straws you get at Six Flags

Sally Brown’s hair in Peanuts

– a slip of paper in Office Max that people use to try out new pens

Frank J.: “According to handwriting analysis, Jack Lew has the mental capacity of a five-year-old — high for an Obama appointee.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Jack Lew , Treasury Department

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