Biden Rips McCain for Protecting Off-Shore Tax Shelters

By Nitya

Sep 23, 2008 2:42pm

ABC News’ Matt Jaffe Reports: Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden Tuesday ripped John McCain for promising on a trip to Bermuda to protect tax breaks for American companies that stash money in off-shore accounts, a pledge that helped the Republican presidential candidate rake in $50,000 from insurance company executives and lobbyists.

"This continues something that has been a disturbing trend lately with John McCain – claiming the mantle of reform in public, but promising business as usual in private," Biden said at a Woodbridge, Virginia campaign event, just outside of Washington, DC.

"On the floor of the United States Senate, John spoke out against these off-shore tax breaks not long ago. Then, while he was in Bermuda, according to the Bermuda Royal Gazette, the newspaper, he started singing a very, very different tune."

McCain visited Bermuda last summer and according to published reports in the Royal Gazette, during his three-day stay there, sought to reassure business leaders concerned over possible clampdowns on offshore business operations.

"This is the same old Washington game," Biden continued in remarks today. "And the problem with the Washington game is everybody loses except the people playing the game in Washington."

"You know folks, maybe, maybe John should be asking those companies that he promised not to close this loophole for, maybe he should be asking those companies to put America first," Biden said, ripping off the Republican ticket’s "Country First" slogan. "And by country, by country, I don’t mean Bermuda."

Biden, whose comments coincided with the release of a new Obama-Biden campaign ad entitled "Destination" also hitting out at McCain’s Bermuda remarks, outlined what the $4-7 billion that he said these companies are saving would be put towards should the Democrats win the White House and close the tax loophole.

"Instead of giving those companies tax breaks for going off-shore, we believe that middle-class Americans should be getting tax breaks so you can pay for your gas and your groceries, afford your mortgage, be able to send your kids to college," said the Delaware senator. "And that’s why we’re going to close that loophole."

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