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Kies To The Kingdom

As soon as I heard that the Obama administration was looking to close down overseas tax shelters, I knew Ken Kies couldn't be far behind. And here he is:

The proposal, combined with a $60.1 billion plan to limit many expense deductions for American companies that take advantage of laws allowing them to defer tax on foreign profits and a $43 billion crackdown on abusive foreign tax credits, would be the biggest tax increase on U.S. corporations since 1986. Obama also would shift the burden of proof to individuals when the IRS alleges assets are being hidden in certain offshore bank accounts, the official said.

“This is bad stuff,” Kenneth Kies, a tax lobbyist at the Washington firm Federal Policy Group, said of Obama’s plans. “This is going to be the biggest fight for the corporate community in the next two years.” Kies represents General Electric Co., Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Microsoft Corp., among others.

Kies is the former director of the Joint Tax Committee who has gotten very rich as a lobbyist defending very odious provisions in the tax code. I profiled him in 2000. A good guide to public policy is to listen to everything Kies says and then take the exact opposite position.

--Jonathan Chait