It seems that the Obama campaign is purposely creating a cloud over legal off-shore bank accounts. Talk about anything but the important stuff. Keeps the media busy. And it works. Most people do not understand how off-shore banking works.
I'm not rich, and I am a patriotic American. However, when I retired in 2008 I had savings in several U.S. banks, tax paid. When the interest returns on my tax paid funds fell to virtually zero, I did what most prudent people would do. I looked for opportunities to get a better return. After all, these returns are needed to fund my retirement.
Barclays in the U.K. provided the best combination of security and higher interest rates, so funds went there.
The U.S. has a requirement that monies coming out of the U.S. to a foreign bank from a U.S. citizen be reported to the IRS. The interest earned is also reported.
The tax advantage is that taxes on the interest earned are tax deferred. Tax is payable on the interest when the funds are brought back to the U.S.
If you read the original reporting in the Washington Post, you will note that Romney's 'mystery' account is just about this. They did use the word 'defered', but only once. The rest of the long article was written to put more cloud over Romney's finances. The article also did note that everything was 'legal' (in fine print).
Jim Johnson said:
I don't mind that the president-to-be is rich - after all that's the American Dream but I think having off-shore bank accounts and tax shelters might be a little un-American. I'm sure he is complying with state and federal laws but...