US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and her husband Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, recently attended a ceremony at Harvard Business School.
The ceremony was in honor of a new building, The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, which is for Harvard’s Executive Education program and is named for Elaine Chao’s mother. The building was funded by a $40 million dollar donation from the Chao family and it’s foundation, which is also named for Chao’s mother.
At first glance, this seems like an extremely generous gesture. But dig a little deeper, and the truth isn’t as pretty. Millions of dollars have been funneled to the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Foundation from offshore tax havens.
Two of the entities which have transferred funds to the foundation are incorporated in the Marshall Islands, which is “known as one of the world’s most secretive offshore havens for firms seeking to avoid taxes and a preferred foreign locale for the Foremost Group, the Chao family’s New York-based shipping business.”
Basically, the Chao family was donating funds that would have been in the public treasury, if the funds had stayed in the US and been taxed accordingly.
Chao has been a vociferous supporter of President Donald Trump, particularly his economic policies, including the rewrite of the tax code. Passage of that legislation, which is probably the high point of her husband’s career, shifted the corporate tax code to a territorial system. That move is expected to reward firms which use offshore tax havens such as the Cayman and Marshall Islands.
Imagine that. A Republican supporting a tax code which further lines their pockets while keeping money out of the United States. Its almost like they’re not even trying to hide their greed.