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Bush's Top Economic Advisor Named On Tax Minimization Patent

by Leroy Baker, Tax-News.com, New York

14 September 2007


The White House insisted on Thursday that President George W. Bush's chief economic advisor, Edward Lazear, will not profit from a corporate tax minimisation scheme patent application upon which his name appears.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, White House spokesman Tony Fratto explained that Lazear, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, "stands in no way to benefit from the patent", and he brushed aside concerns that a pending patent application for the scheme - which would help companies to reduce their corporate tax liability - represents a conflict of interest.

Fratto said that Lazear's name is mentioned in the application because the algorithm used in the scheme was invented by Lazear for an earlier project. The spokesman also offered assurances that the chief economic advisor had severed his ties with the company that owns the patent, California-based Liquid Engines.

The revelation is something of an embarrassment for the administration, which is spearheading a strong crackdown on the use of dubious tax shelters by corporations and wealthy individuals, which have cost the Treasury billions of dollars in foregone tax revenues in recent years, and is likely to provoke strong criticism from those concerned with narrowing the 'tax gap' between legally owed and collected taxes.


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