Cleanup Tour Stop #4: Calling out Corruptors at the AIC and the U.S. Treasury

If the Washington, DC swamp has a sludgy, fetid nexus, it might be the American Investment Council. Hidden in a nondescript office building in DC’s Chinatown district, the AIC is a lobbying shop set up purely to represent the interests of a handful of investment bankers and hedge fund managers. Since 2007, they’ve spent nearly $24 million lobbying Congress to do two things: Cut taxes and protect the carried interest tax loophole.

This loophole allows hedge fund and private equity managers – the 1% of the 1% – to avoid paying millions in taxes on their income. During the presidential campaign, President Trump repeatedly promised to close this overlooked loophole, (Trump said “the hedge fund guys are getting away with murder”). Keeping it open earns the AIC’s bankers and hedge funders millions – which they then use to lobby Congress to keep it open.

The American Investment Council’s offices in downtown Washington, DC. Don’t be fooled: It only looks clean.

The carried interest loophole is one of the most egregious examples of money corrupting our political system. It’s a giveaway for private investment managers in exchange for their political donations. Closing it would be a huge step forward towards a more politically equitable America.

So when Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (himself a former Goldman Sachs banker) backed down on Trump’s promises to close the loophole on August 22nd, Carl jumped into action that afternoon to show the nation that this sleepy-looking office building in DC is in fact a toxic source of corruption nationwide.

We took to the streets to tell Americans that Steve Mnuchin’s Treasury Department is just helping out his buddies at the AIC – and not looking out for regular Americans.

Cal was a powerfully incongruous sight in downtown D.C.

Our message was loud and clear.

Carl and his crew told passerby: “This loophole is just a payoff! It’s nothing more than a giveaway to big donors and a favor to Mnuchin’s friends at the AIC. He talked about ‘job creators’ but that’s just a lie wrapped in a lie.”

A member of Carl’s Crew warns a passerby about the toxic corruption spewing out of the AIC. We recommended he swap the business suit for one of the hazmat variety.

Carl didn’t stop there! After calling out the AIC’s slimy lobbying, we took on the AIC’s stooge, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin himself. Carl camped out across town at the U.S. Treasury, just a block from the White House, to show Mnuchin that we’ve got our eyes on him and tell everyone he’s running a corrupt department.

We’re watching you, Steve Mnuchin. Carl standing guard outside the U.S. Treasury, two blocks from the White House.

George Washington would be rolling over in his grave to see the nation’s Treasury working for Wall Street and wealthy donors.

You can read our press release about the action here.

Carl’s going to be back. He made a lot of friends, and is hoping to visit the corporate corruptors at the AIC again soon! If you’re in DC, keep your eyes open: There’s a lot for Carl to clean up!