AIG Board Member on Obama's Tax Task Force
President Barack Obama's new Tax Task Force, an offshoot of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, is a consortium of non-governmental leaders in the fields of business, industry, and academia includes American International Group (AIG) board member, Martin Feldstein.
The board, created on February 6, 2009, focuses on the development of proposals to reconstruct the U.S. tax system. The Office of Management and Budget director, Peter Orszag recently made the announcement that Feldstein will serve on the task force.
Feldstein is a Harvard economics professor who has been involved with U.S. economic policy for decades. He was a top economics adviser to President Ronald Reagan. But he also sits on the board of directors of AIG and its financial-products division, according to AIG’s Web site and Feldstein’s office.
In an email, Feldstein stated, “I do plan to remain on the AIG board."
The announcement of Feldstein's membership on the President's task force comes as a surprise after Obama's recent lambasting of AIG for granting $165 million dollars worth of bonuses to executives in the company after being bailed out with $173 billion of government funds.
Obama criticized the bonuses and lawmakers began moving legislation to block them. After a set of hearing on Capitol Hill last week, more than a dozen AIG employees agreed to return the payments.
The new Tax Policy Reform Task Force is headed by Paul Volckner, the former Federal Reserve Chairman. The group will report directly to the President with options for U.S. tax reform, including "tax simplification, tackling tax evasion, and reducing corporate welfare." Peter Orszag outlined the agenda saying,
the board would look at streamlining U.S. tax credits and being more aggressive at bringing in some $300 billion in annual uncollected tax revenues.
Feldstein has a long-standing history with U.S. economics and was a leading candidate for the position of Federal Reserve Chairman under the Bush administration but the title ultimately went to current Chairman, Ben Bernanke.