Monday, May 16, 2011

$3,000 Per Night

No doubt everyone has heard by now of the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, whose past exploits have earned him the nickname "The Great Seducer," is accused of sexually assaulting a chambermaid in his suite in the Sofitel hotel in New York City. If true, this is a horrendous crime. A court of law is certainly the appropriate place to decide his guilt or innocence, but things don't look good for him. At least one other woman is now claiming that he sexually assaulted her almost 10 years ago.

In any case, another question needs to be asked as well. The IMF is an international organization tasked with helping countries that have run out of money. It gets its funding from member nations, each of which pays a quota. Not surprisingly, the United States has the largest quota by far. As Managing Director, Mr. Strauss-Kahn reportedly earns well over $400,000 per year tax free. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was staying in a room that costs $3,000 per night. So here's the question: Who paid for the hotel room? Did the money come from Mr. Strauss-Kahn's own pocket (not likely), or was the U.S. taxpayer on the hook for the bulk of the bill?