From Power Line, Vincent Morris and Deborah Orin report that based on the portion of her 2003 tax return she has released:
"John Kerry's near-billionaire wife, Teresa, reported more than $5 million in total income last year but paid only 12.5 percent in federal taxes — less than the average middle-class family — according to documents released yesterday by his campaign.
"Teresa Heinz Kerry reported a total income of $5,072,533, including nearly $2.8 million that escaped all federal taxes because it was on interest-free investments from state, city and other public bonds.
"She paid $628,401 in federal taxes, or a rate of 12.47 percent. The average middle-class family pays more than 20 percent."
Hmm. I guess she didn't hear Hillary Clinton say, "Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
Gerald Jackson of Brookes News points out that even if you estimate her fortune at $1 billlion, which he says is low since her financial records indicate a range of between that and $3.2 billion, an 8 percent return would bring in more like $80 million, not $5 million. Does it seem likely that she's the kind of person who gets 0.938% return on her money?
Well, no. An excerpt from Jackson's essay:
"The two major tax loopholes that Teresa Heinz Kerry could exploit to drastically reduce her taxable income are trusts and 'charities'.
"Income can be sheltered in trusts where it remains untouched by taxation until it is spent. In the meantime the value of the trusts continues to rise. 'Charities' are also a favourite dodge of the leftist elite.
"When most people think of charities they imagine orphanages, school grants, medical foundations, etc. However, in the leftist world of the likes of Teresa Heinz Kerry leftwing political organisations also count as charities. For example, using the Heinz Family Philanthropies and the infamous Tides Foundation, she has been able to channel tax-free funds into anti-American, anti-Israel and even pro-terrorist groups."
"I am not going to argue that by minimising her taxes she behaved immorally. What is immoral about her actions is her support for higher taxes for the little people while she drastically reduces her own tax liabilities.
"Critics will claim that her tax shenanigans have nothing to do with her husband. Balderdash. She is not only helping to fund his campaign she also shares his views on taxes, especially when it comes to not paying them.
"Massachusetts residents are given a limited choice every year on how much to pay in income taxes. The state's top rate was 5.8 per cent before being lowered to 5.3 per cent. Since 2001 residents have been able to choose between the old rate and the lower one. John Kerry chose the low rate.
"Additionally, it has been reported that last year John Kerry proposed tax legislation that created a loophole specifically designed to benefit Heinz Foods Co. and therefore his wife.
"Yet Teresa Heinz Kerry and her hubby have got the nerve to categorise those who reach the $200,000 earnings bracket as rich. So rich, in fact, that Kerry would raise their taxes. Now consider the morality of a woman who has used loopholes to enjoy an effective tax rate of 14.76 per cent, or maybe even 0.938 per cent, rooting for a 30 per or more effective tax rate for people whose net worth is a tiny fraction of one per cent of her own fortune."