Saturday, October 16, 2004

How much Teresa Heinz Kerry paid in Taxes Last Year

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."

And later:

"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."



Anonymous said...

I don't get it Mikey, This is the Republican dream, This is what Republicans vote for - The Republican line is that she paid too much tax. I don't see any problem here. Vote for Bush - vote for less taxes for rich people - this why Republicans get bigger campaign contributions, and why people vote Republican. Thats democracy in action, thats capitalism, thats being American. That is the whole point of the latest round of Republican Tax cut - Tax cuts for everyone - but scewed (spelling?) towards rich people who give the donations, so they have the money to get re-elected next time around. This is the number one point of being a Republican, and yes the fact that any American can benefit is a good thing. Don't like the rich getting tax cuts - vote Kerry, otherwise take every advantage of every tax cut you can, - Its the American way.


There is only one catch of course, and that is the deficit. Currently US tax cuts are financed on credit, which means our children will pay our tax cuts back plus interest. I am truly amazed that the Party of Newt Gringidge (Sorry about the spelling) after forcing Clinton to balance the annual budget and start paying off the deficit - the party that is supposed to be finacially responsible has spend so much - especially in a time of war where people would all put off huge tax cuts to make room for the troops. Perhaps split government is the only way to get fiscal resposibility in the US.

Uncle Mikey said...

No, Fringy, she's a hypocrite. She and her husband talk endlessly about what's best for people, which is apparently high tax rates for the rich, and then she turns around and does something else entirely. No fucking way her income is $5M. No fucking way.

The Bush tax cut was never intended to give people a chance to pay less than 1% on their income, which is what she's done. Surely you can see past partisan feelings and acknowledge that doing it is despicable, and stupid in an election year.

Republicans get more contributions, and more votes, and will win the presidency again with a lesser candidate than many of the Democratic ones, because they're organized, their message is coherent, and they don't destroy their own party from within. Pretty simple stuff, but Democrats can't seem to get a handle on it. If you'd stop mythologizing about what you think Republicans do and actually take a serious look, you'd go a long way to doing what your party seems incapable of. Might start a trend, actually.

The number one reason to be a Republican? Not even you believe we're so simpleminded, although it's fun to say so. We're just as complex and conflicted as you are, but we don't see a need to let it dominate our worlds. People must work together to get what they want; doing otherwise is self-indulgent and counterproductive. You can try to characterize such behavior as monolithic and borderline cultish if it pleases you to demonize what you don't understand, but it's not going to get you where you want to go.

And please, don't talk deficit without context, preferably as percentage of GDP (which is pretty historically low right now, despite odious attempts to pretend otherwise by people who should goddamned well know better - I'm talking to you, Lou Dobbs!). It reveals an ignorance of economics which appears to be somewhat more than mine, astoundingly. Deficit size alone is meaningless.

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