Being Stinkin’ Rich Can Be So Taxing

April 18 (Bloomberg) — John McCain, who has clinched the Republican presidential nomination, reported $405,409 in income last year and paid $118,660 in federal taxes, according to tax returns made public today. He gave $105,467 to charity, the records show.

His campaign didn’t release tax returns for his wife, Cindy, who is chairman of the Phoenix-based Hensley & Co., one of the largest beer distributors in the U.S.

Original DVD cover.

“My wife and I, we have separate incomes, we have a prenuptial agreement, and her business is her business,” McCain said in an interview. “I have never been involved in it since before I ran for the Congress of the United States, so I just feel that she has a right to a separate tax return.”

Yeah, it’s not like he barbecues at any of those mansions she owns or anything!

The disclosure of tax information has become an issue in the presidential campaign. Illinois Senator Barack Obama released his tax information in March and then pressured his rival for the Democratic nomination, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, to disclose her tax records. She did so on April 4.


McCain’s income came from his $161,708 Senate salary, $23,157 in Social Security benefits, $176,508 in book royalties and a Navy pension. The remaining income comes from a share of his wife’s income which, under Arizona’s community property law, he must claim.

McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said making Cindy McCain’s tax information public would violate the privacy of their two children who are still claimed as dependents.

Does anyone else smell something?

The Associated Press estimated this month that Cindy McCain is worth more than $100 million based on the value of her late father’s stake in Hensley & Co.

In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry disclosed a portion of the tax returns of his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, heir to a $500 million fortune, three weeks before the election.

Hazelbaker said Cindy McCain’s situation differs from Teresa Heinz Kerry’s because she asserted that Kerry’s wealth helped fund her husband’s campaign and Cindy McCain hasn’t loaned her husband money.


Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the failure to release Cindy McCain’s returns shouldn’t fly with voters because transparency has been “a signature issue for John McCain,” and not releasing her information smacks of hypocrisy.


Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean also assailed McCain — ranked last fall by Roll Call newspaper as the ninth richest member of Congress — for not releasing his wife’s taxes and for making public only two years of returns. He said McCain was “releasing less information about his tax returns than any other candidate since Ronald Reagan,” continuing “a troubling pattern of thinking the rules don’t apply to him.”

The Clintons’ tax information goes back three decades; the Obamas have released eight years.


Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, said releasing Cindy McCain’s tax returns wouldn’t violate the children’s privacy because details of investments affecting them would be on forms filed by a separate trust.

“They’re playing it both ways,” Ochsenschlager said. “They’re splitting the income, income that you would have anticipated, but not showing you their passive income.” Given Cindy McCain’s wealth, he said, “they have some passive income somewhere they’re not showing.”

From the Los Angeles Times:

The McCains own four homes across the nation and employ a staff of at least four that in 2007 cost about $273,000, half of which was listed on the senator’s tax return. McCain and his wife’s properties, all held mortgage-free, include their creek-side ranch outside Sedona, Ariz. In 2006, they purchased a $4.7-million condo in Phoenix; and in 2004, she bought a $2.6-million beachfront property near the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego County, according to property records.

Despite the large real estate holdings and his wife’s business empire, the senator appears to own few income-producing assets individually. In 2007, he reported interest income of just $48 and dividends of $74.


Asked whether his wife was supporting him, McCain’s campaign staff offered a separate income calculation for 2007 showing that the senator’s surplus income after expenses amounted to about $64,000 and suggested that he was providing for himself.

By contrast, Cindy McCain reported assets of more than $1 million in a single Chase Bank account and assets of up to $1 million in each of about three dozen accounts and investments, according to a 2006 Senate financial disclosure report.

Cindy McCain inherited ownership of Hensley & Co., said to be the nation’s third-largest Anheuser-Busch distributor with sales estimated at $178 million, from her late father, James Hensley, according to financial information company Dun & Bradstreet.


Filed under 2008 election, Barack Obama, Congress, Hillary Clinton, humor, John Kerry, John McCain, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Ronald Reagan, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

22 responses to “Being Stinkin’ Rich Can Be So Taxing

  1. Great stuff, now if you know any miracle workers, it will take one to get equality in news coverage.

    Switch the stories:
    Would Bill Clinton get to withhold his tax returns without a media circus?

    If Michelle Obama had stolen drugs from her charity to feed her addiction, would they ignore it?

    What appears to be a game to some ends up leaving families homeless, marriages damaged and perpetual poverty. Yes, change is the right word.

  2. hi unastronaut!
    welcome to the raisin! πŸ˜€
    it’s that old double standard again, and it seems the rethugs always seem to get away with it. if the media starts to make a fuss, captain underpants will just whip out the old barbecue and cook ’em up some burgers until their fingers are too greasy to type.

  3. Ugh. I’m definitely not a John or Cindy McCain fan. Especially not after looking at that picture.

  4. nightowl724

    I have just one question. Well, three, actually…

    So, McCain is a kept man.

    WHY? WHY? WHY?

    PS Love the FU and the title, along with everything else.

  5. nightowl,
    i knew you would catch the little fu in the corner. originally, i was going to make an ‘fu, i’m rich’ button for cindy lou, but i figured it would be too small to read. if cindy lou had had any self-respect at all, she would have left the bum years ago. then, she wouldn’t have had to kill the pain with the drugs.

  6. nightowl724

    I guess we’ll never know why she stays…

  7. jlms qkw - jenn

    luv the rating, you sneaky nonnie you!

  8. nightowl,
    we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. maybe he’s the sane one in the relationship, and she’s the crazy one. nahhhhhhh!

  9. jenn,
    i love being sneaky. it’s one of my favorite things to do. only problem is that i obsess afterwards, wondering if anyone is going to find my sneakiness. i was quite proud of you yesterday for realizing that i changed the word on the wall of the building ! πŸ˜‰

  10. jlms qkw - jenn

    you are brilliant! πŸ˜€

  11. Got a Grip

    Hello, nonnikins!! No time no blog (or something like that). I’m just starting to have a minute here and there to sneak off and try to get caught up. And my oh my how I’ve missed you, honey. I cannot begin to tell you. I can’t hang long, but I had to drop in and give you a big MMMWWWAAAHHHH!!!! I’ll try to sneak back tomorrow here and elsewhere and see if we can get caught up on things. It’s good to see you here being….well….you. Great job as always. Love you bunches…. πŸ™‚

  12. jenn,
    you are too sweet! mmwwaahhhhh!!!!

  13. gotta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    how the hell are ya? omg! everyone has been asking about you! how is your sister doing? i will take the fact that you found a spare minute to stop here as a good sign. πŸ™‚ i was going to call you, but fomlpoma (my son, whom i call fruit of my loins, pain of my ass–fomlpoma for short, for those who might read this and don’t know what it stands for) was in seattle for 10 days, and i gave him my cellphone to take with him. plus, i didn’t want to wake up your sister (or you, if you were lucky enough to find time for a short nap).
    i have missed you terribly. a thousand hugs and a thousand kisses, and a thousand good wishes for a complete recovery to your sister. πŸ˜€

  14. Got a Grip

    My sister is coming along splendidly. It’s just a long, slow process, especially since it was both knees replaced. But she’s recovering really well and I foresee a time in the not all that distant future when I’ll be able to get back to something that resembles normal. I’ll call you in a day or two and we’ll get caught up. I’ve missed all the raisinettes, and even TRM (don’t tell him, it’ll make his fatuous head swell). I’ve missed you too, dear friend, I cannot tell you how much. Hugs and kisses to you, darlin’. I’ll try to make it back tomorrow to catch the next installment. I love you dearly, but you know that…

  15. gotta, i am so happy to hear that sis is doing so well. i know that it is a very grueling operation and recovery, especially when it is done on both knees at once. you must be exhausted from taking care of her. the raisinettes have missed you, too, and we all hope that you will return on a regular basis soon.
    i love you, too, but you know that. πŸ˜‰

  16. i am so sick of the double standard going on from the media — and the fact mccain has also been skirting his own mccain-feingold rules

    what a country………

    this is more like gilligan’s island and mccain and cindy are thurston and lovie

  17. i am an attorney who practices for gay rights and also complex litigation. it is true that there are different rules for the rich – higher tax bracket – and those other people. I help the first class, and while it might be unfair, it is just reality.

  18. hey dcAp!
    i am pretty sick of it, too. it’s not just the media. the media merely reflects what is going on around us. of course, that then feeds the idea that this is the way it is supposed to be, so the vicious cycle is in place, and things will get worse.

  19. hello lawbound!
    welcome to the raisin. πŸ˜€ there certainly are different rules for the rich. if a poor woman did what cindy lou mccain did (stealing drugs) or a poor man did half the stuff rush limpdick did, they would both be in jail before they could blink. just because it is the reality of the situation, does that mean that it is right? does it mean that we should just shrug our shoulders and not try to change it?

  20. nightowl724

    Welcome back, gotta!


    An interesting piece on McCain’s divorce. I am shocked at his ability to befuddle Christians to get the religious right vote.

  22. thanks, unastronaut,
    i thought that cindy lou was 19 when they met. i guess i was incorrect. i found this part about his divorce from his first wife the most interesting:

    The Arizona senator agreed to give her their furnishings, $1,325 a month in alimony, $300 in child support. He also agreed to pay an additional $500 monthly if she couldn’t find a job.

    She was subsequently employed in the Reagan White House, according to George “Bud” Day, McCain’s attorney during the divorce. Day also was one McCain’s cellmates when they were prisoners of war in Vietnam.

    have to wonder if she was really qualified for the job or if this was just another case of doing a buddy a favor at taxpayers’ expense!