Monday, April 19, 2004

He gave at the office!

Last week, Viking Pundit was curious about John Kerry's missing Massachusetts state tax return:
Massachusetts has an “optional tax rate” of 5.85% instead of the normal 5.3%; thus, if you are “blessed to be wealthy” you may feel compelled to voluntarily increase your tax burden to help out the state.

Raising taxes on Americans making more than $200,000 has been the cornerstone of John Kerry’s so-called economic policy. Does he practice the noblesse oblige he preaches or did he pay the lower tax rate? Let’s see the MA state tax return, Senator.
Well it looks like Howie Carr found the answer as he relates in A Flying Squirrel:
Weary of liberals always clamoring for higher taxes on other people, an anti-tax group managed to place a line on the tax form giving Bay Staters the option of paying at the old, since-repealed 5.85 percent rate, rather than at the current 5.3 percent rate.

For two years now, John Kerry has had the opportunity to pay his "fair share." But like some Benedict Arnold CEO, the Democratic Party candidate for president has taken the money and ran.

"Why do you even call asking about this?" his spokesman, Michael Meehan, said Saturday morning. "He has made the same decision as 99.9 percent of his fellow Massachusetts residents."

Actually, it's more like 99.97 percent. Of 2,104,326 Massachusetts state returns filed by April 15, exactly 624 taxpayers had opted to pay at the higher rate, a very small number indeed, considering that in a statewide referendum, 1,055,181 good liberals voted against cutting the income tax rate.

Kerry claimed income last year of $395,338, which means had he decided to assist the "most vulnerable members of society" etc., he would have owed an additional $2,174 - chump change, considering that his second wife is the 391st richest American, according to Forbes magazine, with a fortune of at least $550 million.
C'mon, Long John! Practice what you preach!

Lots more laughs by following the link. Like:
You can learn a lot about a politician by studying his tax returns. In John Kerry's case, one thing you can quickly figure out is what years his name actually appears on the ballot. If it's an election year, he makes charitable contributions. Last week, for example, he claimed $43,735 in charitable donations for 2003, more than he'd given in the prior two years combined.
Maybe, like Bubba, he had a load of used underwear he'd been saving up to donate to charity?

But the best stuff is missing until Teresa's returns are released. Until then, Howie dug through some other sources to come up with some gems. How about a list of the Kerry palaces (in the USA at least) which included:
On Nantucket Island, for a $9.1 million beachfront "cottage," technically owned by Windy Point Trust, she pays $23,552.09 a year in property taxes.
Hey, isn't everyone's $9M beachront palace owned by a trust? And saving the best for last:
Less noticed has been Teresa's much more expensive plaything - a Gulfstream V private jet. It's named the Flying Squirrel, not after Bulwinkle's pal Rocky, but after her favorite ski run in Sun Valley.

Aviation industry sources say the Flying Squirrel is worth about $35 million. It's the deluxe model .

"To charter a Gulfstream V costs $5,000 to $6,000 an hour," says one pilot. "Hers has everything - plasma TV, two bathrooms, fancy mahogany and burlwood paneling, gold-plated fixtures."

The only possible aviation upgrade, in other words, would be Air Force One. Which would certainly reduce the Widow Heinz's household expenses.

Maybe then her husband could afford to pay his "fair share" of state income taxes.
Darn, I thought she had named it after Lurch!