Rich _____ I can’t think of the second word.  Can anyone help me? I can’t believe that she pays a lower percentge of taxes that I do.


October 16, 2004—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.

Mrs. Kerry’s rate is barely above the lowest rate of 10 percent for the lowest-income Americans subject to taxes.

President Bush and wife Laura reported paying $227,490 in federal taxes on income of $822,126 or a 27.7 percent rate - more than double the rate paid by Mrs. Kerry. The Bushes reported no tax-exempt interest income.

“It’s clear that Mrs. Kerry has found every nook and cranny in the federal tax code to shelter her income,” said Stephen Moore of the conservative Club for Growth.

“For a couple that keep insisting the rich should pay their fair share, it’s pretty clear that the Kerrys don’t pay their fair share,” Moore added.

He noted that Mrs. Kerry also escapes the 7.65 percent in Social Security (FICA) payroll taxes paid by middle-class families up to $87,000 in income because her income - derived from the estate of her late first husband, ketchup heir John Heinz - isn’t from salary.

Tax experts stressed that there is no real way to gauge Mrs. Kerry’s wealth because she has refused to release anything other than her 1040 form - no schedules to show where her money is invested, how much she invests overseas or her total wealth.

In the presidential campaign, the condiments queen uses the name “Teresa Heinz Kerry” but her tax returns identify her only as “Teresa Heinz.”

The Kerrys file separate tax returns, and Mrs. Kerry has said they have a prenuptial agreement but gave no specifics.

Mrs. Kerry released no details on the $267,541 that she claimed in itemized deductions nor did she specify her personal charity contributions, though the campaign noted that the Heinz Foundation, which she runs, gave away more than $4.6 million.

Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan didn’t respond to phone calls yesterday and Mrs. Kerry declined to talk with reporters but issued a statement saying that she’ s under no obligation to disclose anything.

Experts on lifestyles of the rich and famous say that $5 million in income wouldn’t come close to covering the Kerrys’ golden lifestyle with five estates, multiple cars, a $3.5 million Gulfstream V jet complete with plasma TV, gold fixtures and two bathrooms, a yacht worth $750,000 to $1 million and servants in every location.

The Kerrys own a $12 million waterfront Nantucket estate, a $6 million mansion in Washington’s tony Georgetown, a $12.8 million mansion in Boston’s Beacon Hill, a $14 million estate on 90 acres outside Pittsburgh and an $8 million ski chalet near Sun Valley, Idaho.

The Los Angeles Times, after a detailed study, last June concluded that Mrs. Kerry is almost certainly a billionaire, worth between $900 million and a staggering $3.2 billion. Forbes magazine has estimated her fortune at $700 million.

Posted by SPN on 10/18 at 07:07 PM in Politics

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