Today Cindy McCain released part of her tax returns from 2006 and has promised to release more later once the 2007 returns are completed. The press is already attacking her and the McCain campaign for not sharing more. But it is worth reviewing history. In late October, just 3 weeks before the election, Teresa Heinz Kerry released 2 pages of tax returns from 2003. Just like Mrs. McCain. Except that it was only one year, while McCain promises an additional year. And it was wildly incomplete. As the New York Times noticed at the time:

One line in the Form 1040 that was released indicated she had a job for which $2,230 in taxes were withheld from her paycheck, but gave no details. A spokesman for the Kerry campaign said this income was related to an investment she had with a limited liability corporation, although he would not provide any more information. ...

No information was provided about how much income was earned by trusts of which she is the beneficiary. If the trusts are as large as reported - and the Kerry campaign has not challenged the billion dollar estimate - then even a modest 5 percent return would have generated $50 million of income, 10 times what was on the two pages released by Ms. Heinz Kerry. A statement released by the Kerry campaign noted that income taxes are paid directly by the Heinz family trust, in addition to taxes that Ms. Heinz Kerry pays.

In other words, Mrs. Kerry did not disclose an extra $50m in income... But what's $50m between friends?

There is also a relevance issue. John Kerry mortgaged a jointly held house to pay for the campaign, while John McCain has not touched jointly held assets. In other words, the McCain campaign has gone far, far beyond anything the Kerry campaign ever did in both transparency and keeping assets firewalled. But the left and the press isn't going to be honest about that.

Categories: Syndicated