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Another John Kerry double standard

Last night in the debate, John Kerry spoke how he thought rich people -- such as himself, President Bush, and Charlie Gibson -- ought to pay more in taxes. While others have focused on Kerry's presumption that none of the audience makes more than $200,000 a year, I was struck by the hypocrisy John Kerry was exhibiting.

Several years ago the Democrats tried to raise Massachusetts income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.85%. They would have succeeded, but the Republicans (who are vastly outnumbered in both Massachusetts houses) stuck a little "poison pill" into the law. The higher tax rate was OPTIONAL, and the taxpayer must actively CHOOSE the higher rate -- the default level is the lower one. At last count, the percentage of Massachusetts taxpayers who have opted for the higher rate has failed to reach one-one-hundredth of one percent. (.01%, or less than one in ten thousand.)

Would anyone care to guess at which rate John "the rich must pay more of their fair share" Kerry has been paying for the last couple of years?


Update: I went searching for Kerry's state tax returns for the last two years, and turned up nothing. But I found general confirmations of the allegations here, here, here, here, and here. They all confirm my own recollections, though, so I'm gonna stick by this one. And I know a couple of them are of dubious reliability (I can NOT believe I'm linking to Rush Limbaugh's site -- gag, retch), but the New York Post's copy of Howie Carr's column (talk-show host and long-time columnist/gadfly around Boston) has gone into the Great Beyond.


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Comments (29)

And no one seemed to notice... (Below threshold)

And no one seemed to notice or question that Kerry was critical of Bush for the the first ever tax cut during war and 3 seconds later said he would cut taxes for anyone making under $200k.

What's a hydrogen-generated... (Below threshold)

What's a hydrogen-generated car? You would have to lower your own intelligence level to back this idiot.

During an interview Kerry c... (Below threshold)

During an interview Kerry claims he never said he'd raise taxes on the rich, he said he would raise taxes on the wealthy. This guy is a conman. Pure and simple.

Hey John, I've got your tim... (Below threshold)

Hey John, I've got your timber right here!

Almost all of Teresa Heinz ... (Below threshold)

Almost all of Teresa Heinz Kerry's income is tax-free (interest from municipal bonds, etc.). If John Kerry were to be elected and then somehow manage to get Congress to pass his tax increases on those making more than $200,000 per year, how much additional tax would John Kerry's wife pay?

That's right: $0. Nada. Zilch. Bupkus.

Ain't it great to have inherited a vast fortune that was accumulated before liberals (besides yourself, of course!) could get their greedy little hands on it?

I'll believe that John Kerry and his ilk are true tax reformers when (and only when) the people hit hardest by the reforms are ... John Kerry and his ilk! Until that time—which is approximately when hell starts to cool off—I'm not drinking anything that even looks like Kerry's Kool-Aid.

Bush's invention of a hydro... (Below threshold)

Bush's invention of a hydrogen-generated car is his attempt to best Al Gore's invention of the internet.

Kerry did a great job at in... (Below threshold)

Kerry did a great job at insulting the entire crowd in the town hall.. how does he know how much those people make in a year... this tax cut won't be paid for by you the unwashed masses so don't concern yourself with the details and economics of my tax plans, let us rich, important and smart people take care of you..

what a jerk!

In this country, anyone can... (Below threshold)

In this country, anyone can voluntarily pay more than their legal tax obligation. It doesn't take a law to make it possible. Some people even designate the government as the beneficiary in their will. By the way, is there a link to Kerry's state tax returns on-line so we can verify the insinuation that he in fact didn't pay the additional taxes?

Rancid, as with his militar... (Below threshold)

Rancid, as with his military and medical records, one would think if your conjecture had any basis in reality Kerry would have said so.

If the facts could in any way bolster his position, he would have a responsibility to bring them out. That he doesn't, speaks volumes.

And in fact, I remember from many years ago that Kerry and his bride, in response to a question about voluntary giving (charitable, but the difference is technical) defended their stinginess by claiming their responsibility to help the downtrodden is served by his votes in Congress far more than could be done privately.

So, y'know, if you want to argue that talking point go right ahead -- but it ain't gonna fly.

Once again you guys have it... (Below threshold)

Once again you guys have it all wrong. What Senator Kerry said was that rich people should have not received a tax cut. The key here is in the definition of rich. To be rich you must:

1) Make over $200K per year AND
2) Own stock in or have anything to do with a big corporation like ENRON, HALLIBURTON, or any OIL COMPANY (Note:Labor unions, Democratic members of the US Senate and George Soros are exempted here) PLUS
3) Have participated in disenfranchising voters in 2000. (If you voted for President Bush you belong in this catagory)

It doesn't get any dumber t... (Below threshold)

It doesn't get any dumber than this.

"Almost all of Teresa Heinz Kerry's income is tax-free (interest from municipal bonds, etc.). "

Mrs. Heinz Kerry paid approximately $750,000 towards her 2003 federal, state and local income tax liability at the time of the extension filing. This represents approximately 32 percent of her gross taxable income.

I know that's a sweet lie you tell ann, but sweet as it is, a lie is a lie.

"how does he know how much those people make in a year"

KERRY: And looking around here, at this group here, I suspect there are only three people here who are going to be affected: the president, me, and, Charlie, I'm sorry, you too.

The top 2% of income earners make $200,000 a year or more. Kerry is talking to 143 people. Do the math moron.

If they didn't exist, you couldn't make them up.

Hadenough, you didn't read ... (Below threshold)

Hadenough, you didn't read far enough. She paid $587,000 federal on "taxable income" of $2,338,000, for a federal tax rate of 25%, not 32% (since we should be limiting it to the federal taxes).

But she has additional non-taxable income of $2,777,000, for a federal tax rate of 11.5% (14.7% with all taxes). It's not "almost all", but it's more than half.

Like you said: do the math, moron.

And I would also like to kn... (Below threshold)

And I would also like to know if Kerry ever checked that little box.

McGehee - I'm not arguing ... (Below threshold)

McGehee - I'm not arguing any point. I'm just fact checking. If the implication is going to be made that John Kerry has been paying at the lower rate, then back it up.

All I asked for is a fact to back up the assertion.
For example, if I say that George Bush lied when he said that last night was the first time he ever heard about his tree money, I can point to the 1040 that he signed listed the $84. Although, that may be forgery, so I guess we can't count that as evidence until the typography experts get done giving it the once over.

But you would think he would remember. Based on his history as a business man, it's one of the few entrprises he been in that actually made money.

AmendmentFactCheck... (Below threshold)


FactCheck.org has changed their statement about the $84. They are now saying that it was earned before the Lone Star Trust bought half interest in the tree-growing company. so it wasn't from timber. They don't say whether or not the president know that he owns it yet, or not.

hadenough:I should... (Below threshold)


I should have said almost of all of Teresa's net worth consists of tax-free investments and holdings. Although nobody except her and her accountants know for sure (I'd wager John Kerry doesn't even know how much she's really worth), it's been estimated that she's worth as much as (or more than) $3 billion (that's three thousand million dollars). If (as Ken points out), she paid tax on (roughly) $2.5 million (that's a paltry two and one-half million dollars), then she's perched atop an untaxed fortune of something like $2.9975 billion. Let's be generous and assume her tax bill for this year comes out to, say, $2 million. That $2 million is about 0.07% (7 one-hundredths of a percent) of her net worth. That's a rounding error in her net worth, and so, indeed, almost all of her net worth is untaxed.

If Teresa is not worth $3 billion (i.e., if that's an over-estimate), maybe she should release her tax returns so we can all see how wrong we were. I, for one, would be happy to be proved wrong. Until she does that, I'll be waiting (but I won't be holding my breath).

As for the vitriolic aspects of your post, well, I'm in a good mood so I'll cut you some slack. And I don't know why you're so unhappy: your boy Johnny is going to have lots of time to windsurf and shoot skeet after November 2nd.

What is stopping John and T... (Below threshold)

What is stopping John and Teresa from sending all their money to the treasury? They are welcome to send some on my behalf!!

John Kerry can do more to h... (Below threshold)
Mike Boelter:

John Kerry can do more to help the unfortunate by voting in Congress than they can do by personal charitable contributions?

First of all, the job of Congress is not to help the downtrodden or the unfortunate. There is no Constitutional mandate to do that, but then there is always the temptation to give largess from other peoples wallets.

Secondly even if it was the job of Congress to distribute largess to the poor and downtrodded by means of his votes, it would help if he would attend to his job in Congress and actually vote there.

"John Kerry can do more to ... (Below threshold)

"John Kerry can do more to help the unfortunate by voting in Congress than they can do by personal charitable contributions?"

But this defines liberalism. People don't help people. Only the government can help people. So we tax the crap out of "the evil rich" and redistribute their wealth. It doesn't make the country better or fairer or or smarter, or safer or cleaner, but it does create a class of voters who are wholly dependent on the Dems.

I agree with what WASP writ... (Below threshold)

I agree with what WASP writes, among others' here (thanks, Ann, great comments, as with many others)....I thought that Kerry was the ultimate in insulting the audience, both before him and nationwide with this (among other) comments.

Kerry ALSO said, "...I thought that the wealthiest folks in America should pay for it (war in Iraq)...I didn't want your kids to pay, I thought WE (he emphasized "WE") should pay for it."

So, Kerry's saying that America's war efforts are to be funded -- following Kerry's imperialistic booming here -- by "the wealthiest folks" in which he includes himself...that Americans aren't to be relied on to defend themselves, that the wealthy should/could/oughtto wage the wars and pay the bills...just like a good Dictatorship and Imperialistic government, just like a Communist Board of Directors...

I nearly puked. Kerry continues to reveal himself as this person who really, really, really does think he deserves to be King and Teresa certainly rams that home with her dingy "healthcare to everyone on (Kerry's fictional) first day of office..." foolish comments.

They speak like people who just don't want any of the little people to be nonplussed, just not to be concerned with the "details" of an Imperial government, which *they* will mind well as wealthy, imperial people are capable of, unlike everyone else.

It's vile and even violent language against our very Constitution. Kerry sure wants that crown.

I also found Kerry's use of "Michael J. Fox"'s name and "Christopher Reeve"'s name -- saying, "these people are friends of mine..." to be very offensive, within the context of being questioned about Stem Cell Research, but the most offensive thing Kerry said and continues to say, is that he's "a Catholic" and then he carries on about that while continuing to defy and violate very serious premises and requirements of Catholicism. But, about those two celebrities who campaign on behalf of Kerry, and use the Stem Cell Research issue to do so, they aren't presenting accurate science to people in their various commercials. These are two people with serious medical concerns who, sadly and horribly, use their medical concerns to promote Kerry, and the whole lot of them misdirect and misrepresent the actual biology involved in this area of medical research -- many researchers today don't even want embryonic stem cells, and prefer stem cells from placenta and even fat cells, but you'd never know that by listening to Fox, Reeve or Kerry/Edwards, who continue to harp on wrong information about this issue while promoting themselves...Bush has a more accurate response to this issue, and as he shared in this last debate, not relying on name tags, namecalling and/or namedropping as did Kerry.

WASP's comments which I referenced:

Kerry did a great job at insulting the entire crowd in the town hall.. how does he know how much those people make in a year... this tax cut won't be paid for by you the unwashed masses so don't concern yourself with the details and economics of my tax plans, let us rich, important and smart people take care of you..

what a jerk!

Posted by: The WASP at October 9, 2004 11:22 AM


Ken Summers,Nice log... (Below threshold)

Ken Summers,
Nice logic. So if you include non-taxable interest income mrs. ketchup would have had a lower tax rate. Let's make this whopper even bigger, lets include all her cash. She might have paid about one half of one percent in taxes. Outragous!

That giant pile of cash wasn't a problem when a repub was sitting on top of it, now you don't like it.

Like I typed, it doesn't get any dumber than this.

Ann_Observer,You kee... (Below threshold)

You keep digging. A common problem on this side of the nutosphere.

"I should have said almost of all of Teresa's net worth consists of tax-free investments and holdings. Although nobody except her and her accountants know for sure"

You should have typed something else, but you didn't. Even if you had, according to you, you would still be making it up: "Although nobody except her and her accountants know for sure"

Look ann, things aren't working out for. That's a shame. Money isn't everything. Even if you had ketchup's cash, chances are you still wouldn't be happy. Try some volunteer work, take some continuing ed classes, you will feel better about yourself.

How is that a whopper? I'm ... (Below threshold)

How is that a whopper? I'm not talking about taxing her cash, I'm talking about taxing income. She had 2.8 million in tax-free income. I thought liberals became angry when rich people had tax-free income.

BTW, I am taxed on all of my interest income, which is several orders of magnitude lower.

I would like to classify ha... (Below threshold)

I would like to classify half of my income to the tax free category. How do I qualify?

Ken,Best to give u... (Below threshold)


Best to give up on hadenough. People can't be saved from themselves. She/he appears to side with the party that sent demonstrators to New York with signs reading "Billionaires for Bush", when their own Democratic candidate is the only candidate for President in this race to come from a family worth more than a billion dollars. Maybe their motto is "only a man with a filthy rich wife can save us"? Who knows?

A few years ago, people in ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

A few years ago, people in Arkansas were whining about this service or that service being cut. In essence, they wanted the government to provide more servies than the budget could handle. However, they did not want more taxes. To shut up some of them, the Governor (a Republican) set up a special tax fund. He held a press conference and announced that this special fund would accept donations from any person that felt that he/she was not paying enough money in taxes. He told everyone where they needed to send the money.

A year later, they had collected a litle over $1000.

Steve: similar issue in Ca... (Below threshold)

Steve: similar issue in California, but ours is still unresolved (no Governor in CA can be as blunt as that Governor in Arkansas and still be elected in CA, unfortunately).

There's this very large social program in the State of CA (meaning, it pays out far more than the recipients pay in or are ever likely to, so those who participate in the program are being paid by the taxes that others pay the state, thus, it's "a social program")....

This program pays the parents of disabled children/adults who those parents take care of, pays the parents for a day off a week...like a paid day off for parenting, or, rather, from parenting, by paying the salaries of those who replace the parents in their days off, in caring for the dependent child/adult.

Governor Schwarzenegger tried to reduce the program coverage and there was horrible protest about it, so it was reinstated. The budget was and still is very overdrawn, the state of CA was and still is struggling with a budget problem that has been created by a number of factors, but a lot of it is that there are higher numbers of dependents in the state on social programs than there are people paying the taxes to support those social programs.

The social programs in the state have also incentivized and for a while now the influx of many who partake of the social programs in the state, so the entire process continues to grow and the budget deficit continues to widen.

Anyway, Schwarzenegger tried to eliminate or modify the "paid day by a caretaker in the home" program and there was a horrible outcry from the parents of these dependent children/adults (some adults who require caretaking are taken care of by their still-surviving parents, is what I describe), saying that they really need these days out of their homes and as a rest.

I agree that they do need those days off and really need them. BUT, there's a problem in the assumption that because they need these "paid days off" from caring for their own dependents, as to whether or not the public/taxpayers should be paying them for those days off.

It isn't as if the state employs them, such that the state owes them a paid day off. And, the children/dependent(s) are their own...so....what makes that a public responsibility?

I have sympathy with anyone with a handicap and those who are caretakers of those with handicaps, when and as needed. As do almost all human beings. But, it's not a case of not having sympathy and understanding for a person in that situation, but about the assumption that everyone else should be paying for those parents to have a day off with salary (reimbursement that includes a salary to someone else to come into their homes in their stead while they take a day off every week, for every week in every year).

Anyway, there was an outcry in the State that it was inhumane and all that to not pay for caretakers for one day weekly, year round, for families/parents in that circumstance, so the funding was continued, despite there being no money to actually fund the program any longer as it now is.

So, there you go...more of the reasons why the state of CA is majority Democrat, majority pro-social programs that there isn't a sound method to fund. I don't know what the answer is, at least not for CA.

Ken Summers,"I thoug... (Below threshold)

Ken Summers,
"I thought liberals became angry when rich people had tax-free income."

That's called projection ken.

"I am taxed on all of my interest income"

Hint: you need a better accountant.

I hear a lot of complaining... (Below threshold)

I hear a lot of complaining about Kerry's desire to delay part of Bush's tax cut in order to pay for the war in Iraq. The problem is that Pres. Bush doesn't really know how he's going to pay for this war; he's just tacked it onto the deficit, so we're going to pay a lot more in the end. Kerry wanted to pay for it up front. That's called fiscal responsibility, and it used to be a hallmark of conservatism. Still is, for those conservatives who realize Bush is no conservative.






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