Tax Day At The White House

From Holden:

Both the president and vice president released their 2004 federal income tax information today. Let’s see how much richer the rich became last year.

President and Mrs. Bush reported taxable income of $672,788 and paid $207,307 in federal income taxes, or 30.8% of their taxable income. They contributed $77,785 to charity, or 10.3% of their income before the charitable contributions are deducted.

And the Cheneys? They reported taxable income of $1,328,678, on which they paid federal taxes of $393,518 (a 29.6% rate). So, despite reporting taxable income that was double what the Bushes earned, the Cheney’s managed to pay at a lower rate.

A whopping $194,852 of the Cheney’s income was paid by Halliburton, prompting the White House to offer this lengthy explanation:

In December 1998, the Vice President elected to defer compensation earned in calendar year 1999 for his services as chief executive officer of Halliburton. This amount was required be paid in fixed annual installments (with interest) in the five years after the Vice President’s retirement from Halliburton. That election to defer income became final and unalterable before Mr. Cheney left Halliburton. The amount of deferred compensation received by the Vice President is fixed and is not affected in any way by Halliburton’s current economic performance or earnings.

Prompting Holden and the rest of the world to say, “Yeah, right.”

The Cheneys donated $303,354 to charity in 2004, about 18% of their income before you deduct the charitable gifts. The bulk of the Cheney’s charitable contributions were derived from Mrs. Cheney’s book sales. Lyne Cheney also reported income from the American Enterprise Institute and Reader’s Digest, while Mrs. Bush (who outside of teaching for a couple of years seems to have never worked) did not report any income of her own.