Paul L. Caron

Friday, April 18, 2008

McCain Releases 2006 & 2007 Tax Returns, But Not His Wife's

Republican presidential candidate John McCain released his 2006 and 2007 tax returns.  He filed as married filing separately and did not release his wife's tax returns.  Here are the 2006-07 data for McCain, as well as for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:


McCain's press release explains his reasons for not disclosing his wife's tax returns:

Senator and Mrs. McCain have kept their personal finances separate throughout their 27-year marriage. Accordingly, they have for many years filed separate tax returns. However, their home state of Arizona is a community property jurisdiction. In community property states, individuals maintain a separation of all property brought to the marriage, or inherited during it, but share financial responsibility for other assets acquired through the efforts of each spouse during the marriage. This means that their tax returns report one half of each of their community property income and expenses (such as income each of them earn as salaries, Senator McCain's book royalties, and expenses attributable to both of them such as charitable contributions from community assets).

Accordingly, Senator McCain's 2006 and 2007 tax returns contain a detailed "Statement A" showing the allocation of his and Mrs. McCain's community property income and expenses to their respective tax returns. (2006 - 2007) ...

Since the beginning of their marriage, Senator McCain and Mrs. McCain have always maintained separate finances. As required by federal law and Senate rules, Mrs. McCain has released significant and extensive financial information through Senate and Presidential disclosure forms. In the interest of protecting the privacy of her children, Mrs. McCain will not be releasing her personal tax returns.

McCain also released the 2006 and 2007 tax returns of his family foundation, along with a list of the charitable gifts made by the foundation in 2006 and 2007.  Press reports estimate that Cindy McCain is worth over $100 million, with most of that coming from the company started by her father, Hensley & Co. For press coverage of the returns, see:

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The lack of capital income struck me too-- as it did in Obama's returns. Have the McCains really been spending their entire community income for 27 years? (or spending on housing,too). Maybe. It would make politician McCain's life easier never to invest in any companies, since he'd avoid conflict of interest. He'd better not get divorced again, though (is that why this marriage lasted 27 years--- he's committed through lack of personal assets?)

I see too that he is still paying alimony.

It's a bit far-fetched to suppose that a politician's tax proposals are for his personal benefit. It's true, though that he will most understanding and sympathy for tax issues he understands-- alimony, book income,and charitable deductions, I suppose, for McCain.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Apr 21, 2008 5:58:19 AM

I am intrigued by what is not in Sen. McCain's "Statement A": income from capital. Presumably Mrs. McCain receives dividends and perhaps capital gains from her separate property. Under Arizona law such income is separate income, reportable solely on her separate return. Failure to disclose Mrs. McCain's returns therefore makes it impossible for voters to determine how much Sen. McCain's proposals with regard to taxation of capital income would benefit his own nuclear family.

Posted by: Theodore Seto | Apr 20, 2008 4:30:49 AM