Okay folks, I’ve done a little bit more digging on this issue after my post calling for Cindy McCain to disclose her tax returns, and what I’ve found makes me really not buy any arguments that excuse the McCain’s lack of transparency.
Why? Well, it’s apparent that over the past 28 years they’ve made numerous investments in real estate and other areas and it’s always through Cindy. So to think we should all just sit idly by while he acts like their finances aren’t intertwined is a bit insulting.
As with Sens. Clinton and Obama, McCain’s personal wealth is dwarfed by that of his spouse. Cindy McCain has assets worth an estimated $40 million, based on information McCain has provided annually in Senate financial-disclosure reports. Compared with his wife, McCain is decidedly middle-class. Based on his tax return, he collects his Senate salary ($161,708), a Navy pension ($58,358), and some Social Security income ($23,157). The money he’s earned over the years writing books ($176,508 in 2007 and about $1.8 million since 1998), he gives to charity.
And that’s pretty much it. Aside from a Wachovia checking account, in which he keeps between $15,000 and $50,000 (wouldn’t some of that money earn more interest in a certificate of deposit?), all of the couple’s assets are in Cindy’s name. John McCain’s tax return is so anemic, so marginal to the couple’s actual financial situation, that he doesn’t even take a deduction for interest on his home mortgage. Presumably Cindy does, since disclosure forms indicate that she has several mortgages.
As with the Clintons, the McCains simply need to show the world what they’ve made…jointly. Because if they keep selling the idea that their finances should be viewed separately just because they file taxes separately, expect a big time credibility backlash.