Business

All Of McCain's Investments Are In His Wife's Name?

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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.

From Slate:

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.

  • Grant Gould

    Yowch. I’m against all of this tax disclosure in principle, but this looks an awful lot like deliberate obfuscation. I’m eager to see the “straight talk” on this one. And to see what it is they considered sufficiently important to be worth hiding this way.

    Plus the hint of a juicy story just off-stage might be enough to get the press to stop the whole ridiculous “integrity” line with McCain and actually, y’know, investigate something more than what he tells them.

  • http://girlinshortshorts.blogspot.com/ Becky

    This really shouldn’t be all that baffling–look at the source of Cindy McCain’s money: http://girlinshortshorts.blogspot.com/2008/02/john-mccain-and-mob.html

    ~Becky

  • Dos

    Hey look everybody!! More of that post-partisan, unifying focus on the important issues coming from an Obamamite. They truly do transcend don’t they. I’m so look forward to the “fixing” of Washington by these good folks.

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    Haha, well actually, yes…this is the very definition of post-partisan because I’m asking for the McCains to be open and transparent.

    Good call.

  • http://maverickviews.blogspot.com/ Alan Stewart Carl

    Unless there is any real reason to expect financial wrongdoings on the part of the McCains, I don’t see how forcing a woman to disclose personal income is a matter of public interest or furthers governmental “transparency.” Government transparency is about GOVERNMENT action, not private action. There has to be a line of privacy, even for spouses of presidential candidates.

    I had no problem with Kerry’s wife wanting to keep her finances private and I have no problem with Mrs. McCain’s choice now.

    Until someone has some credible reason to assume they’re hiding something, I think calls for her to disclose her taxes is taking the idea of “transparency” further than it really needs to go.

  • http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basSoph.html Nelson

    If they ever divorce, he’s out of luck because all of those assets are in her name.

    Journalists and bloggers want the data because it will give them fodder for a few (or many) stories. I doubt highly they’re calling for this for altruistic reasons.

    From the McCain family point of view:
    If nothing funny is going on, he gains nothing and his wife loses her privacy (which doesn’t tend to make people happy, generally speaking). If something funny is going on, he loses a lot.

    Therefore the sensible action is to not do it. Much like testifying in one’s one criminal trial. If you’re guilty you gain nothing, if you’re innocent you lose privacy and digging deep enough, everyone has secrets they’d rather not reveal (even legal ones).

  • Avinash_Tyagi

    @Alan:

    Keating five; that’s reason enough, the man has proven he isn’t trustworthy, and since she holds his assets I want to see what he’s wheeled and dealed over the years

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    Alan,

    I’m not suggesting that Cindy has anything to hide. But for the McCains to claim that income after 28 years and 3 children is actually separate is stretching credibility. He’s running for the POTUS after all, and it should be public record. Trust me, this will be standard operating procedure in the future.

    And to add to that idea, shouldn’t we be demanding more transparency from our candidates instead of less?

    One last note, I think Theresa should have disclosed her income in 2004. It’s only fair.

  • http://politicalirony.com whim

    I highly recommend reading this short blog post about this issue.

    http://nitpicker.blogspot.com/2008/05/right-wing-magazines-attack-cindy.html?view=print

    Be sure to read to the end — it is hilarious.