16 October 2004
Two for them, fourteen for her
I have never felt that it was my obligation to contribute (if that's the word) as much money as possible to the government: while I'm not going to file a false tax return, I'm also not going to shy away from every last exemption and deduction and exclusion I can legitimately claim.
Which apparently is also the policy of Teresa Heinz Kerry, who managed in 2003 to reduce her Federal tax liability to 12.47 percent. (Disclosure: My own tax bill, on about 0.78 percent as much income, was 10.69 percent.) In the light of John Kerry's faux-populist sentiments these days, his wife has come under fire for paying so little in Federal tax; I would argue that the flaw, if flaw it be, is in the tax system itself, not in Mrs Kerry's presumably-legal gaming thereof.
As would Fritz Schranck:
What's the problem here?
I thought that's why these IRS Code provisions were put into the Code in the first place.
It's also not her fault that FICA is based on wages, and that her 2003 money didn't come from working.
If the New York Post or [Stephen] Moore [of the Club for Growth, quoted in the Post article linked above] or other people don't like the fact that Mrs. Kerry can use the current tax code to this much advantage, then they have another option available to them seek to amend the tax code.
As I see it, that's where this story may become valuable. Her tax returns may provide an incentive to reduce or eliminate some of the legislative loopholes, special privileges, and other curious devices that fill so many pages of the IRS Code.
And a good argument for the so-called Fair Tax, as well.Posted at 9:28 AM to Dyssynergy