John Kerry: No Blind Trusts, Tax Avoidance, and Conflicts of Interest
The Massachusetts senator’s personal financial holdings are rife with tax dodges and reek of hypocrisy.
Senator John Kerry (D-MA), the richest member of the United States Senate and one of the most senior members of the debt super committee, is seen as an advocate for raising taxes on the rich, echoing the Obama administration. But with a net worth over $230 million, Kerry and his wife – whose $1B net worth dwarfs her husband’s – over the years have avoided millions of dollars in taxes through a complex web of inherited trust funds. Last year alone they earned about $4.8 million for which they paid no taxes.
Moreover, the Kerrys haven’t placed any investments into a blind trust, as recommended for avoiding conflicts of interest. They also have numerous stock investments in companies standing to benefit from Kerry’s voting for bailouts and ObamaCare.
And we all know about the tax avoiding bruhaha with his yacht being berthed in RI.
Recently, Kerry said “difficult choices will be made in Washington in the future” and “cuts should be properly balanced by new revenue sources.” Herein lies the focal point, because “new revenue sources” is bureaucrat-speak for solving the budget crisis through increased taxes.
But Kerry’s actions to avoid personal taxes are only one aspect that conflicts with his qualifications to help resolve America’s financial crisis.
Kerry voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Also known as Troubled Asset Relief Program, it authorized the “Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system.”
During this time, Kerry owned and traded in stocks of numerous banks receiving government bailout money: Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase & Co, State Street Corp, U.S. Bancorp, and Wells Fargo. Teresa also owns stock in many of these banks, worth an estimated $2.6M ($1.6-$3.5M).
Between 2003 and 2009, Kerry’s financial transactions included 61 purchases and sales of the above mentioned banking stocks; 50 of them occurred in 2009, containing 36 purchases estimated at $1.3M ($.75M-$1.8M).
It’s all well and good to advocate for higher taxes if that’s your belief. But when you and your family go to such lengths to avoid paying taxes and invest in companies that may have gone out of business without government bailouts that you voted for, thus costing you millions, well that puts your advocacy in a whole different light.
None of this is news. But with Kerry’s appointment to the “Super” Committee his blatant hypocrisy should be pointed out ad nauseam.