Politics & Government

McCain releases tax returns but leaves out rich wife's data

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate John McCain released his two most recent tax returns Friday, but they don't provide a full picture of his wealth because they don't include his wife's income.

McCain, 71, reported earning $258,800 in taxable income last year and paying $84,460 in federal income tax. That income came from his salary as an Arizona senator, book royalties, Social Security and his Navy pension.

His 2006 figures were comparable: $215,304 in taxable income and $72,771 paid in federal income taxes, from the same sources.

Cindy McCain is the chairwoman of a huge Phoenix-based Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship, Hensley & Co., which her parents founded. She may be worth more than $100 million, according to some analysts' estimates.

The McCain campaign reported the couple's charitable contributions jointly at $210,933 last year.

Beyond that, the campaign said in a news release that "Senator McCain and Mrs. McCain have always maintained separate finances" and that Cindy McCain doesn't release her returns "in the interest of protecting the privacy of her children."

A majority of McCain's charitable contributions went to the John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation to be distributed to individual causes. Last year, those included $35,000 to groups that perform cleft-palate and other craniofacial surgeries for poor children, $25,000 to the HALO Trust, which clears mines from war-torn areas, and $4,000 to the North Phoenix Baptist Church.

McCain donates his book royalties and Senate salary increases to charity.

His income is far more modest than the amounts that his Democratic presidential rivals reported this year. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and former President Clinton reported $20.4 million in 2007 income, while Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and his wife, Michelle, reported $4.2 million, mostly from his book sales, which have benefited from his candidacy.

A McCain aide likened the refusal to release Cindy McCain's returns to that by Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. In 2004, Kerry released his returns, but not those of his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wealthy widow of John Heinz, the ketchup heir and Pennsylvania senator.

(Steven Thomma contributed to this report.)

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