As Election Day nears, John McCain continues to deploy Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher as a human shield against Barack Obama and his plan for middle class tax cuts. But while Wurzelbacher himself admitted he would fare better under Obama, another of McCain's representative Americans is set to receive a massive windfall if the Arizona Senator is elected. No doubt about it, Mrs. McCain - Cindy the Beer Heiress - would pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to her husband.
That the McCains are fabulously well off - as the $100 million beer distribution fortune, the 11 homes, 13 cars and a private jet attest - goes without saying. And as she reported in her two-page IRS summaries, Cindy McCain earned $6.1 million in 2006 and another $4.2 million in 2007. (Most came courtesy of her late father's Hensley & Company, Arizona's leading distributor of Anheuser-Busch products including Budweiser.)
But while as many as 100 million Americans would receive no benefit from President McCain's tax proposals, his wife would be awash in new-found cash. As the Center for American Progress detailed in June, the McCains would reap a $373,000 bonanza should he win the White House:
McCain favors making the Bush tax laws permanent, and also plans to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, double the dependent exemption and offer tax breaks on business income...Had McCain's tax proposal been in place in 2006, [they] would have done incredibly well - saving even more than they did under the existing Bush plan. John and Cindy McCain would have walked away with $373,429 in their pocket.
Of course, given that McCain's tax plan is radically more regressive than even that of President Bush - it delivers 58% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of American taxpayers - it's no surprise Cindy the Beer Queen can expect a jaw-dropping payout.
But Cindy's winnings don't end there.
As both the financial crisis and his slump in the polls deepened, John McCain two weeks ago proposed slashing capital gains taxes (a halving from from 15% to 7.5%). Again, the gains from his scheme go overwhelmingly to the richest Americans (almost 60% of its benefits to families earning over $1 million a year), including his wife:
The McCains made $746,395 in capitals gains last year. A new analysis by Michael Ettlinger, Vice President for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, reveals that McCain's capital gains cut would have reduced the McCains' taxes by $55,980 in 2007.
And those dollars pale in comparison to what Cindy McCain would bank for tax year 2008. That's when Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev.
As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock. Amazingly, while Missouri's politicians of both parties lined up to try to block the sale, John McCain held a fundraiser in the Show Me State even as the In Bev deal was being finalized.
Two weeks ago, Joe the Plumber acknowledged his tax bill would drop under a President Obama:
So today, Joe, who said he makes much less than $250,000, reluctantly admitted Obama would lower his taxes.
"I would, if you believe him, I would be receiving his tax cuts," Wurzelbacher said.
And so it goes. As it turns out, John McCain doesn't have Joe the Plumber's economic interests at heart. Cindy the Beer Heiress is another matter. Apparently, charity really does begin at home.
(Crossposted at Perrspectives.)