Bush forgets he owns a tree-growing company.Analysis
Bush's Timber Company
Kerry: The president got $84 from a timber company that owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney's counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right.
Bush: I own a timber company?
That's news to me.
Bush's Timber-Growing Company
Bush got a laugh when he scoffed at Kerry's contention that he had received $84 from "a timber company." Said Bush, "I own a timber company? That's news to me."
In fact, according to his 2003 financial disclosure form, Bush does own part interest in "LSTF, LLC", a limited-liability company organized "for the purpose of the production of trees for commercial sales." (See "supporting documents" at right.)
So Bush was wrong to suggest that he doesn't have ownership of a timber company. And Kerry was correct in saying that Bush's definition of "small business" is so broad that Bush himself would have qualified as a "small business" in 2001 by virtue of the $84 in business income.
Kerry got his information from an article we posted Sept. 23 stating that Bush on his 2001 federal income-tax returns "reported $84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise." We should clarify: the $84 in Schedule C income was from Bush's Lone Star Trust, which is actually described on the 2001 income-tax returns as an "oil and gas production" business. The Lone Star Trust now owns 50% of the tree-growing company, but didn't get into that business until two years after the $84 in question. So we should have described the $84 as coming from an "oil and gas" business in 2001, and will amend that in our earlier article.