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Bushes Paid $207,307 In Federal Income Tax

Gross Earnings Reported at $784,219

By Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 16, 2005; Page A04

MENTOR, Ohio, April 15 -- President Bush and first lady Laura Bush paid $207,307 in federal income taxes on taxable income of $672,788 in 2004, according to the tax return released Friday by the White House.

The Bushes listed the president's $400,000 salary along with the investment income from trusts in which their assets are held, for an overall gross income of $784,219.


Friday's Question:
It was not until the early 20th century that the Senate enacted rules allowing members to end filibusters and unlimited debate. How many votes were required to invoke cloture when the Senate first adopted the rule in 1917?
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The couple, vocal advocates of volunteerism and the transforming power of targeted social service programs, reported contributing $77,785 to charitable organizations and churches in 2004. The recipients included St. John's Church near the White House; Evergreen Chapel at Camp David; the Salvation Army World Service Office; the American Red Cross; AmeriCares, an international relief organization; and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which does breast cancer research.

The Bushes deducted $22,158 in property taxes they paid on their 1,600-acre Crawford, Tex., ranch. They also deducted $2,186 in sales taxes under a law enacted last year allowing Americans to write off either sales taxes or state income tax.

The Bushes' tax bill was smaller than it was in 2003, when they reported paying $227,490 in taxes on an adjusted gross income of $822,126. In 2002, before the tax cuts the president proposed took effect, the Bushes paid $268,719 in taxes on income of $856,058.

Vice President Cheney and his wife, Lynne, reported paying $393,518 in taxes on earnings of $1,328,678 in 2004. During the course of 2004, the Cheneys paid $290,855 in taxes through withholding and estimated tax payments, and they paid another $102,663 when they filed their tax return yesterday, which was the tax-filing deadline.

The Cheneys' income included the vice president's $203,000 salary and $194,852 in deferred compensation from Halliburton Co., the Texas-based energy services firm and defense contractor that he headed until August 2000.

Before leaving Halliburton, a large military contractor in Iraq, Cheney chose to defer his 1999 salary as chief executive officer and have it paid to him, with interest, in fixed annual installments over five years after his retirement from the company.

That deal became "final and unalterable before Mr. Cheney left Halliburton," according to a statement released by the White House. "The amount of deferred compensation received by the vice president is fixed and is not affected in any way by Halliburton's current economic performance or earnings."

The vice president and his wife also reported Lynne Cheney's income from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, and her compensation for serving on the board of Readers Digest, a post she left in 2003.

The Cheneys donated $303,354 to charity in 2004, primarily from royalties from publishing company Simon & Schuster on Lynne Cheney's books, "America: A Patriotic Primer," "A Is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Woman" and "When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots."

The Cheneys also donated money earned from Halliburton stock options in accordance with an agreement they entered into before he took office in January 2001.

Bush used the occasion of Friday's deadline for filing tax returns to promote making the tax cuts passed during his administration permanent. "Tax relief helps small businesses. If you're interested in expanding jobs, one way to do so is to help small businesses," Bush told five local small-business owners the White House invited to sit with the president around a table at the Yours Truly Restaurant here. He said that if Congress allows the tax cuts to expire, "your taxes are going to go up."


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