By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 16, 2008
President Bush's financial fortunes appear to have declined over the past seven years, with his family assets dropping as low as $6.5 million, according to disclosure forms released yesterday.
Bush and his wife, Laura, were worth at least $9 million and as much as $24 million at the start of his term. The Bushes could still be worth as much as $20 million now, according to the financial documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics, which requires assets to be reported only within broad ranges.
Vice President Cheney and his wife, Lynne, have fared better, reporting assets of at least $21 million and as much as $99 million, the forms show. The Cheneys are at least as wealthy as they were when the vice president entered office, and may have added as much as $29 million to their net worth during his tenure.
President Bush's biggest asset is a 1,600-acre family ranch near Crawford, Tex., which is listed as being worth between $1 million and $5 million. Most of the Bush family holdings are in real estate and a blind trust.
Last year, Bush reported assets of a minimum of $7.5 million.
The forms show that Bush and Cheney both received a variety of gifts last year, mostly related to outdoor activities. Among the gifts Bush kept were a $6,160 bicycle given to him by a Wisconsin bike manufacturer, custom Hawaiian shirts and fly-fishing equipment.
Cheney received a two-day vacation and a book on duck calls from the Greenbriar Lodge of Carlisle, Ark., valued at $1,600. He also received an $801 gift package from the Fox television show "24," including director's chairs, coffee mugs and DVDs.
The annual financial disclosure forms filed with the ethics office report assets and income figures in wide categories, making it impossible to determine exact figures on wealth. Tax forms released last month, however, showed 2007 income of $924,000 for the Bushes and $3 million for the Cheneys.