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The Nation

The Cheneys Earned Over $4 Million


WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, paid $1.7 million in taxes last year on taxable income of $4.3 million, his office said Monday.

Their tax bill and income, while dwarfing that of President Bush and his wife, Laura, declined sharply from 2000, when he was chief executive officer of a Texas energy company.

The tax return was prepared by the Dallas office of the beleaguered accounting firm Andersen LLP.

The president and his wife reported a net taxable income of $711,453 for 2001 and paid $250,221 in federal income taxes, according to their joint tax return, which the White House made public on Friday.

The Cheneys' taxable income in 2001 was $4,356,625; their tax bill was $1,720,271.

The vice president's government salary was $174,475. According to his office, Cheney received nearly $1.6 million in bonus or deferred compensation from Halliburton Co., from which he resigned in August 2000. In addition, he received $1.4 million as a cash bonus based on the company's 2000 results and nearly $1.2 million from the exercise of stock options and deferred compensation stemming from the disposal of holdings and termination of relationships with companies on whose boards he served before becoming vice president.

"There are a lot of big numbers, but he's also paying big taxes," said Philip J. Holthouse, a partner in a Los Angeles accounting firm, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP.

The vice president's wife, who listed her occupation as "executive," reported income from the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy research organization for which she works in Washington, as well as compensation from Reader's Digest and American Express Mutual Funds, on whose boards she serves.

The Cheneys claimed itemized deductions of $48,483. His office did not make available his Schedule A, the form listing specific deductions. However, his statement said he and his wife made $79,275 in charitable deductions--more, Holthouse said, than they were permitted to claim in their overall itemization.

A hint of the Cheneys' net worth could be seen in their listing of $778,068 in tax-exempt interest. Holthouse said the vice president and his wife would have to hold $10 million to $12 million in municipal bonds to produce such interest.

They put $334,336 into a self-employed retirement plan and applied the $20,527 they had overpaid in withheld taxes last year to their 2002 return.

They reported paying $62,808 in Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Exactly how Cheney and his wife fared in the stock market could not be determined from the tax return.

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