Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 30, 2008

A Few Notes On Senator McCain's Finances

He's got some credit card bills! According to

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife reported more than $100,000 of credit card liabilities, according to financial disclosure documents released Friday.

The presidential candidate and his wife Cindy reported piling up debt on a charge card between $10,000 and $15,000. His wife’s solo charge card has between $100,000 and $250,000 in debt to American Express.

McCain's wife also has a second American Express charge card listed on the senator's financial disclosure that was carrying $100,000 to $250,000 in debt.

Another charge card with American Express, this one for a “dependent child,” is carrying debt in the range of $15,000 and $50,000.

There's more from the Huffingtonpost. Keep in mind that this is the race where the Democrat is being portrayed as the arrogant elite while the Republican is being portrayed as the maverick independent. From Huffington:

But not all credit card debts are created equal. In fact, according to a prior disclosure form filed in May that was provided to The Huffington Post, a significant amount of the McCains' credit card debt is being held by American Express at an interest rate of zero percent -- making their debt a lot less like the costly credit card pitfalls facing many Americans and a lot more like the big sweetheart loans that can get national political figures in hot water. (Sen. Barack Obama's first choice to head up his vice presidential search committee resigned this week after a controversy emerged over a favorable mortgage he received from Countrywide, a key player in the current housing crisis.)

Zero-percent credit card interest rates are not exclusively for the rich or well-connected, of course. But the most common offers of that kind are often capped at a few-thousand dollars and shed their zero percent rate after six to nine months.

According to the May 15, 2008 disclosure form, though, during 2007 Cindy McCain originated an individual debt of between $250,000 and $500,000 with a zero-percent interest AmEx that was still not paid off by the time of the time of that filing.

According to the same article at the

Democratic candidate, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), reported no liabilities in his annual financial disclosures.

Gee, I wish I could go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to American Express (at zero percent interest), wouldn't you?

The rules are just different for the wealthy. Take a look at this interesting tidbit from the weekend. Remember all the trouble George H.W. Bush got into years ago when he didn't know the price of a loaf of bread? He looked out of touch (and he was). Take a look at this:

MARTIN WISCKOL: I’d like to ask you a couple questions suggested by voters here. They’re not reporter-type questions.

JOHN MCCAIN: Sure. It’d be a pleasure.

MARTIN WISCKOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?

JOHN MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.

I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. I communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.

How much MORE out of touch could someone be? He's got tens of thousands of dollars in debt at zero interest and he can't remember the last time he pumped his own gas or how much it cost when he did.


Anonymous said...

John K: Ahh when was the last time you (fill in the blank) or bought a loaf of bread and milk (fill in the blank) The usual left wing media gotcha question that has no relevance to anything. But it does make the left wingers feel like they are slamming someone. Got a phony poll to go along with the question? By the way I have no idea of the price of milk or bread and while I pumped my gas just a few days ago, could not tell you the actual price. Must be a wealthy Republican elitist eh?

Anonymous said...

If the shoe fits...

Anonymous said...

KGC says...

Yawn. The McCains, especially Cindy, are worth at least $100M or more, so having a credit card balance of, say, $50,000 is nothing. There is no sense of proportionality or time-line in this story (one-time? a carryover balance?). I guarantee they are purchasing discount furniture at IKEA, glassware at WalMart or Elvis portraits on eBay. Their tastes are definitely higher than most of anyone of us can imagine. So? Doesn't bother me.

Let's see.. when I made about $75,000 in consulting income (income, excluding travel expenses) a few years ago, my credit cards averaged $15-$20,000 per month for travel expenses for several months in a row... M&A work for a publicly-held Company is expensive and time critical. I would sometimes take 4 flights in one day (Pittsburgh-Boston-Atlanta-Jackson, MS) for one day and return to Pittsburgh the next day (Jackson-Atlanta-Pittsburgh)... or get called at 5PM and told - Be on the 8am to Dallas tomorrow and buy 1st Class. My clients paid my bills on demand and I paid my bills in full every month. Even today, my credit card bills are $3,000-$4,000 per month.. paid in full each month. BFD. And, I'm not worth anywhere near $100M.

Anonymous said...

KGC says..

That should be..
I guarantee they are NOT purchasing discount furniture at IKEA, glassware at WalMart or Elvis portraits on eBay.

Anonymous said...

Almost no candidate, Democrat or Republican, can answer these sorts of queries. It's too bad, but it's true.

But you have to look at this historically, to get a little perspective.

Guys like FDR and JFK were immensely wealthy and part of the social elite...yet they found a way to understand the common man.

Nixon wasn't in their class, yet he was a total dipshit.

I guess my point is; money does not make the man...or woman.

Is McCain out of touch with Joe the Plumber? You bet. Obama may be as well.

But what separates them is the deep-seated philosophy which underlies their beliefs; the GOP talks about bootstrapping, but legislates for the rich, while the Democratic party talks about helping people...and really acts on that belief.


Anonymous said...

John K: 6 of the top 10 richest Senators are Democrats. Do you think Sen. Kerry knows the price of a hunting license in Ohio? And of course we have Dodd and Conrad who got special deals with Countrywide Home Loans. Gee those Democrat finances are not looking too good. How is Rep. Jefferson (D-La) doing these days with his cold cash?

Anonymous said...

John K: Democrats help people? You mean like creating drop out factories in inner city schools ie Pittsburgh? Or perhaps turning neighborhoods into drug markets via sec 8 housing? Or even New Orleans? Those Democrats really helped out those folks. Let them all hang out while the hurricane hit and the Mayor partied in the upper floors of a Hotel and the Police Chief was nowhere to be seen. I love it. LOL LOL

EdHeath said...

This is one of those issues I would be inclined to give John McCain a pass on. His campaign was out of money a few months ago, and he may well have carried it on his credit cards for a while.

As for pumping his own gas politicians at his level are in fact probably driven around everywhere. A few politicians, like Michael Dukakis, chose to live more simply, but most at that level obtain at least some of the trappings of power. And as people say, McCain can afford it. On the other hand, he’s seventy-something and maybe can’t remember the last time he pumped his own gas. And that does scare me.

Anonymous said...

John K: Look at Heath. Being a bigot when it comes to age. Good thing Oberfuhrer Olbermann did not hear this. LOL LOL Bigotry resides well within the ranks of the Democratic Party.

Anonymous said...

John, the doctor's office called. They are concerned about your moving further and further from reality. Please call them back as soon as become conscious again.

Justin said...

I last pumped my own gas on Saturday, which cost me exactly $3.679 per gallon. Gotta love fuelperks at GetGo. At any rate, I pumped just under 8 gallons and got about 39.1 mpg on that tank of gas in my non-hybrid, automatic transmission car.

All off the top of my head. Why is that so hard? And no, Obama probably couldn't answer that either.

Ol' Froth said...

I also have an American Express Card with 0% interest. Amex cards are not revolving credit cards like most cards. Just gotta pay the balance every month that's all.

Anonymous said...

You're right. John McCain knows nothing about being an American. Especially not the pain of torture for refusing to provide information that could lead to the death of fellow Americans. And he certainly doesn't have the resolve to refuse special treatment and early release when being held in a POW camp...

Please! This guy is a war veteran and a survivor of a North Vietnam POW camp, where they don't follow Geneva Convention. He's been through enough to make the average American crawl into a corner and cry themselves to death. In order to defend another human being's liberties, most Americans would go as far as to... I dunno. Buy a bumpersticker, maybe? If it's conveniently on the way to their next meaningless errand. Just look at Iraq. Every single person who has never been there is opposed to the war. More than ninety percent of the people who have, say we're doing a good thing there. But it's not our war? That's right, and I guess there's none of our fellow man over there either. John McCain has gone overseas, fought for not just fellow Americans, but his fellow man, been tortured for it --and by torture I mean real pain, not being pranced around naked in some prison-- and come home to a thankless country. So, ask again, why a company like American Express might look at John McCain and say- "This guy might deserve a little something special." And ask again, why do you think you've got the right to criticize this man? You haven't earned that right! Barrack Obama hasn't earned that right!

John McCain is a true American, and I mean the old school true American, not this new ideal of Americanism created by the Democrats that is willing to change any part of our country to become 'less offensive'. Well that offends me. I'm offended that I have to press 2 for English, cause if it was 2 for Spanish, the Mexicans might be offended. I'm offended that since I don't live below the poverty line and am not in the "upper class" income bracket, I have to work harder than anyone else for a loan, a grant, or a scholarship. I'm offended that more of my tax money will go to welfare recipients who do not have any plans to gain employment than towards paying teachers, police officers, and firefighters. I'm offended the Patriot Acts is constantly under fire because I don't plan terrorist attacks and I would like to see those who do captured, even if it means listening to their phone calls. I'm offended that the right to bare arms is under attack, because if guns are made illegal, the only people that will have them are the criminals- and that means I can't defend myself or my family. And I'm offended that we must seperate God from our culture to be less offensive.

Speaking of God, let's look at Barrack Obama's religious advisor... Do I need to even say anything there? Also, let's look at how American Barrack Obama is... Well, the fact of the matter is according to owner, Andy Martin, Barrack Obama is also a Kenyan citizen and has never moved to denounce his Kenyan citizenship (ref: The fact of the matter is, I am completely frightened by the fact that he might win this election. I am a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the American people scare me more than the terrorists because the American people might be so determined to prove racial equality that they might elect the wrong candidate. Don't get me wrong, I'm not racist at all. Race doesn't matter. What matters is the qualifications and moral character of the person elected. And looking at both candidates, I just can't see how a Vietnam veteran who embodied the U.S. militaries Article IV, Code of Conduct could lose the presidential election to Barrack Obama.

By the way, if you think equal rights is not an issue of concern for the Republican party (the party as a whole), then answer this question; What party was Abrham Lincoln a member of and what Proclamation did he enact during his presidency?

Justin said...

Big rant, one problem.

McCain is in favor of torture to extract information. McCain was tortured. What information did he give up when he was tortured and why hasn't he been punished for it?

If he didn't give up information, doesn't that provide a very inconvenient counterexample for him?

Anonymous said...

If you're going to claim McCain is in favor of torture, provide a reference.

Justin said...

'Kay. It's true that he's said things about not liking torture, but his voting record belies those statements.

He voted against H.R. 2082, which contained provisions that would ban waterboarding. And when the bill passed anyway without him, he said that the president should veto it.

Basically, he's saying one thing, and voting another way. Trying to have it both ways. Trying to have his cake and eat it too. (Or, flip-flopping, if you prefer stupid terminology like that.)

I'm sure you'll come back with an example of Obama doing something similar. I wouldn't doubt that he has. Still doesn't make it okay.

Anonymous said...

Another thing, Justin- to address your military expertise- you're right. If John McCain provided any information to the enemy, he should be brought up on charges and jailed right now. While we're at it, let's jail every other POW because they may have provided intelligence of one sort or another to the enemy. The answer is, a POW is required to withhold all information except name, rank, and serial number for 24 hours. This provided the opportunity for his brothers in arms to change challenges and passwords and adjust fire for information that may have been compromised. McCain provided no intelligence to the enemy. Yes, this is a counterexample. Or it would be if we were fighting a well discplined, uniformed enemy and if we were conducting the same torture operations as the enemy. Most of the "torture" conducted by the interrogators consists of sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, and other operations to throw the detainee off balance. Since the scandal at Abu Ghurayb, which had nothing to do with interrogation as nobody can name the interrogator that gave the order to humiliate the detainees, the intelligence community has been so scrutinized by members of the Democratic party, that they have tied our hands on what we can and can not do. Apparently treating somebody who is trying to kill you humanely and with the utmost respect is more important than gaining intelligence that could potentially save lives. You have to realize that many POWs, as brave as they were and as much as they held out and as much as I respect them, did provide intelligence to the enemy, because only a small percentage of men can hold out against the pain and chaos. Many POWs during Vietnam signed confessions and participated in anti-American propoganda. Of course you'd like to see them jailed, but the bottom line is these men didn't do anything wrong. What they did was in the interest of self-preservation. They simply couldn't hold out any longer. At any rate, the issue is not to torture every person detained. It's to provide the option to the interrogator. If the interrogator feels that this person is motivated to avoid pain, then even the threat of torture may be all that is required.

Bottom line, I bet you could think of at least one person who would tell you whatever you wanted to hear if you put some gloves on 'em for five minutes.

Anonymous said...

You can not like something and find it potentially necessary at the same time. It's often referred to as necessary evil. Soldiers don't "like" killing, but it's sometimes necessary during times of war. Necessary evil.

Justin said...

Firstly, I was being facetious about the punishment. I realize there are safeguards against POWs giving up information and the like. There has to be; it would be idiotic to run a campaign otherwise.

If you were truly committed to a cause, wouldn't your first option, though, if you were imprisoned, to give false information so that you don't give away real intel and the "interrogation" stops?

Lastly, you know, it's funny that McCain supporters are just now realizing that nuance exists. It wasn't all that long ago that "nuance" was synonymous with "he himself doesn't even know what he stands for".

I suspect that you're right, and that McCain has no interest in supporting torture. He of all people should know what it's like and he probably wouldn't wish that on...well, maybe he would, with that temper, but my point is that he probably isn't in favor of it. I have a big problem with people, though, when they vote in ways that oppose their own feelings on a subject. I know, it's politics, but I don't care. I don't like it.

Anonymous said...

Justin, did you read anything I just wrote? McCain more than likely didn't vote against the bill to ban waterboarding for political reasons. He probably voted against it because he know that every now and then, you find a situation where it could be used to obtain information that could potentially save the lives of American soldiers. And interrogators are trained to figure out when they are in those situations and not just torture anybody who ends up in their prison. Military intelligence and CIA interrogators are trained to detect deception. Another thing, if you give false information, it doesn't make the interrogations stop. If makes them go back to their office and analyze what you told them. They look for corroborating statements and contradicting details and find out where the lies are and get you caught up in them until finally, they figure out the truth. Getting you talking is the biggest part.

Justin said...

I read everything you just wrote. I just disagree with it. That's not that hard to understand, is it?