He may not be as rich as Carly Florina or Hillary Clinton, but Jeb Bush has done quite well for himself since leaving government nine years ago. And before then as well.
The former Florida Governor posted the past 33 years of tax returns on his website on Tuesday afternoon, a total of 1,150 pages. It’s considered to be the highest number of tax returns ever presented to the American public, more than the 30 years of returns that Bob Dole presented 20 years ago when he ran for president.
Bush says his total net worth is between $19 million and $22 million, which is considered less than Hillary Clinton, who has reported earning $25 million with her husband in speaking fees over a recent 16-month period. It also pales next to the wealthiest candidate in the 2016 race, former business executive Carly Fiorina, who declared earlier this month that she is worth $59 million.
Abraham N.M. Shashy, Jr., a former chief counsel for the Internal Revenue Service, says on the Bush website that the former Florida governor’s “effective” federal tax rate was 36 percent over more than three decades of earnings. The Wall Street Journal reports that the top 1 percent of U.S. earners last year paid an effective rate of 33%.
“Today’s release comes in the same spirit because most of my adult life has been spent in the private sector – not in government,” Bush writes on his website. “This release will show voters how I earned a living over the past three decades and how much of that living I had to give back to Uncle Sam. (Spoiler Alert: A LOT).”
The move by Bush puts pressure not only on Hillary Clinton regarding the transparency issue, but also on his fellow Republican candidates such as Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. And it takes off the table some of the issues that Mitt Romney had about what was in his tax returns four years ago, when he steadfastly refused for months to release any financial information before succumbing to the demands of the news media and the public.