Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush released 1,150 pages of tax records today, stretching back 33 years and continuing Bush’s effort to offer new levels of transparency as a presidential candidate.
Bush’s effective tax rate was 36% over the course of these years – in the most recent tax year available, it was over 40%. The documents reveal that Bush has made a significant amount of income from speeches, including a peak of $2.1 million in 2011. His average speech income since leaving office was $1.1 million per year, at a rate of about $40,000 for each domestic speech. In that time he has donated $739,511 to charity and raised millions for other non-profits.
“I made less than Chelsea Clinton,” Jeb Bush said. “That’s 15 yards and a loss of down.”
Bush expressed wry disappointment at the idea that he didn’t merit the pay of Chelsea Clinton, who reportedly received $65,000 for an appearance at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
“I’m not even on the third team of the Clintons,” Bush said.
Bush’s investments did include an investment account set up outside the U.S. It represented less than 2% of Bush’s passive investment account, which is managed by Suntrust. Bush lost money overall on his investment.
“I didn’t approve any of the investments, but they managed it for me,” Bush said, noting that these investments were appropriately taxed.
Bush’s primary source of income came via his consulting effort and paid speeches. He also sat on several for-profit boards at varying points from 2007-2014 including Cormatrix, Rayonier, Swisher Hygiene, Tenet Healthcare, Empower Software Holdings, and Geo Fossil Fuels LLC. His net worth is around $19-22 million.
According to the Bush campaign, “The vast majority of Gov. Bush’s income from JBA came from Barclays and paid speeches. He also had clients such as Academic Partnerships Clinical Medical Services, Planetary Resources, and All-Med. None of the other JBA clients were foreign companies nor did any of his consulting engagements involve lobbying the government.”
Bush’s transparency effort, along with his release of a vast trove of email records from his tenure as Florida’s governor, is in part an effort to avoid the pitfalls Mitt Romney experienced in 2012 as a candidate, when questions about offshore accounts, investments, and partnerships dogged him throughout the campaign.
You can read Jeb Bush’s returns here, and a list of his speeches below.