- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 16, 2006


It’s good to be president, not the least because it inspires rock stars and others to buy you presents such as $1,800 suits, $900 poker sets, $350 chain saws and $5,500 bikes.

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday released the financial-disclosure forms that they are required by law to file every year. They offer a broad portrait of both men’s not-insignificant wealth, showing Mr. Bush to possess a relatively safe portfolio, with much of his money locked up in real estate and rock-solid investments in government Treasury notes, while Mr. Cheney has a more diverse spread of assets.

Among the awkward vagaries of being in high public office is that the forms reveal how much each spent on the other for Christmas. Last year, for instance, Mr. Cheney presented Mr. Bush with a $400 pair of binoculars, while the president bought his second-in-command a $338 hammock on a steel frame.

Because federal ethics law allows officials to list the values of their assets in wide ranges, it is not clear whether either Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney are wealthier than they were a year ago. The forms appear to suggest little substantial change.

The disclosure said Mr. Bush’s 1,583-acre central Texas ranch was worth between $1 million and $5 million. The president also reported having at least $3.95 million in Treasury notes, $945,000 in certificates of deposits, $153,000 in checking and money market accounts and at least $1 million in investments held in a blind trust.

Mr. Cheney listed holdings including at least $10.5 million in tax-exempt bond funds, $3.6 million in stock and equity funds, $1.1 million in stock options, $2.5 million in retirement accounts and $1.3 million in checking and money-market accounts. He also reported owning undeveloped property in suburban McLean worth between $1 million and $5 million.

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