Clown nose off. Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart is fortunate that it takes no moral authority to tell snide jokes on a fake news show. Stewart often mocks Mitt Romney for his wealth, but the Daily Caller took a look at Stewart’s finances and found little room for him to mock any so-called one-percenter. Stewart literally makes more money per day than millions of Americans make in a year, about $41,000 per day. That adds up to $15 million per year. By the time he reaches retirement age, Stewart could have a fortune worth $320 million. He also owns three mansions with a combined worth of $12.8 million.
Aside from his middle class pose, here’s nothing wrong with any of that. If corporate giant Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, wants to shell out that much money to Stewart that’s up to them. Stewart, though, while criticizing the rich behaves just like they do, even hiding his homes behind trusts.
He doesn’t technically own those homes: Using a trick mastered by countless one-percenters, the properties were purchased by private trusts. Stewart’s trusts are named after his pets.
The super-wealthy often make big-ticket purchases through trusts in order to protect their other assets from lawsuits, diminish estate tax liability, and avoid public scrutiny.
The satirist started his real estate empire in 2005 when The Stanley Monkey Trust — named after his cat Stanley and one of his pit bull terriers, Monkey — purchased a two-story Manhattan penthouse for $5.8 million.
That deluxe apartment in the sky spans 6,000-square-feet and has 40 windows, a 600-foot terrace, and a 1,200-foot private roof, the New York Observer reported in 2005.
Another legal entity, The Shamsky Monkey Trust, purchased two more houses in 2009 and 2010. (Shamsky, named after 1969 “Miracle Mets” outfielder Art Shamsky, is Stewart’s other pit bull terrier.)
The lakefront mansions Stewart bought in 2009 and 2010 are in Red Bank, New Jersey. They cost him $3,800,000 and $3,200,000 and — for reasons TheDC was unable to determine — are next door to one another.
In the eyes of the law, Stewart is a minor league “tax delinquent.”
The New York Department of State issued liens against him and his wife in 2007 and 2008 for not paying their taxes in full, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller that refer to the Stewarts as “tax delinquents.”
The Empire State issued its first “state tax warrant” for the couple’s failure to pay $476.03, sending the notice to the address of the KLS Professional Advisors Group, the financial firm that manages Stewart’s money.
New York issued a second lien in September 2008, this time a $3,225.63 demand to Stewart’s wife Tracey — erroneously spelled “Tracy” but sent to the address of the Stewarts’ trusts.
A representative for Stewart declined to comment for this report.
Yet Stewart has been quick to offer comment on Mitt Romney’s tax rate.