Vice President Biden not so charitable according to tax returns. Should the #2 person in America donate more money to charity?

Michael 2009/04/16 04:26:14
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As candidate Barack Obama crisscrossed the country last year breaking campaign fundraising records, he was also taking in plenty of cash himself: almost $2.7 million, chiefly through blockbuster sales of his two books.

The $2.7 million figure comes from the tax return Obama and his wife, Michelle, signed on Sunday. The White House released the return Wednesday afternoon as millions of Americans raced to meet the April 15 income tax filing deadline. It shows the Obamas paid about $855,323 in taxes, or about 32 percent of their income.

Still, the $2.6 million in book royalties Obama earned in 2008, paled in comparison to the nearly $4.1 million his books pulled in during 2007, the year he launched his presidential bid. All in all, the couple’s income dropped 40 percent last year.

In the five years before Obama entered the Senate, the couple’s annual income hovered around $250,000. They also made very modest charitable contributions. In 2002, they gave just $1,050, or 0.4 percent of their income, to charity. The Obamas have said they were still paying off student loans during that period.

In 2005, the Obamas’ income shot up to almost $1.7 million, buoyed largely by sales of “Dreams From My Father,” a book he wrote tracing his upbringing and family history. The family’s finances were also boosted by Mrs. Obama’s employer, the University of Chicago, which raised her annual salary from $121,910 to $316,962.

The couple ramped up their charitable giving that year, too, doling out $77,315. When their income surged even more dramatically in 2007, they were generous, giving more than $240,000 to nonprofits, such as churches, food banks and scholarship funds.

Last year, the Obamas gave charities $172,050, or about 6.5 percent of their income. The largest individual gifts were $25,000 each to Catholic Relief Services and the United Negro College Fund.

However, they gave nothing at all to what used to be their regular place of worship, the Chicago-based Trinity United Church of Christ. They had given the church $26,270 in 2007. Fiery sermons and provocative statements from the church’s former chief minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, landed Obama in hot water while he was locked in a primary battle with Hillary Clinton early last year. Obama distanced himself from the pastor and ultimately quit the church.

Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill, also released their tax returns Wednesday showing total income of $269,256 in 2008. A statement from Biden’s office expressed some defensiveness about the $1,885 the couple donated to charity, going so far as to calculate the Bidens’ after-tax income, a figure which is not usually reported but which makes their donations seem more substantial. The Bidens’ donations last year came to 0.7 percent of their adjusted gross income — or about 1 percent of their take-home income of $183,315.

“The charitable donations claimed by the Bidens on their tax returns are not the sum of their annual contributions to charity. They donate to their church, and they contribute to their favorite causes with their time, as well as their checkbooks,” the statement from the vice president’s office said.
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  • G 2009/05/21 13:06:31
    I think if all of the politicians who care so much donated a bit to the cause we could be out of a recession easily.
  • HappyTime 2009/04/19 23:08:20
    No, it's his money, he should not feel compelled to donate
    How much Joe and his wife give to charity (and that includes whatever time and energy they "donate" too) is really their own business.

    I think 1 percent's a bit low ... but it'd be interesting to see how much others who have held the office donated too.

  • DaChief 2009/04/19 02:56:37
    Yes, I expect more from my Vice President
    Here's a narccistic liberal who stated it is our patriotic duty to pay more taxes. Hey Joe, lead by example.
  • Doc Rock 2009/04/18 05:12:23 (edited)
    No, it's his money, he should not feel compelled to donate
    Doc Rock
    He's also one of the poorest u.s. senators, relatively speaking, he's at the bottom. But I'd still rather be making what he is than what I am. Joe's a good guy. One of the few pols truly looking out for the middle class.
  • Disgusted 2009/04/18 03:00:25
    Does not surprise me!!! OMG most people don't CARE
  • TommyB 2009/04/17 01:55:43
    Yes, I expect more from my Vice President
    With Joe it's apparently "Do as I say not as I do." Granted its his money to do with as he wishes. It is a bit hypocritical though to claim to be a practicing Catholic and to be such a penny pincher with tithes and charitable offerings. Additionally, he seems to spend the taxpayers' money with abandon. Come'on Joe, loosen up your purse strings-It's your patriotic duty! taxpayers money abandon comeon joe loosen purse strings-its patriotic duty
  • Kenyon 2009/04/17 00:24:31
    No, it's his money, he should not feel compelled to donate
    It's his money he can do what he wants.
  • taj 2009/04/16 21:37:53
    Yes, I expect more from my Vice President
    ...especially since he thinks I should be forced to donate my money via taxes to causes I don't believe in!!
  • ctuagentdown 2009/04/16 15:32:27
    No, it's his money, he should not feel compelled to donate
    he doesn't owe anyone anything that would make him have to donate more
  • dzynrbob 2009/04/16 07:40:30
    No, it's his money, he should not feel compelled to donate
    Instead of using HIS money for compassion, he should raise your taxes and use YOUR money for compassion.

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