Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Obama and Charity

I neglected to mention in my post on Obama and Wright that the Obamas were reported to have given $22,000 to their church (where Wright preaches). Forgetting for a second all that Wright has said, my initial thought about that was, "Cool. At least here's a guy who takes his faith seriously enough to put his money where his mouth is." I thought that was basically a tithe of his $200-300k income. Well, now Obama has released his tax returns. That $22k was in a year when his book came out and they made $1.6 million. So he's not exactly tithing--that would be a little over 1%. The Obamas total charitable giving that year was $77k, but that's still less than 5%. Their best two years (when the books came out) were the $1.6 million year in 2005 and $980k in 2006. Otherwise, the Obamas have made over $200,000 a year every year since 2000. But they haven't exactly been super-generous. In 2001 and 2002 they made over a quarter-million dollars a year and gave less than $1500 away total each year.

Once again, we see a limousine liberal who wants to give SOMEBODY ELSE'S money to help those less fortunate.

FOOTNOTE: Wonder when we'll get the Clinton's tax returns?


mbellison said...

come on, really? you're going to criticize Obama for *only* giving 77k in charity? wake me up when you want to have a serious discussion on which of the candidates would make the best president

Coach Sal said...

I have no problem with the 77k. Or the 60k the next year. It's just when I heard the $22k church figure during the Wright controversy, I thought, "Wow, he tithes, like me. That's nice." On the other hand, the $1050 in year 2000 on a $250k income seems a little stingy. I guess you could say that the pay cut he's taking as a public servant is a kind of charitable contribution. That's how I'd justify it if I were him.

As for who would make the best president, the one thing Obama had going for him in my book was how "different" he was. It sure wasn't experience, nor was it any agreement with me on any issues. I know that since you're liberal, his positions are a strength for you. But for me, the one strength he had was exposed as being smoke and mirrors by the Wright business. You know I'm being honest here--I was never on the McCain bandwagon, and have said nothing but favorable things about Obama (issues aside) all along. But now he seems to me to be an empty suit who gives a good speech. That can't be enough.

mbellison said...

Just because his pastor has made some comments with which many, including Barack Obama himself, disagree, and just because he didn't give as much money to charity as others might have doesn't make him an empty suit.

Philip Murphy said...

Do the other candidates tithe?

Sometimes, I deduct the amount of money I spent throughout the week on church activities from my contribution. Does Obama get to deduct the gazillions of pork barrel spending and/or further efforts to save federal hand outs? If so, I think he's got me beat.

Coach Sal said...

I'll bet none of them do. And so my drawing attention to it is probably a little bit of a cheap shot. But I was just relating my thought process... I heard he had given a big chunk, gave him credit for being a consistent big giver in my mind, and then was disappointed to find out that my initial assessment was off.

Goode Design said...

Yeah, I doubt any politician actually does anything more than act in a way to insure political clout.

sickening... distressing... just down right demeaning to the american people.

Anonymous said...

This is important because Obama is askin - NO TELLING - us that as certain class of people HAVE to part ways with their money so the GOVERNMENT can decide where to spend it. His "policies" make him sound so socially responsible. Is he really in comparison? (some of the numbers differ from the Coach's, but the net result is the same)

Try Googling "Found in a rundown Boston estate: Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango"

From 2000 through 2004, the Obama and his wife never gave more than $3,500 a year in charitable donations -- about 1 percent of their annual earnings. In 2005, however, that total jumped to $77,315 (4.7 percent of annual earnings), and to $60,307 in 2006 (6.1 percent). More than $27,000 total was given to Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ, whose former pastor Jeremiah Wright has dominated recent news coverage.

The Bidens reported giving $995 in charitable donations last year — about 0.3% of their income and the highest amount in the past decade. The low was $120 in 1999, about 0.1% of yearly income.

In 2006, Sarah and Todd Palin donated $4,250 to charity in cash/check donations and $630 in non-cash/check donations, for a total of $4,880. This is 3.3% of their adjusted gross income. In 2007, Sarah and Todd Palin donated
$2,500 to charity in cash/check donations and $825 in non-cash/check donations, for a total of $3,325. This is 1.5% of their adjusted gross income.

Senator McCain donates his royalties from his books to charitable organizations. This sum has totaled over $1,800,000 since 1998 when he signed his first book deal. Senator McCain's book income of $256,898 for 2006 and 2007 is comprised of earnings for Faith of My Fathers, Worth the Fighting For, Why Courage Matters, Character is Destiny, and Hard Call. In 2006, Senator and Mrs. McCain donated $129,390 from community assets to charity, of which Senator McCain's one-half allocation was $64,695. This is 19% of his adjusted gross income.In 2007, Senator and Mrs. McCain donated $210,933 from community assets to charity, of which Senator McCain's one-half allocation is $105,467. This
is 27.2% of his adjusted gross income for the year. Most of Senator McCain's contributions were made to the John and
Cindy McCain Family Foundation, which makes direct contributions to charities.