Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Who really cares for the less fortunate. Big government liberals or generous small government conservatives?

There's a lot made over the release of Mitt Romney's tax returns. It shows not only his taxable income but also his charitable giving. It's interesting seeing what the various presidential candidates and incumbents have done with their money.
So what were the headlines? He raked in about $42 million in 2010 and 2011. His effective tax rate was just below 14 percent, lower than that for many American taxpayers. He paid $6.2 million to the taxman and donated a staggering $7 million to charity, including $4.1 million to the Mormon church.

OK, so Mormons are supposed to tithe 10 percent of their income. But it's to Romney's immense credit that he promised to do this in his youth and followed through with that - to the tune of scores of millions (maybe hundreds of millions) of dollars throughout his life.

In fact, in those two years, he paid 16 percent of his income to charity, compared to, er, 2.6 percent by Newt Gingrich.

And what about President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the run-up to their 2008 campaign?

USA Today broke it down here. In 2007, the Obamas gave more than $240,000 to charity, about 5.7 percent of their income. The Bidens gave an average of $369 to charity a year for the decade before he moved to the Naval Observatory - about 0.3 percent of their income. Back in 1997, then veep Al Gore and his then wife Tipper gave $353.

Since becoming veep, Biden hasn't become much more generous. In 2010, he gave $5,350, about 1.4 percent of income. That same year, Romney gave some $3 million. The national average is about three percent.
What's interesting is how much they give to charity. Romney's gifts to charity in 2010 and 2011 were 13.73% and 14.11% respectively.

President Obama made $1.2 million from 2000 to 2004. He gave $10,772 to charity during that time period. Less than 1%. In 2005 and 2006, he earned $2.6 million over the two years. His charitable gifts were $137,622 or less than 5%.

Gingrich gave 2.6% over 2010 and 2011.

Biden gave 1.4% in 2010.

I realize the liberal litmus test for caring for others is how much one is willing to spend other people's money on the less fortunate and poor. But wouldn't a better indicator be what one does with one's own money?

No comments: