Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Barack Obama's Tax Returns: He's Not Tithing

Summary of Barack Obama's Income Taxes, 2000 - 2006

According to Law Professor Paul Caron: What is surprising, given the recent controversy over Obama's membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ, is how little the Obamas apparently gave to charity -- well short of the biblical 10% tithe for all seven years. In two of the years, the Obamas gave far less than 1% of their income to charity; in three of the years, they gave around 1% of their income to charity. Only in the last two years have they given substantially more as their income skyrocketed -- 4.7% in 2005 and 6.1% in 2006. (Of course, it is possible that the Obamas may have made gifts to other worthy causes that were not deductible for federal income tax purposes.)

Comment 1: In 2002, when the Obama's income of $259,000 put them close to being in the top 1% of the richest Americans ($285,000 was the dollar cut-off for the top 1%, so they were certainly probably in the top 2%), they were giving only $20 per week to charity!

According to the Washington Post, "Like Clinton, Barack Obama favors expanding the government's role in delivering health care, and would pay for that by ending President Bush's tax cuts for the rich."

Comment 2: Obama's income in recent years puts him in the top 1% of the richest Americans. If he wants to end "tax cuts for the rich," he clearly wants to end tax cuts for those Americans in his own income group, the top 1%. If Obama really supports ending tax cuts for the rich, he doesn't have to wait for the Bush tax cuts to expire, he can file his own 2007 taxes at the Clinton tax rates before the tax cuts went into effect. Here is the tax schedule for 2000 under Clinton:
(HT: Club for Growth)

Update: According to IRS guidelines, churches are qualified charitable organizations that can receive deductible contributions. Any contributions the Obamas made to their church would be tax-deductible and would be included in their "charitable gifts" reported to the IRS. Any contributions they made to other worthy causes would NOT include contributions to their church.

20 Comments:

At 3/26/2008 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If Obama really supports ending tax cuts for the rich, he doesn't have to wait for the Bush tax cuts to expire, he can file his own 2007 taxes at the Clinton tax rates before the tax cuts went into effect."

Wow, that's brilliant Mark.

Are you also saying that a pro-tax cut candidate doesn't have to wait for official tax cuts, he can file his own 2007 tax rates at the 1913 rate?

 
At 3/26/2008 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, it is possible that the Obamas may have made gifts to other worthy causes that were not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Oh I get it lets lynch Obama and then get all the facts (if we have time.)

You don't even know what the true picture of his tithing is and you condemn him for not tithing?

That says more about you than him.

 
At 3/26/2008 8:54 AM, Anonymous Is said...

Anon @ 8:07

That is not how it works. You can send more money to the US Government than you owe. The Treasury will accept it. You cannot send less. That was obviously over your head.


Anon @8:10

Can we quit frivilously throwing around the term "lynch" for any criticism of Mr. Obama? Yes, we do have a true picture of his TITHING, as tithes are tax deductible. You need to think about the meaning of "not deductible" before you claim we don't have a picture of how much he gives to his church. That being said, I could care less if the candidate tithes. In the case of Mr. Obama's church, I would prefer he not give any.

 
At 3/26/2008 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IS said...

That was obviously over your head.

IS I hope you are joking because if you aren't I feel genuine sorrow for you and your family.

 
At 3/26/2008 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Obama does with his money is his business but it's not too surprising that he gives little to charity. Libs want to be charitable with other people's money (= high taxes). By contrast, evidence shows that conservatives are more generous with their own money, at least what's left of it after compassionate libs take a big chunk of it.

Wasn't there a similar dust up about Al Gore several years ago?

 
At 3/26/2008 10:11 AM, Blogger Marko said...

I wonder if St. Obama will say he didn't give much to his church because of all the hate speech that he disagreed with?

Also, I can't help wondering why his income went way up when he became a senator. Is that his wife's income or something?

I also agree that you can't characterize any critisism of Saint Obama as a lynching, it lessons the real and horrible experiance of those that were actually lynched. At least save the hyperbole for when someone critisizes him for his race.

 
At 3/26/2008 10:42 AM, Anonymous The Masked Millionaire said...

Gee another politician that says one thing and does another. What a suprise. Who would have guessed?

The Masked Millionaire
www.TheMaskedMillionaire.com

 
At 3/26/2008 10:50 AM, Blogger John B. said...

Gimme a f**king break. Is there no aspect of a candidate's life that isn't open to some subjective commentary about his fitness to serve? Is there any aspect of his ideology, record and experience that is even remotely interesting to the nit-pickers?

 
At 3/26/2008 12:07 PM, Anonymous fred said...

Yikes! Attack of the Obamaniacs!

 
At 3/26/2008 2:03 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Also, I can't help wondering why his income went way up when he became a senator. Is that his wife's income or something?

She did get a massive boost in her salary, and shortly after that, her employer got a big "gift" of federal monies via pork.(Yes, this has already been reported, here or elsewhere, I forget. Probably you can find reference via search on "hospital" and "michelle obama salary", IIRC)

This, BTW, is what is called "how Congress works" in casual parlance.

 
At 3/26/2008 2:12 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Gimme a f**king break. Is there no aspect of a candidate's life that isn't open to some subjective commentary about his fitness to serve? Is there any aspect of his ideology, record and experience that is even remotely interesting to the nit-pickers?

Look, when someone is claiming "people don't give enough", and demanding the power to use government resources to force people to "give" to pet causes (which they oh-so-conveniently wind up having control over), BUT are themselves not particularly "giving", then YES, it's worthy of scrutiny, you NIT!

Yeesh.

Evidence suggesting Obama's "lack of charity" is certainly relevant to just how much of a flat-out, two-faced hypocrite he is.

You don't think that's relevant? Good for you. I do, and so do many others. We don't expect a lot of integrity from our politicos, but we'd like to find as much as possible. It's certainly a "selling point" for some voters.

I may not agree with Joe Lieberman on a lot, but I'd probably vote for the SOB regardless. He's actually got principles, something most Dems and Lefties place no value on, and something which I'll grant is rare (at least to the level he does have them) in politicians of every stripe.

 
At 3/27/2008 5:36 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well maybe a lynching of Obama is on tap due to the hypocrisy and lies of Obama...

BTW who but a liar and a fool would suggest the following: Global Poverty Act (S.2433)?

 
At 3/28/2008 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re my previous comment:

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

And re a dust up about Gore's giving:

In 2000, brows were furrowed in perplexity because Vice President Al Gore's charitable contributions, as a percentage of his income, were below the national average: He gave 0.2 percent of his family income, one-seventh of the average for donating households. But Gore "gave at the office." By using public office to give other peoples' money to government programs, he was being charitable, as liberals increasingly, and conveniently, understand that word.

Source: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/GeorgeWill/2008/03/27/conservatives_really_are_more_compassionate?page=full&comments=true

 
At 4/04/2008 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Around $50K per year, I have been making far less than the Obama and I have contributed more than 1% or over $20 per week. Obama is all talk. He also have an oversea tax shelter. He doesn't put his money where his mouth is.

 
At 4/04/2008 7:33 PM, Blogger englishprof said...

If you look at the CLINTON's income tax, you'll see that they, unlike the Obamas, DO TITHE. They gave 9.5% of their income to charity and paid one third in taxes, which means they did not take advantage of some loopholes they could have. Instead they elected to pay at the rate ordinary Americans must pay. They put their money where their mouth is.

 
At 4/04/2008 7:33 PM, Blogger englishprof said...

If you look at the CLINTON's income tax, you'll see that they, unlike the Obamas, DO TITHE. They gave 9.5% of their income to charity and paid one third in taxes, which means they did not take advantage of some loopholes they could have. Instead they elected to pay at the rate ordinary Americans must pay. They put their money where their mouth is.

 
At 4/04/2008 7:34 PM, Blogger englishprof said...

If you look at the CLINTON's income tax, you'll see that they, unlike the Obamas, DO TITHE. They gave 9.5% of their income to charity and paid one third in taxes, which means they did not take advantage of some loopholes they could have. Instead they elected to pay at the rate ordinary Americans must pay. They put their money where their mouth is.

 
At 10/04/2008 10:43 AM, Blogger Kansas Bob said...

I know that I am late on this but I found this tithing stat on the McCain website interesting:

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.

 
At 12/31/2008 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found an article that listed above quoted rate of charitable giving of the Palins. Should have checked the math--3.8% and 2% respectively. This does not qualify them in my book, as tithing, which = 10% to the Church. Other giving above that is "charity." Many Christian Americans exceed 10% every year, to their church plus they give much beyond that.

Obama's "sudden" influx of income was from the sale of his recent book.

If you look at what the Obama's gave, very little went to their church, 0.3% in 2006, the year he earned 1.6 Million from book royalties and 2.2% in 2005. In 2004 when their income was more normal--%207,000 (for them) they gave 1.2%, can't tell if any went to the church. And no, I do not consider "the Congressional Black Caucus" part of a "tithe." CARE is a charity--fine, but secular and there are similar Christian charities. Interesting to ask why a "devout Christian" gave to so much ($15K) to a secular charity.

Common things to do--check out the tax returns for yourself--Google makes it easy and do your own math.

 
At 12/17/2009 11:45 AM, Blogger Melanie said...

Did it ever occur to you that Mr. Obama simply chose NOT to take the deduction for his tithes or charitable contributions? Deductions aren't mandatory, only permissible, so his tax returns don't provide a true picture of anything except what he CHOSE to deduct. Further, some believe that in order for a tithe or charitable gift to be truly from the heart, they themselves should not obtain any monetary benefit from the gift--in the form of a tax deduction or otherwise.

 

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