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