The democratic party is generally considered the party of social responsibility. By this, I mean that democrats support welfare, social security, etc. Given this and all the press about candidates releasing their tax returns, I wondered what kind of charitable giving the candidates had. This makes sense, right? You would expect the socially responsible ones to have high giving percentages. The table below tells the tale...
|Year||AGI ($K)||Gifts (%)||AGI ($K)||Gifts (%)||AGI ($K)||Gifts (%)|
|2007*||20 400||14.7||4 140||5.8||387||27.3|
|2005||18 056||9.7||1 655||4.7||***||***|
** Married filing separately
*** Not released
I must commend the Clintons; they have a clear track record of charitable giving. I'm happy to write off 2002 as a fluke and besides, if you go even further back you will see some years at a whopping 50%! The Obamas, on the other hand, are less than impressive. The national average for giving is ~2.2% which is higher than the Obamas until the last few years. A campaign spokesperson, Bill Burton, said that they gave all that they could afford. What can you expect with a measly $250,000 income? I'm surprised they could eat! McCain only released his taxes (not his wife's) and only for the last 2 years. While the numbers are impressive, it is hard to really make anything from this little bit of data (especially since his wife is loaded).