Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Tax Day!

The Vice President and his wife have released their 2009 tax returns. They had an adjusted gross income of $333,182 and gave $4,820 in cash and in-kind donations to charity. That's 1.4% of their adjusted gross income. It's actually worse than that because your adjusted gross income is AFTER deductions, like charitable giving. It's very reasonable to estimate that they gave less than 1% of their gross income to charity.

(The Obamas made $5.5 million and donated less than 6% of that to charity, not including his Nobel Prize which he also donated.)

I'm too lazy to look it up but I think there was a kerfuffle about this last year and the Bidens got all huffy and talked about the things that they "do" for charity. And maybe they do (it would be likely, considering his position, that they do charitable things whether they want to or not). If I were a Biden, though, I would darn sure give a lot more when I know that my tax returns are going to be made public. They must REALLY not want to give.

But here is the thing. I'm SO sick and tired of the right being portrayed as greedy and the left as so kind and generous. I know a LOT of people who don't make anywhere near what even the Bidens made (including my family) who give a LOT more to charity than these folks do. MULTIPLES more.

I'm not saying this in a "look at us, we're so good" way. In fact, we should give more than we do. But when you make $5.5 million dollars, have almost all of your living expenses paid for you and STILL can only donate 5.9% to charity, something is very out of whack.

This is one reason why, of course, that the left wants the government to provide for the poor--they won't do it themselves. The right, of course, is busy shelling out the dough and doesn't want the government interfering. I don't know about you, but I trust individuals at a local level to have a much better idea of where to direct funds than I do a bureaucrat in Washington who makes blind decisions without any regard for local or individual circumstances. Americans, per capita, give away twice as much as the most generous European country. And the left wants to Europeanize us. Do you remember when Jimmy Carter said that Americans were stingy a few years ago? Well, maybe that's because he only hangs out with lefties.

The big conservative/liberal charity study was done in 2006 by Arthur Brooks (a registered independent) of Syracuse University. Here are some of his findings.

Of the 25 states whose residents gave more than the national average to charity, only one went for John Kerry in the previous presidential election (Maryland). The other 24 were all red states.

The average conservative household gave 30% more to charity than the average liberal household, even though the average income for liberal households was 6% higher (but regardless of income, conservatives give more than liberals at every income level). Incidentally, liberals are more generous than moderates, who are the real "ungenerous" group in the study. Conservatives are also more generous than liberals when giving of their time and when giving to secular causes (as well as religious ones, of course).

If liberals gave blood like conservatives do, the nation's blood supply would increase by 45%.

So the bleeding hearts are apparently on the right, not the left.

More later...

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