Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Details on Biden’s Tax Returns

Although his Republican counterpart Gov. Sarah Palin has yet to release her tax returns, Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. Joe Biden has published his returns dating back ten years. You can download the PDF version of his returns at Obama’s campaign website.

The returns appear to be pretty straightforward, the Bidens had an annual income of around $200,000 - $300,000, which is about average for a member of the Senate. However, the percent of their income that was deducted for charitable contributions was very low considering the Biden’s income level.

“I wonder, though, if the move might backfire because the returns show that the Bidens have been amazingly tight-fisted when it comes to their charitable giving,” claims Paul L. Caron of the Tax Prof blog. “Despite income ranging from $210,432 - $321,379 over the ten-year period, the Bidens have given only $120 - $995 per year to charity, which amounts to 0.06% - 0.31% of their income.”

“It is jarring that a couple earning over $200,000 per year would give as little as $2 per week to charity. This giving compares very unfavorably to John McCain, whose tax returns show that he gave 27.3% - 28.6% of his income to charity in 2006-2007. During the same period, the Obamas' tax returns show that they gave 5.8% - 6.1% of their income to charity.”

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