Insight into Candidates through their gifts to charity

Ed Lasky
American Thinker previously reported on Joe Biden's miserly charitable giving . His campaign released this with an eye to the news cycle:late Friday, at the beginning of a weekend dominated by coverage of Hurricane Ike. We caught the release-did the New York Times?

I had a few minutes to also consider Barack Obama's record:

 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle gave $10,772 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004 to charities, or less than 1 percent, according to tax returns for those years released today by his campaign.

When he started his run for the Oval office in 2005 he notably boosted his charity giving. Looks better on the campaign trail, especially considering his paltry charitable giving before he was in the public eye. A large chunk went to Trinity United Church of Christ, home of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Jr. 

Then Barack Obama's past caught up with him and his ties to Wright did not look so good, so he left the church.

He also contributed $13,107 to the Congressional Black Caucus (helps to buttress political allies), a contribution he classified as a charitable donation. Note to myself: on April 15th, see if I can have my political contributions to Republican groups classified as donations to charity.

More on Obama:


Sen. Barack Obama released seven years of prior tax return documents on Tuesday. And a review of the records reveals several newsworthy, albeit minor, disclosures.

Obama's family donated a relatively minor amount of its earnings to charity. From 2000 through 2004, the senator and his wife never gave more than $3,500 a year in charitable donations -- about 1 percent of their annual earnings. In 2005, however, that total jumped to $77,315 (4.7 percent of annual earnings), and to $60,307 in 2006 (6.1 percent).

The money went to several organizations. More than $27,000 total was given to Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ, whose former pastor Jeremiah Wright has dominated recent news coverage. Other charity gifts included: Muntu Dance Theater, a Chicago-based company that performs contemporary and classic African dance, which received a $5,000 donation; The Rochelle Lee Fund, a literacy organization, which received a $20,000 donation; the Illinois Reading Council, which received a $25,000 donation, and CARE, the poverty fighting organization, which received a total of $31,000 in donations.

Obama also classified a $13,107 contribution to the Congressional Black Caucus as a charity gift.

Paul Caron of the TaxProf Blog had this to say about the Bidens and McCain:

"It is jarring that a couple earning over $200,000 per year would give as little as $2 per week to charity (Editors note:that would be the Bidens). 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.

I guess for Joe Biden charity begins (and stays) at home.

An axiom: what you hear on the campaign trail from Barack Obama and Joe Biden-compassion for the poor, standing up for the common folk-does not comport well with their own practices and principles.

What about those slumlords that Barack Obama had strong ties to and whom he sent earmarks toward -- the slumlods who left the tenants in rotting apartments? Was that charitable?

Just wondering.
American Thinker previously reported on Joe Biden's miserly charitable giving . His campaign released this with an eye to the news cycle:late Friday, at the beginning of a weekend dominated by coverage of Hurricane Ike. We caught the release-did the New York Times?

I had a few minutes to also consider Barack Obama's record:

 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle gave $10,772 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004 to charities, or less than 1 percent, according to tax returns for those years released today by his campaign.

When he started his run for the Oval office in 2005 he notably boosted his charity giving. Looks better on the campaign trail, especially considering his paltry charitable giving before he was in the public eye. A large chunk went to Trinity United Church of Christ, home of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Jr. 

Then Barack Obama's past caught up with him and his ties to Wright did not look so good, so he left the church.

He also contributed $13,107 to the Congressional Black Caucus (helps to buttress political allies), a contribution he classified as a charitable donation. Note to myself: on April 15th, see if I can have my political contributions to Republican groups classified as donations to charity.

More on Obama:


Sen. Barack Obama released seven years of prior tax return documents on Tuesday. And a review of the records reveals several newsworthy, albeit minor, disclosures.

Obama's family donated a relatively minor amount of its earnings to charity. From 2000 through 2004, the senator and his wife never gave more than $3,500 a year in charitable donations -- about 1 percent of their annual earnings. In 2005, however, that total jumped to $77,315 (4.7 percent of annual earnings), and to $60,307 in 2006 (6.1 percent).

The money went to several organizations. More than $27,000 total was given to Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ, whose former pastor Jeremiah Wright has dominated recent news coverage. Other charity gifts included: Muntu Dance Theater, a Chicago-based company that performs contemporary and classic African dance, which received a $5,000 donation; The Rochelle Lee Fund, a literacy organization, which received a $20,000 donation; the Illinois Reading Council, which received a $25,000 donation, and CARE, the poverty fighting organization, which received a total of $31,000 in donations.

Obama also classified a $13,107 contribution to the Congressional Black Caucus as a charity gift.

Paul Caron of the TaxProf Blog had this to say about the Bidens and McCain:

"It is jarring that a couple earning over $200,000 per year would give as little as $2 per week to charity (Editors note:that would be the Bidens). 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.

I guess for Joe Biden charity begins (and stays) at home.

An axiom: what you hear on the campaign trail from Barack Obama and Joe Biden-compassion for the poor, standing up for the common folk-does not comport well with their own practices and principles.

What about those slumlords that Barack Obama had strong ties to and whom he sent earmarks toward -- the slumlods who left the tenants in rotting apartments? Was that charitable?

Just wondering.