Bush more charitable than Obama
Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 19:01
The liberals, including the current president and vice president, historically and continually talk about championing the cause of the poor. Additionally, as part of the liberals' efforts to exacerbate class conflict, which is polarizing the country, they paint the conservatives as exploiting the poor. In fact, Biden made the comment that it was patriotic for the wealthy to pay more taxes.
Well, critical thinking demands that we place these sound bites under the microscope. So, let's see who actually "puts his money where his mouth is" by comparing Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's tax returns with George Bush's and Dick Cheney's tax returns with particular focus on charitable donations.
The reader may recall from their own tax preparation efforts that charitable contributions include contributions to one's church. Since Bush left office on Jan. 19, 2009 and the filing date for his 2008 tax return was April 15, 2009, White House officials didn't release his 2008 tax return. So, I am using Bush's tax returns for the years 2005-2007 to contrast with Obama's and Biden's 2008 and 2009 returns.
The final chart reflects Cheney's tax returns for the tax years 2005-2007. Since he didn't release the schedule A returns, which enumerate the itemized deductions, I couldn't determine his charitable contributions for these years. However, in conducting my research, I discovered the April 11, 2008 Chicago Sun-Times article, "Vice President and Lynne Cheney 2008 income taxes" by Lynn Sweet. In the article, Sweet states that "the Cheneys donated $166,547 to charity in 2007. This brings the Cheneys' total charitable contributions during his Vice Presidency to $7,966,566."
As the reader will discern, Obama and Biden gave to charities, including their church, significantly less than 10 percent of their adjusted gross income. Bush contributed no less than 10 percent and as much as 17.93 percent of his adjusted gross income during the years examined. Furthermore, Cheney gave nearly eight million dollars to charities. I shall let the reader decide who truly is a "man for others." It is easy to champion the "poor" or any other cause when one does it with someone else's money—the taxpayers' money.
As an aside, I searched unsuccessfully for copies of tax returns for Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Chuck Schumer. I also called their offices in Washington, D.C. requesting copies of their tax returns for the past five years. However, their aides informed me that it is policy that these congressional representatives and senators only respond to their constituents. Since I am a resident of Louisiana, I fall outside of that category.
To say that I am appalled would be an understatement, as all congressional leaders make decisions that affect all U.S. citizens, not just those in their home state.
From these interactions and my inability to locate the aforementioned tax returns, it appears that they haven't made their returns public. Now the critical thinking that the Brothers of Scared Heart taught me at St. Aloysius High School makes me wonder what these "champions of the downtrodden" are hiding. I seem to recall Dr. Phil saying, "If you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing."
Patrick Lynch is an associate professor of accounting. He can be reached at email@example.com