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Romney Charitable Giving Has Vastly Outpaced Obama’s

by Keith Koffler on August 17, 2012, 11:04 am

The Obama campaign is assailing Gov. Mitt Romney for failing to release his taxes and for paying only around a 15 percent rate, but it fails to note one of the reasons for Romney’s relatively moderate payment: He donates enormous sums of tax-deductible money to charity.

In fact, during a comparable period before Obama and Romney were running for president, Romney’s giving probably was at least ten times Obama’s as a percentage of their incomes, and possibly much more.

Romney has stated that he has long given at least 10 percent of his earnings to his Mormon church. Assuming this is true – and he’d probably have to be classified as a pathological liar if it’s not – the Romneys’ giving has dwarfed that of the Obamas, whose charitable contributions only increased in direct proportion to President Obama’s political activity.

According to an analysis of Obama’s tax returns by White House Dossier, the Obamas in the five years from 2000 to 2004 gave only in the range of 0.4 percent to 1.4 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity.

And the Obamas were hardly paupers during these years, most of which show earnings of well over $200,000. They gave less than the average for that income range, which has been estimated at close to 3 percent.

In 2005, Obama’s first year as a U.S. senator, the Obamas upped their giving to 4.7 percent of income. His income also raced up to $1.66 million owing to his celebrity-induced book sales. But the increase in giving is more likely related to Obama’s political ambitions, since on average those who make more than $1 million don’t donate much more as a percentage of their income than those making in the $200,000 range.

Even in the the years he was running for president, Obama gave less than Romney has in the past two years. The Obamas’ giving totaled 5.8 percent of income in 2007, when he made $4.1 million, and 6.5 percent of the $2.6 million he earned in 2008.

Romney’s estimated 2011 tax return shows he gave 19.2 percent of his income to charity, while his 2010 return puts his giving at 13.8 percent of his income.

Only in the past two years have the Obamas finally started giving comprable amounts, donating 14 percent of their income in 2010 and 21.8 percent in 2011.

Meanwhile, Vice President Biden has not allowed political considerations to affect his stinginess. The Bidens gave 1.5 percent of their income to charity in 2011.

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Cara August 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

So, according to the campaign to re-elect Obama, Romney owes back taxes & killed a woman. I’d like to remind everybody that Obama’s pick for treasury secretary also owed back taxes when he was appointed. And the Clintons killed people one after the other…get out your ouija board and ask to speak to James & susan mcdougall

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mo1 August 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Actually, there is no claim that Romeny actually owes back taxes, that is, that the IRS assessed him taxes he should have paid. The complaint is Romeny structured his business affairs to reduce taxes. This importantly distinguishes Romney from Geitner and Wrnagle, both of whom took steps that incorrectly calculated their taxes.

And of course, in part because our current President does not seem to hold religious institutions in high regard, his complaint is that Romney gave money to churches and other charities, money that he could have, and should have, given to government bureaucrats to spend.

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Cara August 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Well, yeah, Romney structured his business so as to pay as little in taxes as possible, which is good business, I think. The campaign to re-elect Obama is accusing him of not paying taxes, is trying to ,ale it look like Romney has been dishonest, has been cheating the system. Obama won’t get re-elected by calling Romney a good businessman. Obama won’t get re-elected on his record (solyndra, anyone?)

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KN August 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm

“his complaint is that Romney gave money to churches and other charities, money that he could have, and should have, given to government bureaucrats to spend.”

SHOULD have given to the government to spend? Seriously? DO YOU take any deductions. If so why? You ought to be giving that money to the government to spend. In fact Obama structures his income to limit the amount of money he gives to the government.

“[I]n 2009, Obama took itemized deductions of $514,819, a foreign tax credit of $59,372, and a deduction for interest on his home of $52,195. He was also able to take a deduction for $49,000 he contributed to his self-employed retirement fund. If he had not taken these deductions, he would have paid taxes on an additional $675,386, which in his income bracket would have meant he owed somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 more in taxes at the top marginal tax rate of 35 percent. Furthermore, he instructed the Nobel committee to donate his entire $1.4 million Nobel Prize directly to 10 charities, thereby avoiding the necessity of declaring the money as income on which he would have owed an additional $490,000 in taxes. If the president is so appalled at the rich and their ability to hire accountants to take advantage of each and every deduction, why doesn’t he simply take the standard deduction on his tax return, like most Americans?” –columnist Linda Chavez

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rulierose August 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Cara, please don’t make me feel embarrassed that we’re on the same side. the Clintons never killed anyone. and despite that little problem with his zipper, Bill Clinton was a pretty darn good president, especially when compared to the current pResident.

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Cara August 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Well I don’t mean to make you embarrassed, but you & I have differing opinions on Clinton.

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Girly1 August 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

The Obamas are as tight as wallpaper on a wall. I would like to see proof that he ‘donated’ his $1M Nobel prize money to charity. I don’t believe it. MOOshelle would not stand for it. Obama loves to brag about being one of the 1 percenters but he’ll probably squeal like a pig when his taxes go up. Undoubtedly, he will find a ‘creative’ tax attorney.

The Romneys, on the other hand, do not flaunt their wealth or their contributions to charity or the LDS church. (What about the other Mormon, Harry Reid? How much has he tithed to the church?) MR gave his inheritance away to charity and did not take a salary when he chaired the Olympics. Conversely, MO and BO believe that MO should receive a salary for being the First Mooch. We should put a ‘mooch tax’ on every taxpayer dollar that woman spends for her personal gratification!

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keith wren August 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Actually the obamas charitable giving was to something that obama created himself and they reap the benefits for any success it has. Yes, “one of those things” Can’t remember the name of it, but if someone knows please pipe up for us!

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srdem65 August 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

We can assume that neither of the O’s donated their time as volunteers at any food bank or community center in Chicago (or anywhere else) before MrO left for Washington.
According to their own reports, the O’s have always had money troubles even when they were earning well-above the norm and found themselves deep in debt as a result.

When MrO made a big fuss about donating $5,000 to his own campaign, it showed how little he understands the American spirit. Anyone starting a new business drains their savings, maxes out the credit lines, sells whatever they can to invest (MrO’s fav word) in their belief that they can be a success.
MrO, a multi-millionaire, only “invested” a token or pittance to help himself become a two-term President.

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SaveUsGod August 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Ah, but they didn’t build that business! Remember? Obama did! Just like Obama killed OBL, lowered the seas, saved the world from a depression. Gosh this guy is so busy! How does he find time for those 100+ rounds of golf?!

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Cara August 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Exactly

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DeniseVB August 17, 2012 at 11:51 am

This is from January, but the Obama administration seems to have a tax problem…..

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/obamas-aides-owe-some-money-in-back-taxes/

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rawheadrex August 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

Read Arthur Brooks: Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism and Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America.
Brooks says he was surprised about his findings about who gives money and time to charitable groups. He claims if “liberals” donated blood as much as “conservatives,” there would never be a shortage. Brooks has a PhD in policy analysis and is an economist.
People such BHO talk about how much we should do for others, through government, but doers nothing himself. Re:2016,Dinesh D’sousa’s film about BHO, which includes a segment with George Obama, BHO’s half-brother, who lives in a 6×10 hut in Nairobi and has gotten nothing from BHO.
As Dame Margaret Thatcher said socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money.

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Girly1 August 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Are there any members of the Obama tribe who are not total parasites? BO loves to talk about being your ‘brother’s keeper’, yet his own step-brother, George, contacted Mr.D’sousa and asked for $1000 to pay for his son’s hospitalization in Nairobi. “Dreams from My Father’ should have a sequel – “Nightmares from the Son of Barack, Sr.”

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Cara August 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Yup, Obama assails Romney while sweeping his own questionable behavior (he may or may not have bought his senate seat; he may have bribed people to vote as part of his work with Acorn; he definitely used his power & position to have ICE forget to deport his uncle, a convicted felon who happens to be here illegally; he spent our tax $ on Solyndra and a bailout of the auto and banking industries) under the rug.

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Kevin August 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Just once I’d like to see the Romney campaign point this out clearly and forcefully, and not let the Keith’s of the world do it for them….

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SaveUsGod August 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

That will never happen. Giving people never brag about giving. It defeats the whole purpose.

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Langley Spook August 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm

There is SO, SO, SO Much the Romney campaign can “challenge/question/attack” Obama on…
But Romney will not? Why is that??

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Cara August 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Maybe Romney wants to talk about real issues rather than sling mud at obama

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Lizzy August 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I would venture to say the good people who post here are far more charitable
than the Obama’s. Their only interest is self indulgence and spending the
taxpayerers hard earned money. Free loading tightwads.

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Susan August 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm

What a difference faith, family, and instilled moral values makes in one’s record of charitable giving. People of faith give their time and money to those in need…even when they aren’t running for public office.

Just read the article about Dinesh D’Souza helping out Barry’s brother, George Obama. I guess King Kardashian was all hat and no cattle when he was preaching to us about being our brother’s keeper. Anyway, one tidbit in the story that I didn’t know is that George’s mom, Jael Otieno, is a resident of Atlanta, Georgia. Not sure if she’s a legal resident, but it makes me wonder how many other Uncle Omar’s and Auntie Zetunia’s are out there living off America’s dime like their infamous relative…

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Robin H August 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

The only reason the Obama’s show a marked increase in giving is from the stupid kids book that they published. They are supposedly donating all of the profit to charity. I’d love to see if that’s true. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re skimming some off the top. As soon as they’re out of office, their giving will go back to it’s normal level of almost nothing. You can tell a man’s character by what they do when they think no one’s looking.

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SaveUsGod August 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Obama can’t even give $1,000 to his own brother for his medical bill from a recent illness. He wouldn’t let anyone give his brother money in 2008 to obtain a skill so he could move out of his slum hut. Now what does that say about our leader? He has go to go!

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SandraC August 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

The Bidens gave 1.5 percent of their income to charity in 2011.

While the Bidens have been very tight about monetary donations, there is no denying that JoeyBoy’s verbal donations have managed to delight us for months…..

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Cara August 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Wow, I had no idea the Bidens gave so little.

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Just2old August 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm

As my father used to say: “do as I say, not as I do”
Grifters

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Cara August 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Yes, exactly that

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rulierose August 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm

ah, but Keith, don’t you see? Romney just gave money to weirdo cults like the Mormon Church. Obama was a poor black man and needed to keep all his money. or something.

they’ll find a way to make Romney look bad. never fear.

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Deadbolt August 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Po-leez…Obama has given WAAAAAAYYYYYY more $$$ to others….

Unfortunately, that money was yours, mine, my parents, my kids, my yet-to-be-born grandchildren, the neighbors next door, the….

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PBB August 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm

My question is why isn’t The Romney Campaign speaking about these facts regarding charitable contribution rather than making a reporter like Keith to discover and report?

The Romney team need to get rid of the current spokesperson Andrea Saul. She needs to go cheer elsewhere rather than killing the campaign. I don’t get why Romney does not go in front of a camera and state i paid taxes and the reason my percentages were what they were is my tax preparers followed the U.S. Tax Code that Harry Reid And President Obama enacted. Plus, I will release the last 8 years worth tax when the President releases his school records and allow the State of Hawaii to allow reporters access to his live birth certificate.

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Mr. T. August 18, 2012 at 1:09 am

Amen!

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Roy August 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Giving to the Mormon church is not charity. Especially when they money is used to fund right wing bigotry as it was in California.

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Engineer Jeff August 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Individual Mormons donated money not the church.

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Bob August 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Opposition to the homosexual agenda is not right-wing bigotry.

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dave August 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

If you are required as a Mormon to tithe 10 percent of your income, it is not ‘giving,’ it is a membership fee. And humanitarian work performed by Mormons is connected to proselytizing. But that’s your presidential candidate for you.

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