Watching the president and vice president on TV and hearing Obama talk proudly about their “leadership” and how they promised “change you can believe in,” I can’t help but remember how relatively uncharitable they have both been in the past when it comes to spending their own money to bring about change with private charity. If we look at the period before the 2008 election, in some of the years when nobody was paying attention to their charitable giving, public records show that:
1. Between 1998 and 2006, the Bidens’ adjusted gross income (AGI) averaged $236,000 per year, and their average annual charitable contributions averaged just $283, or only $5.44 per week. That compares to an average annual charitable contribution of $1,916 for taxpayers with AGI between $15,000 and $30,000 (according to IRS data). In other words, taxpayers in one of the lowest income brackets ($15,000 to $30,000) were almost seven times as generous as the Bidens, with only about 10 percent of their income!
2. The Obamas were a little more generous than the Bidens, giving an average of $2,187 annually ($42.06 per week) between the years of 2000 and 2004, on average annual AGI of $243,000. That means the Obamas, with income that put their household in the top 2 percent of American families, were just barely more charitable during that period than those Americans making less than $30,000 per year.
Their own tax returns demonstrate that when Obama and Biden talk about change, they really only believe in the kind of change that involves spending somebody else’s money, and not their own.