Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Obama and Biden Release Tax Returns

President Obama and Vice-President Biden today released their 2008 tax returns:



Here are charts putting the 2008 returns in context with their earlier returns:


Obama Tax Returns (041509)  


Biden Tax Returns (041509)

I especially enjoyed the Vice-President's explanation for his parsimonious amount of charitable giving, even in the glare of a national campaign:

The charitable donations claimed by the Bidens on their tax returns are not the sum of their annual contributions to charity. They donate to their church, and they contribute to their favorite causes with their time, as well as their checkbooks.

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BBob C, ask your accountant, and s/he will say that you will need to be able to prove the date you made your charitable donation if you're asked. However, there's no place on Schedule A for the date and no requirement that you provide them. This is a PR chance for Obama, not an IRS requirement.

Although Biden's charity is difficult to excuse, I would note that Obama's charitable contributions get much closer to 10% if you use after-tax income (i.e. not compared to the AGI). Are the commentors here using their gross income or their take-home income in figuring their own percentages? That can make a large difference.

Posted by: adf | Apr 20, 2009 2:46:31 PM

I make $32,000 a year with a 3 person family and contribute 10% to charity... and yet making 2 million Barack can barely throw in 6%. And man, Biden... you're a jackhole of the highest degree. .7%? Whatev. It's nice to know these guys really care about the poor in this country.

Posted by: Christina | Apr 17, 2009 6:26:50 PM

shameful........can have my vote back?

Posted by: cheryl | Apr 17, 2009 9:03:09 AM

It's crystal clear that the charitable contributions went up after President Obama landed in the national spotlight in 2004. Sure he wasn't making seven figures before then, but although that explains the huge dollar difference in charitable giving since then, it certainly doesn't explain the percentage difference. Was $2,500 really all he could spare for charity in 2004 out of $207,000? My family gives at least that much a year (plus time, as the Bidens would point out) and we've always made less than $70,000. In any case, I'm glad to see the President putting his money where his mouth is, although it's fairly clear that there is more than charity for its own sake at play here.

I'm also waiting to hear whether the same persons who criticized John McCain for taking the social security check which he is entitled to receive will criticize President Obama for taking all the deductions he was entitled to by itemizing, etc. rather than just paying the basic rate.

Posted by: DAS | Apr 16, 2009 9:05:38 PM

Rush, I just went through Obama's tax return (entire). The donations are required to have the ACTUAL DATE DONATIONS ARE MADE. That was left off. Everything else was there.
Ask your acccount....Do I need to enter the date on my taxes I made charitable donations? The answer is yes, yes, yes.
So, what do you bet it was only AFTER he won the election he made those donations.

Also, note for a Christian he made 200, 500 donations to religious charities. The rest United Black Negro college fund, CARE,

Analyze his deductions - they are quite interesting.

Posted by: BBob C | Apr 16, 2009 7:01:06 PM

These charts are great! Can you email or post comparible charts for Bush and Cheney's last ten years of tax returns in the same spreadsheet format?

Thank you!

Posted by: Tracy Forrester | Apr 16, 2009 6:57:42 PM

This is change you can believe in, as Obama is climbing the lieral ladder in politics his tiny donations climb as well. is what they call shareing the wealth.

Posted by: Richard G Hughes | Apr 16, 2009 6:17:41 PM

Let's just say I was feeling guilty about my level of giving in 2008, resolving to do better in 2009 regardless of the economy.

But seeing how "much" Biden gave makes me feels a little less so (although not less determined to do better).

So, thanks...

Posted by: DCLawyer | Apr 16, 2009 10:15:47 AM

Statistics are a very different but it's nice to know the statistics. Thanks for the report

Posted by: Manuel | Apr 16, 2009 1:20:27 AM

It's always fun to snoop in other peoples business. With that in mind, there are a few things about President Obama's business that I find interesting. One, he has never invested in the stock market, even after he had a great deal of investment money available. I wonder what his thinking was? Two, sixty thousand dollars in mortgage interest has got to be a pain. Especially when you've got millions in the bank. And three, he doesn't seen especially grateful for those Ivy League degrees his supporters are so proud of. Summers should have worked him a little harder.

Posted by: RabelRabel | Apr 15, 2009 7:52:53 PM