The Charity Gap

posted at 9:40 am on October 4, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, the Palins released their income tax returns for the last two years, as expected for the general election.  While the returns showed the Palins to be squarely in the middle class, with income between $127,000 and $166,000 combined, they also revealed a charity gap between the two VP candidates:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made considerably less money than rival Sen. Joe Biden, but the Palin family gave more to charity in the last two years than Biden has in the last eight combined, according to Palin’s tax records released Friday afternoon. …

In 2006, the Palins paid $11,944 in taxes on $127,869 in income. In 2007, they paid $24,738 on $166,080.

But in 2006, they donated $4,880 to charity, and in 2007, they donated $3,325.

By contrast, Biden (D-Del.), Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s running mate, has donated a total of $3,690 since 1998 despite his higher Senate salary, according to an analysis posted by National Review.

Recall what Barack Obama said in his appearance at the Saddleback Forum in August:

“Americans’ greatest moral failure in my lifetime,” he said, “has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”

And what Biden claimed as the moral imperative from soaking people with higher taxes:

“Catholic social doctrine as I was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most.”

Once again, we see that liberals talk about charity, and conservatives take action.  The Palins have been quite generous with their cash, while Biden has given far less on an annual basis with a much larger income stream.  Since the two Democrats keep claiming the charitable impulse for spending other people’s money, it’s revealing to once again compare Biden’s own personal giving to his political rhetoric, and to his opponent in November.

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I hate to bust people’s bubbles, but if GWB made $600,000 and gave $30,000, that’s not really charitable. That’s 5% of his giving. In comparison to the cheap demos, that’s great, but I bet in comparison to the “average Joe Sixpack,” it’s not all that good. If you aren’t giving 10% to charity, you are kind of cheap.

TimothyJ on October 4, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Reminds me of the old joke….

A Republican is walking down the street and sees a homeless man. The Repub puts his hand into his pocket and hands the homeless man a five dollar bill.

A Democrat is walking down the street and sees a homeless man. The Democrat puts his hand into the Repub’s pocket and hands the homeless man a five dollar bill.

Pianobuff on October 4, 2008 at 9:52 AM

That’s close but not quite the joke.

The real joke ends in the Democrat taking the $5, giving the homeless guy a nickel, then smiling because he really believes he is being charitable.

Sapwolf on October 4, 2008 at 9:19 PM

I still want to know what this “charity” represents. If it’s money going to religion, it shouldn’t be called money anymore than money going to any other social club. And if Biden and other pro-choice Democratic politicians aren’t giving money to the Catholic church, I certainly wouldn’t blame them. Being insulted by the leaders of your religion is hardly conducive to donating the big bucks.

thuja on October 4, 2008 at 10:18 AM

So the TROLLS are now anti-Catholic bigots. Wow, they sure come in all kinds of shades. Intersting. So money going to pay to save the snail-darter is charity, but money donated to a church is not charity? Man are you a sick dumbass or what.

By the way, NO leaders in the Catholic Church insulted Joe. They merely invited him back to the flock. It’s up to Joe if he comes back as a prodigal son. If he does, will let the baptized Catholic Sarah slaughter the fatted calf.

Sapwolf on October 4, 2008 at 9:25 PM

The way I see it, the year Palin gave 4,880, that was enough to take care of Barack Hussain Obama’s brother for 408 years.

TheSitRep on October 4, 2008 at 9:55 PM

Davy Crockett had the last word on Liberal “charity”:

link here

fred5678 on October 5, 2008 at 1:45 AM

…if GWB made $600,000 and gave $30,000, that’s not really charitable…If you aren’t giving 10% to charity, you are kind of cheap.

TimothyJ on October 4, 2008 at 8:52 PM

Giving 10% of your income is a hard decision to make–don’t start throwing your own brand of righteousness around as a standard for everyone else to live up to. My wife and I decided to give 10% of our gross (not net) income a decade ago, and it was made as a decision to trust in God’s providence (we’re a single income household). I’ve heard that only about 10% of church-going folks actually tithe, and that I find sad. There was a study that came out in USAToday a few months ago that said the average churchgoer tithes only 2.5%. W giving 5% is more than what many people do.

dufflepud on October 5, 2008 at 2:21 AM

Davy Crockett had the last word on Liberal “charity”:

fred5678 on October 5, 2008 at 1:45 AM

If I thought it would do any good, it should be required reading for every candidate for public office. How many would raise their hand and swear by it???

N4646W on October 5, 2008 at 2:43 AM

I we are going to get picky, tithing was the requirement of the Jewish people in the Old Testament. God asked in the New Testament for tithes and offerings. That means more than 10%. Of course he also that he loves a cheerful giver, so if you can’t give it cheerfully, don’t give it at all. Maybe that’s the Dems problem, they can’t give away their own money cheerfully. But they sure can give our money away with a big smile and a pat on the back for the receipient.

flytier on October 5, 2008 at 9:06 AM