28 March 2008

Obama’s tax returns: revelatory

According to Sean Hannity, the Obama’s tax returns reveal that their charitable giving amounts to 1%. Slate posts the returns here.

Jake Tapper writes about the returns here (comments are entertaining, especially those in defense of the Obama’s), and here.

Bloomberg crunches the numbers here.

Frankly, I don’t think people running for public office should publicize their tax returns. (And they are not, rightly, required to do so by law.) But as long as they do so, I suppose it's legitimate to make observations. I observe that the rather generous giving (much, much, more than 1%) of the President received no praise from his critics, who persisted in calling him a greedy Republican, with no care for the poor, and so forth.

The people criticizing Obama seem to forget two things. First, people don’t always claim all of the charitable giving they do. (I know I don’t: sometimes keeping the necessary records is a greater pain in the neck than it’s worth. My state and federal income tax liability this year came to $87.00. Perhaps better records would have gotten me an $87.00 refund instead. I don’t know.) Second, being a liberal means, among other things, never (or, at least, rarely) having to demonstrate compassion out of your own resources. (President Clinton, for example, frequently complains of how little he pays in taxes despite being very rich, when, in fact, he can pay as much in taxes as he likes – as long as he pays at least what the IRS says he owes.)

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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