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Generous with other people’s money

Posted by Richard on September 16, 2008

Q: Why are wealthy liberal Democrats so eager to spend more of your money on the needy?

A: So they can remain in denial about how stingy they are with their own money.

Mark J. Perry's Carpe Diem — a site you should be reading regularly — has the most recent case in point:

The WSJ, Greg Mankiw and Tax Prof all reported on Joe Biden's tax returns (available here and summarized on Tax Prof). As Tax Prof (Paul Caron) points out: "Despite income ranging from $210,432 – $321,379 over the ten-year period from 1998 to 2007, the Bidens have given only $120 – $995 per year to charity, which amounts to 0.06% – 0.31% of their income (see chart below)."

Maybe Biden donates his used underwear to charity, like Bill Clinton.

Perry, the master of the graph that's worth a thousand words, offered this comparison of Sen. Joe Biden's ten-year average charitable contribution with that of others with six-figure adjusted gross incomes:

Joe Biden vs. Other Taxpayer Groups

I don't quite match the $100k-$200k group — of course, I only have a five-figure income. But Biden donates just a little more than a tenth of what I do. And less than 2% of what others with $200k+ incomes give.

I don't begrudge him his stinginess — it's his money, and he has every right to do with it as he pleases. But he has a lot of nerve calling people like me greedy for opposing higher taxes.

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