Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day 2010 Thoughts

I just finished paying my taxes on time, so I guess that disqualifies me for the next opening in Mr Obama’s administration. I resisted the impulse to enter “two million” under the number of dependents, a very conservative estimate of the number of people receiving entitlements from working people’s tax dollars. This is not a knock on all who are receiving government aid. I realize there are many who would rather be working than caught up in the administration’s "De-industrialization of America" plan.

Speaking of the Obama administration, the Bidens just released their tax return, showing that they gave 1.44% ($4820) out of their $333,000 income to charity last year. By comparison, independent reports place the average family's donations at 3.1%, and according to IRS statistics, those making over $200,000 give an average of $20,500 to charity.

Actually, 2009 was a big increase in the Vice-President’s charitable giving. The previous year, he gave only 0.69% ($1885 out of $269,256), but even this was above his track record. After Mr Obama picked him as a running mate, Mr Biden eventually released his tax returns from the previous decade (1998 – 2007). During this period, the Bidens gave only $120 - $995 per year on incomes ranging from $210,432 - $321,379, which amounts to 0.06% - 0.31% of their income (in 1999, he gave a whopping $120 on an income of almost $211,000). So, on a total income of about $2.5 million, the Bidens contributed less than $3700 to charity. In contrast, Sarah Palin gave more in 2006 alone (on about half the income) than Joe Biden gave in a decade. In case anyone is wondering, John McCain gave an average of about 28% of his income to charity in 2006-7.

The reason I mention Mr Biden’s charitable giving (or lack of) is due to a couple of statements he made in the fall of 2008 in an attempt to justify the raising of taxes on the rest of us. Many of us remember Mr Biden’s claim that those who are not willing to pay higher taxes were being unpatriotic. Later that day, instead of backing off his idiotic statement, he claimed paying higher taxes was not only a patriot duty, but a religious one as well. He told a labor union group, “Catholic social doctrine as I was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most.” (I find it interesting that he's made no mention of what Catholic social doctrine says about murdering unborn babies, but that’s another story.) I heartily agree that we all have a moral obligation to do what we can to help those who can’t help themselves, but this should be the voluntary role of the Church and individuals, not the government. In the end, Mr Biden appears to support charitable giving, as long as he can pick the pockets of others to do so.

Turning to another tax subject, it was also reported in the past few days that about 47% of US households pay no taxes. At the same, a recent poll reports that about 47% of the respondents approve of the job that the Obama administration is doing. Naah… must be just a coincidence…right?

I’d also like to plug an article over on Big Government, collecting a Top Ten List of Anti-tax Quotations . Finally, I’d like to add one that a hero of mine, the late great Adrian Rogers, offered in 1984 from his message “God’s Way to Health, Wealth and Wisdom”.

“Friend, you cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. And what one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government can’t give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody. And when half of the people get the idea they don’t have to work because the other half’s going to take care of them, and when the other half get the idea it does no good to work because somebody’s going to get what I work for. That, dear friend, is about the end of any nation.”

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