Inequality is a hot topic these days. Everyone seems to want to write about it. The launch of TheUpshot, the new project from the New York Times, included a story on the wealth of the middle class, the Times Sunday...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- Biden Says Paying More in Taxes is Patriotic; If You Send A Check, ...
Biden Says Paying More in Taxes is Patriotic; If You Send A Check, They Will Cash It
Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward looks at Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Biden's claim that paying taxes is patriotic, comparing it with his history of charitable giving, evidenced by his tax returns:
They need to pay more taxes, he said this week: "It's time to be patriotic...time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut."[...]
Despite income somewhere in the $210,432 to $321,379 category during the last 10 years (rich!), the Bidens have given between $120 to $995 to charity annually, between 0.06 percent and 0.31 percent of their income. The average taxpayer bringing in more than $200,000 makes over $20,000 of charitable contributions, according to the IRS.
The article digs up an interesting item:
The federal government has been accepting gifts since 1843—they even set up a special account for gifts "such as bequests, from individuals wishing to express their patriotism to the United States." Surprisingly, the U.S. Treasury's Bureau of Public Debt picked up $2.6 million last year from individual donations. In 2006, a 98-year-old Ohio woman even donated her entire $1.1 million estate.
Biden's Senate colleagues have taken advantage of this provision. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) handed over a $600 tax rebate check in a fit of pique over tax cuts in 2001. "They were very generous in handing this money out to me, and I'm going to be very generous in sending it back,'' said the then-83-year-old chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
More on Election 2008 here.
Buy this blogger a cup of coffee!
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official weblog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.