Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Liberal Media

Today is a pretty hot day in the media. Romney released his 2009 and 2010 tax records early this morning.  Already, there are people angry at the liberal media for not putting the spotlight on the financial situation of people like the Clintons and the Obamas.

Well, because this anger at the liberal media always strikes my curiosity, I spent most the morning not only focusing on the Romneys' records, but also the Obamas', Clintons', and Warren Buffet's (who always comes under fire from the conservative right in regards to his taxes).  This post will outline what I found, in case others are curious.  I will start with the wealthiest of the four and work my way down.  I will include percentages given to the US in taxes and percentages given to various foundations (or Churches) in charitable donations.  I'm not really going to give an analysis of my findings; I like to leave that up to the facts.

Buffett earned almost $69 million in 2010.  He paid slightly higher than a 17% tax rate.  He has repeatedly asked that his rate be raised.  He gives at least 30% of his income to charities.  Also, (just today) he has pledged to give 15% of his 2011 income to the US government to pay down the debt (on top of his taxes), IF 10% of Congress will pledge to do the same.  The total amount of Buffet's income that he parts with is 50% (and I should note, he plans on giving it all away upon death, his children will not inherit a penny -- out of love).

Romney is the next wealthiest. Making an average of $22 million a year in the past two years.  His tax rate is between 14 and 15%. His proposed tax plan would lower that rate.  He donates an estimated 16% of his income to charities.  The total amount of Romney's income that he parts with is 30% (in fair comparison with Buffett, I'd note Romney donated all the inheritance his father left him).

The Clintons make less than Romney, but still somewhere near 15.5 million a year. The Clintons pay the highest tax rate (as their income is earned through "labor"). They pay over 31% in taxes and donate an additional 10% to charity. Making the total amount of income that the Clinton's part with 42%.

The Obama's are last in line. They earn about 1.7 million a year (most of it comes from book sales, a "labor" income). Their tax rate is slightly higher than 26% and they donate 14 to 15% to charity.  The Obamas part with 31% of their income (which is the smallest income by a SIGNIFICANT margin).

Well, that's a wrap. I'm not making any analysis of this data. I just wanted to put the data out there for other eyes to behold.

But I will share a thought that has been ringing in my ears "Where much is given, much is required."

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