Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yes, they can. (Hoard their cash.)

For me, when it comes to politicians, the little things make a big difference. From Saturday's Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON - Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, the Democratic nominee for vice president, and his wife reported giving a fraction of 1 percent of their income to charity during the past decade, below the national average, tax records show.

A Biden spokesman said the couple has given more to charity than they claimed on their taxes.

Biden and his wife, Jill, earned $319,853 in adjusted gross income and paid $72,787 in federal taxes last year, including $2,721 in alternative minimum taxes. They claimed $995 in deductions for charitable giving, about triple what they deducted in any of the nine previous years. Over the past decade they reported giving an average of $369 to charity.

Barack Obama is not much better - at least he was not until he decided to start running for president.

There's been a lot of talk about politicians v. celebrities this election season, and I recall, for example, getting the 2007 "thank you to our donors" book from the Jimmy Fund, with a very long list of donors. Among them, Eliza Dushku (a Boston native) who is perhaps the best kind of celebrity - she takes on interesting projects, volunteers for the good of the world, and avoids Paris-Lindsay-Britney behavior. I realize that as a native Massachusetts resident, Eliza Dushku is statistically pretty much guaranteed to vote Obama-Biden, but perhaps they should be looking to her for leadership?