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Politician's Charitable Giving

Dick Cheney More Generous Than Santa Claus

Tax time means sometimes us mere mortals get sneaky peeks into politicians secret financial records. After much clamor, it turns out Obama gave about 6 percent of his income in 2006. That fraction was up from the 1 percent they gave in 2000-2004, which clocked in far lower than the national average.

How generous is Dick Cheney? Very! Cheney gave away a whopping 78 percent of his income in 2006. (For the mathematically inclined and curious, 78 percent=$6.9 million, so 100 percent=x. Come on cross-multipliers! I know you're out there!) Do the wealthy like our friend Mr. Cheney give away the most loot? To see the surprising answer,


It turns out, the working poor are actually the most generous givers when considering giving as a percentage of income. Studies show the folks who have the least to give tend to give away between 4 and 5 percent of their incomes, on average. The fabulously wealthy give away between three and four percent. Oddly both poor and wealthy give away significantly more than the middle class.

Why do you think those with less to give seem to prioritize it more than those who are more comfortable? Is charitable giving a fair measure of character?


Join The Conversation
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Well, if you think about the differences in conservative and liberal philosophies, especially as they relate to solutions to poverty and helping the needy, you'll see that it's really not surprising. From what I know, a central tenet of classic conservative thought is the expectation that private charities will step in to help the needy and perform other functions like that which conservatives feel inappropriate for the government to spend taxpayer money on. Classic conservativism isn't heartless (and this is coming from a flaming liberal ;) ). It just believes that private (and voluntary) charity should take the place of public funding in some areas. So, yeah...not surprising, really.
smp7328 smp7328 9 years
Thank you mymellowman for pointing out how much more charitable conservatives are than liberals. It is very important to note that. So many people think that conservatives are just stuck-up rich people who don't care about the poor, but that is not the case. Conservatives do a lot of giving- 30% more, as you so graciously noted. So thanks! People need to take notice. It's good to be wealthy in this wonderful capitalistic society, but it is even better to give back.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
The second part wasn't really directed at you, Stephley, just kind of at everyone, especially those who were wondering who gives more time.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Stephley, just out of curiosity, what about Brooks' methods do you find questionable? Also, just to throw it out there, according to Brooks and all of the articles I can find, conservatives also give more of their time to charity, so it's not just money.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
LOL @ 3M.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
I also take cash, checks and credit cards through paypal.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
I have a charity, just let me know when you're ready to wire the money and I'll give you the account info. :)
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Can I be a charity.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
No way, Cabaker! There needs to be a JovianSkies fund to help payment for college courses! ...But if I give you a dollar, will you send me some cupcakes...? :DROOL:
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Thats right Hypnotic, you can't take it with you. Thats why you should donate it to the Cake Baker 27 Fund... Providing cupcakes for all since 2005! This advertisment paid for by swift boat vertans for cupcakes.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Good for him why keep what you can't or have no intention of spending anyway.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
Just goes to show how stingy we conservatives are! :YAAR:
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
It is my little secret.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
Where did you get that emoticon??? :o
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
stephley stephley 9 years
laugh while you can...
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
me polishing my halo ---> :halo:
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Well until the article is proven wrong, then my halo is beaming!
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
I had my Unfortunate Poor Wheaties today with a side of yogurt. All part of an unbalanced conservative diet :ROTFL:
stephley stephley 9 years
Nice job R! I've been looking and can't find any actual studies on the issue; Mr. Brooks now seems to be everybody's go to guy on the subject. He analysed data from a couple of major surveys for the book. I have seen criticisms of his methodology and terminology, especially on the church factor. But with no other research, there's no point in arguing semantics. Just don't polish your halos too much, the jury's still out!
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Sadly, Mr. Cheney gave all of his gifts in form of coal.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I think the article brings up a lot of good points that seem to make sense, ie. the church factor. But if you've got some articles that refute it, I'd be glad to read them and take them into consideration! :)
stephley stephley 9 years
Okay Cabaker, I looked up your ABC article. a) Its by John Stossel, self-proclaimed bane of liberals. My first job in local news included watching his pieces for bits we could rip off and I watched him grow into the champion of conservatism he claims to be today. He's hardly an unbiased source. And b) the book he sourced, "who really cares?" is subtitled 'the surprising truth about compassionate conservatism.' The author's next book "Gross National Happiness" has blurbs from Newt Gingrich, P.J. O'Rourke and William A. Donohue. I'm feeling a little sandbagged here.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Phew! I thought it was just me!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
No its because Republicans have no heart ergo no blood. :)
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