Many Happy Returns

Byron York over at NRO has a good piece on the paltry charitable giving of Joe Biden. According to ten year’s worth of Biden tax returns, the senator and his wife contributed about one-eighth of one percent (0.0015%) of what they earned to charity, well below the two percent average of American households. During that time Biden’s adjusted gross income (AGI) ranged from about $215,000 to $320,000.

Biden spokesman David Wade says the figures are not an accurate reflection of Biden’s support of charitable causes because they don’t count the time he volunteers or the other kinds of non-monetary support he provides. And then this:

*Wade also suggests that Biden, who is famous for being the least wealthy member of the U.S. Senate, simply doesn’t have piles of money to give. “Like a lot of families that put three kids through college and have an aging parent move in with them, the Bidens aren’t divorced from the realities of everyday life,” Wade says. *

Hmmm. The Senator had $320,000 in AGI last year and it sounds like he’s struggling a bit financially. How can that be? According to Barack Obama’s economic plan that level of income puts Biden among the “wealthiest” of Americans. Indeed, not only would Obama subject individuals making more than $250,000 to higher Social Security payroll taxes, but they would also face higher marginal rates as a result of Obama’s wanting to eliminate the Bush tax cuts.

Doesn’t Wade’s admission that a family earning $320,000 a year isn’t “divorced from the realities of everyday life” destroy the underlying assumption of the Obama tax plan, to wit that someone earning $250,000 (some $70,000 less than the Bidens made) is wealthy?

So which is it? Is Biden wealthy as Obama’s tax plan declares? Or is he struggling as his spokesman says?

Joe Eule