Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Biden and Wife Average $369 a Year in Charitable Giving

Democrat vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden and his wife reported giving a fraction of 1 percent of their income to charity during the past decade, below the national average, Bloomberg reports. A Biden spokesman said the couple has given more to charity than they claimed on their taxes.

Ryan J. Donmoyer of Bloomberg writes:

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.

Their deductions for charitable giving -- about two-tenths of 1 percent of their income -- is lower than the national average of about 3.1 percent, according to JustGive.org, a nonprofit organization that connects donors with charities.

"That lack of charitable giving at that level of income would definitely be outside the range of what we say is normal," said Russell James, a professor at the University of Georgia who researches charitable giving.

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