Stingier Than Obama


By —— Bio and Archives October 24, 2008

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For reasons I do not understand, of all the columns I have written, “Ebenezer Obama and Trickle Down Charity (The Rather Uncharitable Obamas)” has generated more interest than anything other. I did not understand why, until a friend reminded me of a central truth about the public—which I had forgotten: You may lie, cheat, or steal, and the public may forgive you in time. But when you talk one way and live another, watch out. The public hates hypocrisy above all else.

So, just when I thought there was no politician stingier than Barack Obama—who has given as little as .6% of his income to the poor–lo and behold Obama picks as his running mate, a man who gives far less to the poor than he. While Obama’s tax returns reveal a portrait of a man who privately gives very little to the poor—less than any Republican I know—Joe Biden gives even less. In fact, Biden’s charitable giving is so abysmally poor that he makes Obama look like Santa Claus. Biden may well be the stingiest man in the Senate. For two of the most “liberal” senators in Washington, they are embarrassingly conservative when it comes to reaching into their own pockets and helping the poor, whose cause they pretend to champion. If they thought that the public actually knew how little they do to help the poor, these two hypocrites would never again spout their populist drivel about Republican “trickle down” economics or criticize the opposition for not doing enough to help the poor. A close look at their returns reveals the true depths of their hypocrisy.

From 1998 through 2006, Joe Biden’s income has varied between $200,000 and $330,000. Where I come from, that is serious money. Remarkably, his reported annual charitable giving—as shown on his Schedule A—varies between a whopping $120 during the lean years and a little less than $400 when he feels extra charitable. [The rare exception was 2007, when he was running for office and gave a less than generous $995 to the poor.] No, I have not missed a decimal place. He does not give in terms of five figures, nor does he give in terms of four figures.

No, he gives an astounding three -figure sum that has never exceeded $400 in any given year from 1998 through 2006. Put in terms that even the most liberal, uneducated , uninformed, ardent follower of the Scrooge Brothers can understand, Joe Biden—one of the most powerful , “enlightened,” liberal , and wealthiest persons in America (remember, the Democrats think that anyone in his income range is “wealthy” )—gives, on average, one-thousandth of his income to the poor. That is not one dollar in ten or even one dollar in a hundred; no, he gives a paltry one dollar in a thousand to the poor. That is, in other words, about four hundred candy bars a year. And he wants you to pay more taxes because it is your patriotic duty.

As with Ebenezer Obama, Joe Biden may talk about compassion, talk about helping the poor, and decry trickle down economics, but actions speak louder than words. And private giving—when, as the Bible says, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing—speaks far more loudly than empty speeches about helping your neighbor. When it comes to running mates, Obama has picked his true soul brother. Both are remarkably stingy; neither gives a great deal to the less fortunate, and Biden, like Obama, is much better at giving away your money than his own.


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Copyright © 2012 William Kevin Stoos
William Kevin Stoos (aka Hugh Betcha) is a writer, book reviewer, and attorney, whose feature and cover articles have appeared in the Liguorian, Carmelite Digest, Catholic Digest, Catholic Medical Association Ethics Journal, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Liberty Magazine, Social Justice Review, Wall Street Journal Online and other secular and religious publications.  He is a regular contributing author for The Bread of Life Magazine in Canada. His review of Shadow World, by COL. Robert Chandler, propelled that book to best seller status. His book, The Woodcarver (And Other Stories of Faith and Inspiration) © 2009, William Kevin Stoos (Strategic Publishing Company)—a collection of feature and cover stories on matters of faith—was released in July of 2009. It can be purchased though many internet booksellers including Amazon, Tower, Barnes and Noble and others. Royalties from his writings go to support the Carmelites. He resides in Wynstone, South Dakota.

“His newest book, The Wind and the Spirit (Stories of Faith and Inspiration)” © 2011, is scheduled for release in the summer of 2011. All the author’s royalties go to support the Carmelite sisters.”