How most of us view tax-time each year
I thought that it was pretty interesting (and expected) the spin that each news outlet put on the data based upon their political ideology.
So because of that awesomeness, here is a little fun with numbers for you from the Obamas' tax return.
Adjusted Gross Income: $5,505,409 ($5.1 mil from book royalties)
Fed Income Tax: $1,792,414
Charitable Contributions: $329,100
And NOT from the tax return document: Untaxed/unclaimed Nobel Peace Prize money due to giving it directly to charity: $1,400,000
The real fun comes in when considering the percentage of money that the Obamas donated to charity in 2009. Depending on how you want to look at the numbers, you will end up with one of the following 4 percentages:
Two basic groups A-B, and C-D.
The A & B completely ignore the money received (and given away) from the Nobel Peace Prize. The money is not considered officially due to the tax code. Figures C & D consider it. This changes the figure in the C & D examples for Adjusted Gross Income to $6,905,409 and the figure for charitable donations to $1,729,100.
It seems strange to me to not consider the money when trying to informally see how much money the Obamas donated. It was money awarded to them, they gave all of it away. That seems like a donation. I guess for some people, you can't give every part of it away and it still counts, you have to keep some of it for it to be considered donating? Eh, whatever ;)
The disparity between A & B? Or between C & D?
Well that's just a matter of looking at donation as a percentage of gross income or of net income. The smaller figure in each set being pre-tax (gross) and the larger figure being post-tax (net).
I'm not going to speak for you, but you are well aware whether you give/tithe based upon the money received before taxes are taken out (gross) or after taxes are taken out (net) when you try to figure up your 10% figure for yourself....if you do that sort of thing.
So with all those in mind, you now have the Obamas donating as a percentage of their income in 2009:
A) 5.98% - Does not consider the Nobel Peace Prize as income or donation. Takes donations as a percentage of pre-tax income.
B) 8.86% - Does not consider the Nobel Peace Prize as income or donation. Takes donations as a percentage of post-tax income.
C) 25.04% - Adjusts both income and donation figures by adding the Nobel Peace Prize money. Takes donations as a percentage of pre-tax income.
D) 33.82% - Adjusts both income and donation figures by adding the Nobel Peace Prize money. Takes donations as a percentage of post-tax income.
I'm curious as to how you interpret the numbers.
Did the Obamas give a "measly" 5.98% of their income to charity last year? Perhaps a whopping 33.82%? Somewhere in between? What reasoning do you have for your choice? Can you apply the same methodology to yourself? Do you care?
Oh, and a quick last figure or 2 for you.
It's said that Christians should donate 10% of their income (called a tithe). The amount of regular church-goers who do this?
Want to only consider self-professed born again evangelicals? Ok, that's fine, maybe many regular church goer's aren't actually Christians. I can see what you're saying. What does that change the number to?
Just in case we want to play the comparison game. Enjoy.