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, read more.

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?

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