Random Thoughts on the Past Week - Page 2
White House Charity
President Obama’s tax returns were made public this week. With an income well over what he defines as rich, the president and his wife earned $1.7 million in 2010 but were able to manage paying only 26% in income taxes. That $1.7 million puts the Obamas in the top 35% rate, but it looks like he took advantage of some of those loopholes he wants to get rid of. And it looks as though the first family has also found reason to increase their charitable giving — up to 17 percent for 2010. In 2009, the Obama’s earned $5.5 million, but only donated $543,000 or roughly 6%. That was still an increase from before Barack Obama had presidential aspirations. Until 2006, charitable donations were less than 1.5 percent of the Obama’s income. Better late than never, I guess. Now if he could get his VP on the program. In 2010, the Biden’s adjusted gross income was over $333,000, yet gave only $4,820 to charity, about 1.5 percent.
Out Of Touch
Gasoline prices continue to rise reaching an average of $3.83 a gallon for regular according to the Automobile Association of America. A year ago it was about a dollar less per gallon and on January 20th, 2009, it was a buck eighty. Most analysts don’t expect gas prices to drop anytime soon because the price is being mostly driven by speculation. What you don’t hear much about is the effect of inflation on the price of most commodities since the government now excludes food and energy prices from their reports. Not that energy prices contribute to the price of anything else we buy. So what’s the president doing about it? Apparently nothing. President Obama told a crowd recently that there was nothing he could do to help lower prices and that anyone who drives a gas guzzler should trade in their car on a new hybrid. Could he possibly be any more out of touch with mainstream America?
Tax Me, Please
Donny Deutsch and the other wealthy talking heads on cable these days are really keen on the idea of having their taxes raised. Do we really need to get the government involved for this to happen? As far as I can tell, there’s nothing stopping Donny and friends from writing a check and sending it to the Treasury. But according to the IRS, it won’t make a dent in the deficit. In 2008, the total taxable income for everyone in America making more than $100,000 was $1.5 trillion. The projected budget deficit for 2012 will be $1.65 trillion. I guess it would be too much to ask for someone sitting next to people like Deutsch to point out this little piece of reality.Continued on the next page