Comments about ‘Do the wealthy give to charity?’

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Published: Monday, March 25 2013 9:55 a.m. MDT

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Ben H
Clearfield, UT

Not all rich people affiliate with the Republican party. Many rich people are Democrats. Many wealthy people would rather pay higher taxes and have the government dole out to the poor. Some wealthy people are selfish and want to hold onto their money. We all miss out on the facts when we use stereotypes and try to pigeon-hole people. This article in the Atlantic simply proves that no two people are alike.

salt lake city, utah

Ben H..I can't disagree with your premise and your thoughts, but I do disagree with your use of the pharse have the government dole out to the poor. That has a very negative and condescending tone to it. Don't know if that's what you meant, but many Democrats do in fact believe that for society as a whole the government with all its warts, bumps, bruises, faults, and mistakes, can do a better job for society as a whole than individual charities can.

Mchenry, IL

High income folks also live in high income areas. A person making 150K in New York has higher housing costs than someone making 50K in the midwest.

Whatever the amount 1-3% is terrible average. Yes some give 20-30% but average takes into a larger group than one or two famous people mentioned.

Anchorage, AK

Backing up John C. C. point here. I have had a homeless person living in my home (rent free) for 4 years now. Where do I report that on my taxes?
I contribute many hours in my church callings. I understand some of it can be deducted (example: vehicle mileage), but it isn't worth the hassle to track and report.

Ex Pat
Salt Lake City, Ut

Always ask when yu donate how much goes to the charity and how much goes to the company making the call. When I find out that 3% goes to the charity, I will give directly and not through anyone else.
BTW, we need to look back at the donations to charities by 0bama - before he became president. I think the only donation he made was to Rev Wright's church who preached against America!


The wealthy--like Mitt Romney have unique (not the standarddeduction) charitable donation loopholes to further reduce their taxes.

Charitable remainder unitrusts allow rich people to defer capital gains taxes by basically renting a charity's tax exempt status, then investing the money in the trust free from capital gains taxes, getting an annuity for years, and then, at the end, leaving the charity whose tax exempt status made it all possible whatever crumbs are left when the funder dies. In 1997, Congress passed a law saying the charity had to get at least 10 percent of the initial investment, but grandfathered in existing trusts like Romney's. Romney is of course taking advantage of that; his trust is expected to pay the Mormon Church around 8 percent of the money that was initially invested in it. That wouldn't be legal under current law, but, like so many other Romney investments, it slides in under the wire, in this case because of the grandfather clause.

In 2011, the Romneys' trust earned just $48, due to a conservative investment strategy, but paid them $36,696.

The current investing strategy favors the Romneys over the charity because they get a guaranteed payout.

Poplar Grove, UT

I think the most interesting thing that was overlooked in this discussion is the correlation between living in an area with mixed demographics giving more than people living in a place with mainly rich people. While i'm no where near rich i've recently had this experience in my life moving from a place I rented in East Millcreek, where I was the poorest one on the block to purchasing a home in Poplar Grove, where I'm suddenly am more well off than 90% of my neighbors. In Millcreek I donated a little money, but didn't do a ton to help the poor. However, in Poplar Grove me and a couple of my neighbors have a Sunday dinner every week where we invite some of our neighbors that we know have troubles to eat a free meal with us. It seems to me that when you see people struggling on your block it's much harder to not help than if you live in a protected place up on a hill. Even though you know people are having struggles, if it's not in your face it's much easier to ignore.



There are sites such as charity navigator which reports on charitable organizations and how the money is used. However, not all charities publically release their financial information.

Obama has released 12 yrs of tax returns which can be viewed on-line. On his 2007 tax return he reported donating to over 30 charities. The charity receiving the largest donations were to the United Negro College Fund ($50,000), CARE ($35,000), United Trinity Church ($26,000) and The Rochelle Lee Fund ($10,000).

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Ex Pat
Salt Lake City, Ut

BTW, we need to look back at the donations to charities by 0bama - before he became president. I think the only donation he made was to Rev Wright's church who preached against America!

4:36 p.m. March 26, 2013


As Truthseeker
so well pointed out....

Your comment was predictably based on lies, rumors, hear-say, and biased opinions -- not the Truth, facts, or data.

Something AM radio college-drop-outs have made themselves $Millionaires doing.

Sacramento, CA

Anyone who doesn't file income taxes can give to their church and anything else and it won't show up. Also, many churchgoers pass the basket, and if people donate cash, that isn't recorded either. But no law says anyone has to claim their giving as a deduction, and there are many things, as Ranch Hand said, that can't be claimed. The Savior spoke of giving our alms in secret, and it would not surprise me if many chose to do that. I don't know what the VP and Dr. Biden do when no one is there to see, or anyone else who is well-known, but if the First Lady can sneak off to Target, I imagine that many well-known folks do good works without anyone being the wiser, and give without anyone knowing. I strongly suspect the late Sen. Kennedy was one of those, among many more.

Layton, UT

Liberals don't give to charity, because their very existence is an act of charity to all who know them. They enlighten and feel-your-pain to a degree that financial compensation would only seem crass and inadequate to their granditude.

Mchenry, IL

The president donated a very small percent of income until the year he ran for president. Then it was about 6%. They seem to give more time than money.

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