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Monday, March 28, 2016

Presidential Candidates and Philanthropy

Photo credit: Dave Newman
With primary season heating up, four candidates remain with a hope of reaching the White House. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders all have different takes on both personal giving and how best to propel philanthropy for everyone. How do these candidates stack up from a philanthropic perspective? Here is a summary, as reported by The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Donald Trump
Donald Trump continues not to release his tax forms, which makes any in-depth analysis of his giving rate and charitable gifts impossible. He maintains he has given $100 million to charity in his lifetime, but that number can't be tracked or verified at this time.

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz's tax return for 2014 shows that his and his wife's adjusted gross income for 2014 was just over $1.2 million. However, there is no mention of charitable gifts. Between 2006 and 2010, the couple donated less than 1 percent of their combined income to charity.

Hillary Clinton
Hillary and Bill Clinton had an adjust gross income of just under $28 million in 2014. They donated $3 million to charity, at a giving rate of 10.8 percent. Most of their charitable giving went to the Clinton Foundation, which focuses on global issues of economic development, climate change, girls and women, and global health.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, had an adjusted gross income of $205,000 dollars in 2014. They donated $10,367 to charity, or about 5 percent of their income.

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Unknown said...

Not all charitable donations are reported on a tax form. The hundred-dollar bills I put in the red kettles at year-end, you would never find any record of, and you could portray me as a heartless skinflint, unconcerned for the troubles of society.

Unknown said...

That is a valid point. Not everyone itemizes or is interested in getting a charitable deduction.
However, you can get a receipt from the SA if you did want to take the deduction.

Unknown said...

It is difficult to evaluate giving. Bernie's $205,000 of income would certainly provide a better lifestyle in Vt than in the Bay Area of San Francisco. Plus as a long term congressman and senator, one would like to know what his pension will be like. Furthermore, I believe he has a fairly liberal reimbursement plan in the Senate.