Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Obama's Charitable Contributions

On March 26, 2008, the New York Times published a story about Michelle and Barack Obama's charitable contributions for 2001 through 2006.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Senator Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, sharply increased their charitable donations as Mr. Obama began to run for president and the family’s income increased from book sales, according to tax returns that the couple released on Tuesday.

Some of the largest donations went to the Trinity United Church of Christ, whose pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., has been in the news for inflammatory messages in his sermons, causing Mr. Obama to distance himself from Mr. Wright, his former spiritual mentor

One interesting point in the article is the last paragraph that refers to a $13,000 donation to "Congressional Black Caucus" in 2006.  This is clearly an error and the donation had to have gone to "Congressional Black Caucus Foundation," which is listed in the IRS publication 78 as a proper charitable donation recipient.  Query why the article states that "The campaign said Mr. Obama had filed an amended return to eliminate that item as a deduction"?

Fellow Blogger and Tax Law Professor, Paul Caron, is quoted in the article as saying that: "Their charitable giving only went up when it looked like he was campaigning for the presidential office.”

For the entire story, see "Obamas’ Tax Returns Show Donation Spike" in the March 26, 2008, edition of the New York Times.


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