Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obamas Give Generously to Charity

My interview today on FOX Business Channel regarding Presidential and Vice Presidential family charitable giving -


rosiem said...

It is not surprising that the Obamas would conveniently increase their donations to charity on a campaign year. So what's new?

Ken Berger said...


What's new is that even with this increase, on average the Obama family gives less than any Presidents family we have looked at going back to President Bush Sr.

In addition, Obama family giving to churches this past year (although the family's overall giving was at a record level percentage of income for them) was a hundred dollars or so here and there. Whereas his giving to human service agencies and others averaged $5,000 each.

There is more I will mention soon, but that gives you an idea.


F.M. Elias said...

Let's keep in mind that the Obama's do not come from 'legacy wealth.' -- I understand they just finished paying law student loans off with some of the proceeds of (now) President Obama's book sales. It's not realistic to compare giving of the current president to the Bush's giving...the Bush's giving as a percentage of reported and/or real income/assets/worth would present a very different picture.

Ken Berger said...

F.M. Elias,

The Obama family has had income in the top 1% of wage earners in the US for many years. Yet, their giving up until Barack became a Senator, was less than 1%. That is way below average (3%). I leave it to you to decide whether or not that is acceptable.

I agree that giving is a personal decision and each family has to make their own choices based on their circumstances. In addition, giving involves both time and treasure. The tax return does not tell the story of volunteering.

Having said that, Barack Obama is a public figure and is expected to be a role model for others. He has stated that giving should be based on benevolence. Yet in that regard, the Obama's fit the pattern of conservatives vs. liberals. That is, conservatives tend to give more money to charity.


Jaygboy said...

Curious to know how much percent Mr Ken Berger himself gives to charity each year?

Is his greater than the Bidens or the Obama's? Thanks

Ken Berger said...


My family gave 7.7% of our income to charity in 2008.