All four candidates in the presidential and vice-presidential campaign speak constantly about what they will do for the middle class of America. Judging from the disparity of their programs of taxation and tax relief for the middle class it is difficult to know if they really know who belongs to the economic middle class in the United States.
It appears that perhaps only Sarah Palin knows anything about the problems of the economic middle class judging from the tax returns and financial statements which all four candidates have filed.
Of particular interest is the contrast between the charitable contributions of wealthy Barack Hussein Obama and wealthy Joe Biden and middle class Sarah Palin.
Palin Is Lowest Earner of the Candidates
By MARY JACOBY and T.W. FARNAM
October 4, 2008
Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin released her tax returns and personal financial disclosure report Friday, showing her to be the lowest earner of the four national candidates.
Gov. Palin and her husband, Todd, an oil-field worker and small-businessman, had a combined adjusted gross income of $166,000 in 2007, up from $128,000 in 2006, the tax returns show.
The Alaska governor's financial information was released a day after a debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden in which Gov. Palin repeatedly identified herself as middle class.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain paid more for household help last year—$270,000—than his running mate and her husband earned. Sen. McCain reported $852,000 in household income in 2007. His wife, Cindy, an heiress to a beer distributorship fortune, files her tax returns separately. Her returns showed $6 million of income in 2006.
Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelle, reported income of $4.2 million last year, according to tax returns released earlier this year. Their income included $3.9 million from book royalties.
Sen. Biden and his wife, Jill, reported $320,000 in adjusted gross income last year. Their tax returns, released earlier this year, were notable for how little they gave to charity: $995, or less than 1% of their income.
The Palins gave somewhat more: $3,325 last year, including items donated to the Salvation Army, or 1.5% of their adjusted gross income.
Sarah Palin is the breadwinner of the family, the documents show. Last year as Alaska governor she earned $122,000 in the "Medicare wages" field of her W-2 form, while Todd Palin earned $46,600 as an employee of BP Exploration Alaska Inc.
Todd Palin also reported a net profit of $15,500 from a commercial fishing business. But the champion snow-machine racer reported a loss of nearly $10,000 from his racing venture.
As citizens of Alaska, the Palin family and their children are eligible for dividends from the state from energy revenues. Gov. Palin reported on her financial disclosure form that those dividends were worth between $10,000 and $30,000 to her family for last year and 2008.
The Palin's largest asset is their home in Wasilla, Alaska, valued at between $500,000 and $1 million. They own a fishing leasehold on the Nushagak River in Alaska worth between $100,000 and $250,000, and various mutual funds and stocks worth between $113,000 and $470,000. The form requires disclosure of asset values in broad ranges.
Write to Mary Jacoby at firstname.lastname@example.org