Andrew Cuomo – former secretary of HUD, former candidate for governor of New York, current candidate for attorney general of New York, and best known as the son of former Democratic dream candidate Mario Cuomo – released his tax returns earlier this month. In 2004 and 2005 Cuomo had more than $1.5 million in adjusted gross income. And he gave a total of $2,000 to charity. He made no charitable contributions in 2003, when his income was a bit less than $300,000. It’s no wonder that Cuomo believes passionately in taxing Americans to support all manner of welfare and transfer programs. Looking within himself, he quite understandably fears that in the absence of coerced transfer programs there would be no support for the poor. Yet in fact Americans gave about $250 billion to charity in 2004, or an average of about 2 percent of income.
In a related story, leftwing bloggers two months ago denounced Vice President Cheney for the “shady charitable contributions” reported on his 2005 tax return and called him “a major beneficiary of the Hurricane Katrina tax relief act.” What was so shady? It seems that on an income of almost $9 million (mostly deferred compensation from his years at Halliburton), Cheney gave 77 percent of it, or $6.8 million, to charity. Some beneficiary! To the lefty bloggers, and especially to their commenters, this was shady because normally you can only take a deduction of up to 50 percent of your income, but that cap was lifted to encourage contributions in the year of Katrina. So Congress passed a law to encourage charitable contributions, and Cheney gave more to charity, and leftists called him “shady.” A clear case of Bush Derangement Syndrome.