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letters | THE SENATE CANDIDATES’ TAX RETURNS

Crunching the data on candidates’ charitable giving

US SENATOR SCOTT BROWN AND DEMOCRAT ELIZABETH WARREN

STEVEN SENNE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

US SENATOR SCOTT BROWN AND DEMOCRAT ELIZABETH WARREN

I read the article “From humble roots to top of income ladder: Warren, Brown release tax returns” (Page A1, April 28) with great interest. As a former engineer and current high school math teacher, I often use various data to augment my opinions on political issues. You write that Elizabeth Warren and her husband’s joint income averaged about $850,000 over four years, and Scott Brown and his wife’s income averaged about $428,000 over the same period.

I determined the percentages of their income that went to charitable contributions during the four years: about 2.8 percent for Warren and about 2.1 percent for Brown. Neither is impressive to me.

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Checking my returns for the same four years, I determined that we had charitable contributions of about 4.6 percent on an average joint income of less than $100,000.

While I have certain opinions regarding what needs to be done for overall tax reform, I find the current rhetoric regarding what is a “fair” tax rate for the top 1 percent in this country to be silly outside the topic of overall tax reform, and hypocritical when some of our elected officials and candidates who are 1 percenters don’t donate what I would consider a fair or reasonable amount of their income to charity.

Actions speak louder to me than political rhetoric.

David Bernardi

Scituate

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