The Tulsa World’s recent editorial, “Trump's donations of his presidential salary are generous and patriotic (Aug. 23),” prompted me to do a little number crunching.
The editorial refers to Trump as “a billionaire a couple of times over.” Trump claims a much higher net worth.
However, using $2 billion as an estimate, a donation of $400,000 amounts to a giving rate of 0.02% of his wealth.
The median net worth of an American household is roughly $100,000, according to data from the Survey of Consumer Finances.
To equal the president’s giving rate, this would require annual gifts from a median household of $20.
According to IRS statistics, based on 37 million tax returns filed for 2016, the average charitable giving reported was $5,508.
Yet, I don’t see any editorials praising all the rest of us for being “patriotic and generous” and “deserving of public thanks.”
I will be the first to acknowledge that it is extremely difficult to find anything about our president’s performance that is worthy of praise, so I understand your editorial board’s dilemma.
However, it still seems a bit of a stretch.
Steve Harrison, McAlester
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