Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke defended his lack of charitable giving yesterday, claiming he sacrifices through his public service and that some of his donations are not reported to the IRS.
O’Rourke’s explanation came after a student at the University of Virginia told him her sister made less money than he did but had contributed more in charitable donations than the former congressman did.
“I’ve served in public office since 2005. I do my best to contribute to the success of my community, my state and now, of my country. There are ways that I do this that are measurable. And there are ways that I do this that are immeasurable,” he said to the University of Virginia students.
DallasNews points out that from 2008 to 2017, “the O’Rourkes reported and deducted a total of $24,295 in charitable donations, ranging from an annual low of 0.2% of gross adjusted income to a high of 4.3%.”
In 2017 O’Rourke and his wife reported $366,455 adjusted gross income and gave just 0.3% to charity ($1,166).
“There are charities that we’ve donated to that we’ve recorded and itemized, others that we’ve donated to that we have not,” the presidential candidate said. “I’ll tell you, I’m doing everything I can right now, spending this time with you, not with our kiddos, not back home in El Paso, because I want to sacrifice everything to make sure that we meet this moment of truth with everything we’ve got.”
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