Obama donated little to charity

March 25, 2008 9:00:52 PM PDT
Democrat Barack Obama gave nearly a quarter of a million dollars to charity last year as he entered the presidential race, significantly more than during the nine previous years combined. The Illinois senator has yet to release his 2007 tax return. His campaign said Tuesday it will be made public by Tax Day, April 15, while at the same time disclosing that Obama gave $240,000 to charity last year.

From 1998 through 2006, Obama donated a total of $150,892 to charity.

Obama posted his 2000 to 2006 returns on his campaign Web site Tuesday to pressure rival Hillary Rodham Clinton to do the same. His campaign repeatedly has criticized Clinton for failing to release tax returns for the years since she and her husband left the White House in 2001.

Clinton, campaigning in Pennsylvania, said she hoped to release the returns "within the next week."

The returns Obama posted online already had been provided to The Associated Press, along with returns from 1998 and 1999.

The Obamas' income increased dramatically in the past decade.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, earned $181,507 to $272,759 each year from 1998-2004.

Their income jumped to $1.6 million in 2005, Obama's first year in the Senate, with the rerelease of his first book, "Dreams from My Father." They made nearly $1 million in 2006, half of it from his second book, "The Audacity of Hope."

The Obamas' charitable giving also increased with their newfound wealth.

From 1998-2004, they gave between $1,050-$3,400 each year. In 2005, they gave $77,315, including donations to literacy and anti-poverty campaigns and their church. In 2006, they gave $60,307 to charity.