The Washington Post reports:
Barack Obama released his 2007 tax returns yesterday as the latest move in a running dialogue with Hillary Clinton over which presidential candidate has been more open about personal finances.Obama`s tax returns showed that he made $4.2 million last year, most of it ($3.9 million) a result of profits from his best-selling books. He reported paying $1,396,772 in federal taxes and making charitable contributions totaling $240,370. Those donations included $26,270 to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which was the parish of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., his controversial former longtime pastor.The funny thing is that I bet Rev. Wright considers Obama an ungrateful tightwad. After all, Obama makes $3.9 million in one year off his two books, for one of which Wright`s "Audacity of Hope" sermon provides the title and for the other it provides the central climax.Does Obama do the Christian thing and tithe? Hardly. Instead of 10%, Obama chips in 0.7% of his income.Betrayed, I tell you. Betrayed.Just like with Oprah Winfrey. She starts making 9 figures annually, but does she tithe as a reward to Rev. Wright for all the spiritual uplift he`s provided her?No. In fact, she quits the church.Poor Rev. Wright will have to spend his retirement years living in a mansion in a gated community on a public golf course, Odyssey in Tinley Park, and not a particularly superb one either, only $78 to play on weekends.Do you think Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. might be in the mood to sign a contract to write a book himself? Something with a title like "Me and My Spiritual Mentee, Sen. Esq. Barack H. Obama, Jr." only catchier. Publication date, say, October 1, 2008?I was also wondering if anybody has made more money off of nonfiction books that fewer people have finished than Sen. Obama (Stephen Hawking, maybe?). But then I started thinking about what percentage of all best-selling books that don`t reveal who the murderer is on the last page or whether the kids escape being eaten by the tyrannosaurus ever get finished. I bet it`s low.Update: A reader points out that one definite answer to the question of "Who has made more money off unfinished books than Obama" is Obama`s opponent`s husband, Bill Clinton, who has made $29.6 million in advances and royalties for his 1008 page autobiography (and miscellaneous quasi-books). Heck, I could barely finish reading Bill`s opening sentence, with its 11 prepositional phrases:
"Early on the morning of August 19, 1946, I was born under a clear sky after a violent summer storm to a widowed mother in the Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, a town of about six thousand in southwest Arkansas, thirty-three miles east of the Texas border at Texarkana."