Joe Biden, Straw Man: Is paying taxes patriotic? - Reason Magazine Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), for instance, seems concerned about adequate patriotism on the part of people in households making over $250,000. They need to pay more taxes, he said this week: "It's time to be patriotic...time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut." Could it be that Biden is a real, live, walking, talking straw man? Advocates of personal responsibility and private charity love to hold up this particular character for inspection: the guy who believes that state welfare programs exempt him from the obligation to personal charity. The guy who believes that paying mandatory taxes and making private donations are one and the same. I've always been skeptical that such a character exists. But here we have him, in the gleaming golden flesh. Lest there be room for doubt, Biden stuck by his remarks and tacked on, "Catholic social doctrine as I was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most." When Biden released his tax returns last week, many jumped on his none-too-impressive record of charitable giving. Despite income somewhere in the $210,432 to $321,379 category during the last 10 years (rich!), the Bidens have given between $120 to $995 to charity annually, between 0.06 percent and 0.31 percent of their income. The average taxpayer bringing in more than $200,000 makes over $20,000 of charitable contributions, according to the IRS.