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Obama tax return shows 2011 earnings of $789,674

By Anne Gearan

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:15 a.m. HST, Apr 13, 2012

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama and his family paid more than $160,000 in federal taxes last year on earnings of $789,674, the White House said Friday.

The president's 2011 federal income tax return shows that about half of the first family's income is the president's salary. The rest comes from sales of Obama's books.

Obama's effective tax rate is just above 20 percent — lower than many Americans who earn less. He has made tax-rate fairness a campaign issue, arguing that millionaires and other very wealthy people should not pay a smaller share of their incomes in taxes than people who earn much less.

"He believes that people like him should be paying an effective tax rate that is no lower than the rate paid by hard-working, middle-class Americans," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday.

The White House did not say exactly what rate Obama thinks would have been fair for him in 2011, but using a calculator posted on the White House web site, more than 56,000 millionaires would have paid taxes at a lower rate.

Obama's proposed "Buffett Rule" would not have applied to him last year, since he earned less than $1 million.

The plan is named for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained that rich people like him pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-class taxpayers do. Many wealthy taxpayers earn investment income, which is taxed at 15 percent. Obama has proposed that people earning at least $1 million annually — whether in salary or from investments — should pay at least 30 percent of their incomes in taxes.

The push for the realignment draws renewed attention to the effective tax rate of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a millionaire who is paying 15.4 percent in federal taxes for 2011 on income mostly derived from investments.

By contrast, the top nominal rate for taxpayers with high incomes derived from wages, not investments, is 35 percent.

The White House released a copy of the president's tax return, which also shows charitable donations of more than $172,000.

Obama is donating after-tax proceeds from his children's book to the Fisher House Foundation. The charity helps veterans and military families receiving medical treatment.

The family tax return is fairly simple by the standards of wealthy people with multiple assets and sources of income. Obama listed his two daughters as dependents and his occupation as "U.S. President." Michelle Obama listed her occupation as "U.S. First Lady." They listed 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. as their primary address.

The first family reported income of $1.7 million for 2010, much of it from the sale of the president's books. They paid federal taxes of $453,770.

Their adjusted gross income for 2010 was far below the $5.5 million they reported for 2009, also mostly from book sales.

Carney said Obama earned even less in 2011 because of "fluctuations" in book sales.

For Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, this year's tax return looks almost identical to last year's.

Returns for 2011 released by the White House show the Bidens paid $87,900 in federal taxes on adjusted gross income of $379,035. Their income was $143 below their 2010 return, but their tax bill was $1,274 higher. In both cases, the effective tax rate was just over 23 percent.

On the latest return, the Bidens listed $5,540 in donations to charity.

Most of the couple's income came from the vice president's salary of $225,521 and Mrs. Biden's wages of just over $82,000 for teaching at Northern Virginia Community College.

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Oahuan wrote:
So he pays 20% tax on $789,674 while the rest of the middle class pays 30%. What a hypocrit! He complains that the rich are paying too little, yet he belongs in that same class. He's full of BS.
on April 13,2012 | 07:49AM
akuman808 wrote:
The President pays what the current tax code says he should pay. BO is advocating changing that tax code to increase that rate. What don't you understand about what is obviously a simple explanation for what you just read in this article? Problem with you is your hate blinds your logic.
on April 13,2012 | 07:56AM
waikiicapt wrote:
You miss the point. ALL OF US who earn a high wage PAY THE AMOUNT OF TAXES WE LEGALLY OWE. BO campaigned on the concept that people who earn above $250,000 are rich and they should pay more. Now the 'cut-off' is a $1 million. There is nothing that prevents you from PAYING more than you OWE. BO could have used this tax season as an opportunity to pay what he believes he SHOULD pay, based on pro-rating his income to his proposed higher proposed rate. If this guy led by example, he might have some shred of credibility. But as is the case with most flaming liberals, he doesn't. HIS rules apply to other rich people. NOT himself. It always is a case of hypocrisy with BO, because you know, he's the President. Just ask him. It's not about hat and blind logic. It's about the reality that BO's liberal socialist policies are running this country into the ground. What he wants for everyone else is far different than what he would hold himself to.
on April 13,2012 | 08:26AM
EightOEight wrote:
Yes, he campaigned on a platform of a $250k cutoff and was voted into the office. He then compromised and adjusted to $1m...Repubs argued it would hurt too many small business owners. And true to form, it's still not good enough for the Repubs. Current polls show the majority of people want the tax rate on the wealthy increased...60 percent currently. Obama's not a hypocrite because if the tax rates are increased, he'll have to pay if his taxable income falls into the higher bracket . So you pay the legally owed amount now...if the tax rates are raised you'll pay the legally owed amount then...I don't miss the point, I just don't understand yours for making your comment and all in caps on top of that.
on April 13,2012 | 10:15AM
lee1957 wrote:
Absent legislative action, the rates will increase 1/1/2013.
on April 13,2012 | 11:37AM
EightOEight wrote:
Forgot about that; deal reached this summer...thanks for the reminder.
on April 13,2012 | 12:55PM
akuman808 wrote:
He donated $172K to charity. How much did you donate in terms of percentage of what your gross income was in 2011? Thought so.
on April 13,2012 | 11:57AM
ISCREAM wrote:
Almost 20%...
on April 13,2012 | 06:27PM
OldDiver wrote:
akuman808.......President Obama has in fact cut taxes for middle class Americans. He is not looking to raise taxes on middle class Americans like you hear on Republican TV (Fox News). He wants the Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire at the end of the year keeping the middle income tax cut.
on April 13,2012 | 10:26AM
lee1957 wrote:
When the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, the lowest tax bracket will see a 50% rate increase, the highest bracket will see a 10% rate increase. That is looking out for middle class Americans?
on April 13,2012 | 11:39AM
primowarrior wrote:
I don't think either side will let the entirety of the Bush tax cuts expire. They will probably renew it as they did last time to preserve the lower brackets. The point of contention will be that highest bracket, which the Democrats want to eliminate, but the Republicans want to keep.
on April 13,2012 | 02:17PM
OldDiver wrote:
Democrats want to keep the middle class tax cut and only let the Bush tax cut for the rich expire.
on April 13,2012 | 02:39PM
akuman808 wrote:
olddiver, I was referring to the upper ($1 mil) level. I fully support BO and what he has been able to do against a hostile republican caucus in the House and Senate. Now let's see if Romney releases his 2011 tax returns.. For that matter, Boehner, McConnell, Cantor should all provide their tax returns.. Reid and Pelosi should be the first to present their tax returns and call out the repubs...
on April 13,2012 | 12:03PM
IAmSane wrote:
Romney did release his 2011 tax return: taxbase5.tax.org/thp/presreturns.nsf/Returns/9F81699BC7D6DE238525798F0051C35F/$file/M_Romney_2011.pdf His total earnings was over $20 million and yet people are complaining about Obama's $700K.
on April 13,2012 | 05:52PM
lee1957 wrote:
But if BHO doesn't think it's fair, and he has said so on many occasions, he should make up the difference with a voluntary contribution. Maybe Warren and he can have a beer summit followed by writing a check.
on April 13,2012 | 11:35AM
akuman808 wrote:
BO paid $160K in taxes & DONATED $172k. Use your calculator, that's $332K of the gross income of $789K. In terms of percentage that is 42% of the gross income. Why do you see that as a problem? Should he have paid the $172K to the federal government?? What's your point?
on April 13,2012 | 01:04PM
gamay wrote:
I agree akuman808! Read the article in it's entirety before you start leaving ridiculous comments.
on April 13,2012 | 08:04AM
waikiicapt wrote:
BO and the "First Lady" also used the tax code to their advantage. By donating $48,000 to their own daughters, they decreased their own taxable income. Their is nothing wrong or illegal about aby of this. But BO loves to chastise "other" high income earners for manipulating the tax code to their own advantage. Again, perfectly legal. But somehow, it's OKAY for BO and Michelle to do it.
on April 13,2012 | 09:35AM
OldDiver wrote:
Oahuan.............you are mistaken. President Obama pays the 35% tax on the upper tier of his income. The 20% mention is the overall tax. His tax table is the same as yours an mine.
on April 13,2012 | 10:08AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Do you know what are the types of income BO had in his income tax return?
on April 13,2012 | 11:57AM
OldDiver wrote:
Read the article. It answers your question.
on April 13,2012 | 02:40PM
IAmSane wrote:
Look at the tax return and figure it out for yourself: taxbase5.tax.org/thp/presreturns.nsf/Returns/1D6FCBBDBE24A89C852579DF0051B896/$file/B_Obama_2011.pdf
on April 13,2012 | 05:53PM
ISCREAM wrote:
And what everyone needs to know is that he pays a lower rate than his secretary.
on April 13,2012 | 06:26PM
EightOEight wrote:
Uh, that's why Obama's for the Buffett Rule???
on April 13,2012 | 06:41PM
walrus808 wrote:
The whole problem with the Buffett rule is that Warren Buffett does not draw a salary, therefore they would be raising the capital gains tax to 30%, that would affect every investor, not just millionaires. So, everyone out there that keeps screaming for fairness should start thinking twice about what they are trying to do in Washington. It is very rare that these class warefare tactics don't eventually end up hurting the middle class. These politicians (both sides) will tell you they are fighting for you the middle class, then in the end we find out that we're really getting raped on the back end of the deal. Come on November!
on April 13,2012 | 08:05AM
serious wrote:
Look at the problem in a simple way. Very few of the Senators and Congresspersons are not millionaires. (That you can look up.) If you are a millionaire, you prudently invest your money and are into the capital gains sitution, either in interest, dividents or long term gain--at 15%. Does anyone really think that after all the yelling and roaring about the Bush tax cuts that any of these politicians are going to vote themselves a 20% tax increase???? Would you? Greed, is good--for THEM!!!
on April 13,2012 | 09:04AM
postmanx wrote:
Why should anyone be paying more taxes when the government is wasting so much of it? I'm sick of this stupid debate of who's not paying "their fair share".
on April 13,2012 | 08:24AM
OldDiver wrote:
I agree, cut wasteful military spending and cutting government subsidies to profitable corporations will go a long way to balancing the budget.
on April 13,2012 | 10:28AM
OldDiver wrote:
One more thing, no more invading counties for their oil.
on April 13,2012 | 10:29AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Really, OldDiver? How many "barrels" of oil did the US get from invading Iraq? Really, OD. how many barrels.
on April 13,2012 | 11:51AM
OldDiver wrote:
Which makes the two invasions which costs thousands of American lives Bush's folly.
on April 13,2012 | 02:41PM
IAmSane wrote:
The "barrels" go to the contractors, corporations, and the oil companies; not you.
on April 13,2012 | 05:57PM
serious wrote:
Let's be practical on this. You can look it up, but the vast majority of our Senators and Congresspeople are million, or multi-millionaires. As such they are prudent investors and like Buffet and Romney take advantage of the tax code. They pay 15% taxes on their interest income, dividends and capital gains. They will rant and rave about the Bush tax cuts for the rich and the disparity of taxes for the "little" people, but does anyone really think they will vote themselves a 20% tax increase????
on April 13,2012 | 09:48AM
OldDiver wrote:
Let's do what President Reagan did and raise the capital gains tax to the same level as income tax.
on April 13,2012 | 10:30AM
serious wrote:
OD, as stated above what politicians are going to raise THEIR taxes 20%?
on April 13,2012 | 12:49PM
OldDiver wrote:
So far the millionaire Democrats are on board with raising taxes for the richest of Americans. The Republican millionaires are against it.
on April 13,2012 | 02:43PM
ufried wrote:
waikiicapt... this is lib central, don't waste your time. logic need not apply here. same ol' lib posters everyday carrying the water and "hoping for the change" they were promised. you hit the nail right on the head, if any lib wants to pay more than their fair share to the IRS, im pretty sure they would take it. we all know that would never happen.
on April 13,2012 | 11:17AM
IAmSane wrote:
U mad?
on April 13,2012 | 05:58PM
ufried wrote:
CUT MILITARY SPENDING... but please continue to protect me from all foreign and domestic enemies,and please protect the right of free speech that i enjoy daily. but do all of this with less please. OIL IS BAD... but not while im driving to work. OIL IS BAD... because i fly an electric airplane to the mainland. SEMPER FI
on April 13,2012 | 11:38AM
EightOEight wrote:
There's no waste in the military, really? There's no way to become more efficient without compromising the effectiveness of the military...really?
on April 13,2012 | 02:15PM
IAmSane wrote:
Yeah, an $800 billion military budget is not ridiculous at all. Hey, look, I can be sarcastic too.
on April 13,2012 | 06:00PM
Kuniarr wrote:
The mere fact that the US lost 3 million jobs between 2000 to 2004 do not seem to bother both Democrats and Republicans. Well folks, 3 million jobs means that a huge chunk of that $2.3 trillion in worker earnings (average of $769 a week) were taken out of circulation. That's approximately 23 billion that would have gone to the IRS treasury (assuming that the gross income of $40,000 average gross income per factory worker translates into a 1% income tax. And how many million more jobs does anyone think were lost between 2005-2012?
on April 13,2012 | 11:49AM
Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 13,2012 | 05:00PM
IAmSane wrote:
I don't think you understand what an income is.
on April 13,2012 | 06:01PM
motoxdad wrote:
that's because he's still sitting in his 59 chevy
on April 13,2012 | 10:56PM
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