Friday, April 13, 2012

1%-er Obama Releases His Tax Return, Pays Less Taxes Than His Secretary

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid a 20.5 percent federal tax rate on $789,674 in adjusted gross income for 2011, according to tax returns released today by the White House.

The Obamas’ income dropped from $1.7 million in 2010 and $5.5 million in 2009. Obama, who earns a $400,000 annual salary as president, received most of the rest of his 2011 income from sales of his books.

Because they earned less than $1 million in 2011, the Obamas wouldn’t be subject to the Buffett rule, the proposed minimum tax on high earners the president has been pushing for in his re-election campaign.

White House Dossier:
Obama has spent the past week touting the Buffett Rule, which calls on those who make $1 million – just a little more than Obama made – to pay at federal tax rate of at least 30 percent. The rule was inspired by Buffett’s comment that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The most recent information about salary regarding Obama’s secretary is for his former secretary, Katie Johnson, who is listed by the White House as having made $90,000 in 2010.

According to Wikipedia, Johnson is 31 years old and now attends Harvard Law School. I don’t know about her personal life or what her deductions would be, so I can’t assume any children or extra deductions.

On a $90,000 salary, she would pay $16,578 in federal taxes, $3,780 to Social Security, and $1,305 in Medicare taxes.

That adds up to a total federal tax burden of $21,663 on $90,000 in adjusted gross income, or a tax rate of 24 percent.

Obama’s federal income tax rate was 20.5 percent. If you include the Medicare and Social Security taxes paid by Obama, his total federal tax liability is 21.8 percent, fully two percent less than that of his secretary even though his adjusted gross income was nearly nine times hers.