The White House released President Obama’s 2012 tax returns Friday, showing a drop in income and a slightly higher tax payment that is a result of his own policies. Though some Mitt Romney supporters balked at the tax rate paid by Obama, the president’s IRS filing was remarkable for a number of reasons.
First, there was the drop-off in reported income, which can be attributed to slowing sales of “Dreams of My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope,” the two Obama-penned books that were bestsellers before and after the 2008 election. Obama earned over $5 million from book sales in 2009, according to his tax returns of that year — a huge figure compared to the roughly $273,000 earned in royalties last year. His other chief source of income was the $400,000 U.S. president’s salary.
Overall, Obama paid taxes at a rate of 18.4 percent, according to a post by Press Secretary Jay Carney on the White House site. Much was made of Mitt Romney’s 14 percent tax rate during the 2012 elections, which was why numerous critics rushed online yesterday to call out the president’s equally favorable rate. Would the White House respond to charges Obama is enjoying the same benefits? Let’s take a look at his return…
“Under the President’s own tax proposals,” Carney wrote in his blog post, “…he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class…” On the issue of what Obama is paying as a result of his own policies, the numbers tell a rather prosaic story. According to calculations by Tony Nitti on the Forbes site, Obama will pay an extra $1,800 in taxes as a result of Congress-approved hikes made on the highest tax brackets.
Overall, the president’s tax return — filed jointly with his wife Michelle — shows an income of $608,000 before deductions. While that would put him squarely in the tax brackets targeted in fiscal cliff negotiations, his taxable income ended up below $350,000. Considering the president and his wife have few stock investments, it is unlikely his income will rise in the coming years, meaning he will continue not to be burdened by past and future tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans.
Don’t Miss: Is Housing Bubble 2.0 Already Here?