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Tax time! President Obama paid less than he did last year

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 15th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's a sinking disappointment to realize that after doing your taxes to find you made less last year than the one previously. Don't feel bad: It's been revealed that both President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama paid $112,214 in federal income taxes for 2012 on adjusted gross income of $608,611, an effective rate of 18.4 percent. Essentially, the Obama family's income, or the amount after certain deductions and exemptions was down from $789,674 that the Obamas reported in 2011, when they paid total federal taxes of $162,074, an effective rate of 20.5 percent.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The decline was due primarily to Obama's falling book royalties. Both Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams from My Father" royalties have fallen over time, to just under $274,000 last year.

Obama's book-related earnings peaked in 2009 when he garnered about $5.6 million from two publications,
The Obamas paid $29,450 in state income tax to Illinois for 2012.

The couple gave $150,034, or about 24.6 percent of their adjusted gross income, to 33 different charities last year. The largest reported gift was $103,871 to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides free housing to family members of injured veterans.

The rest of the Obama's charitable contributions were spread across a range of charities, such as the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity and the National Congress of Black Women.

The Obamas also made a $5,000 contribution to Sidwell Friends School, the exclusive private school attended by their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, in both 2011 and 2012.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden reported adjusted gross income of $385,072 in 2012, the White House said. They paid $87,851 in total federal income tax for 2012, a further $13,531 in Delaware income tax and $3,593 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens gave $7,190 to charity in 2012.

These revelations come at a time when there is much discussion over what level of taxes the wealthy should pay. Obama's budget released last week included several proposals to raise taxes, particularly on upper-income Americans, as part of a package aimed at restarting deficit-reduction talks with Republican lawmakers.

The White House budget includes the so-called Buffett Rule, which would impose a 30 percent minimum federal tax on Americans earning $1 million or more per year. The president has personally championed the idea, saying upper-income families should pay higher effective tax rates than middle-class families.

The rule is named for the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who says he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. The president's budget would raise about $1 trillion in new tax revenue over the next decade.

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