WASHINGTON – President 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 presidents 2011 federal income tax return shows that about half of the first familys income is the presidents salary. The rest comes from sales of Obamas books.
Obamas 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.
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 presidents tax return, which also shows charitable donations of more than $172,000.
Obama is donating after-tax proceeds from his childrens book to the Fisher House Foundation. The charity helps veterans and military families receiving medical treatment.
For Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill, this years tax return looks almost identical to last years.
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.