More class-warfare debates on tap as Obama, Biden release their 2011 taxes

posted at 12:46 pm on April 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

And let’s not forget more inaccuracies, too.  In CNN’s preview of the release, Political Ticker noted that White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed that the data would show that the Obamas would have needed to pay more had the Buffett Rule been in effect, although that’s not quite what Carney argued:

In a post on the White House blog accompanying the returns’ release, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wrote the president’s proposed “Buffett Rule” would actually increase the percentage of income the Obamas would pay in taxes.

“Under the President’s own tax proposals, including the expiration of the high-income tax cuts and limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it,” Carney wrote.

Carney’s argument wasn’t specific to the Buffett Rule, which wouldn’t have applied anyway.  The Obamas’ taxable income on their return came to $789,674, well below the $1 million threshold for the Buffett Rule as it currently exists in the Senate proposal.  (Obama originally proposed $250,000.)  It would have applied to last year’s return, with the Obamas’ taxable income level well over $1.2 million.

The Obamas paid $162,074 in federal income taxes for an effective tax rate of 20.5%.  That falls well above the median level of effective tax rates, according to the White House’s own report on the subject, which is 13.3% for the middle quintile of income earners.  It’s also well below the median effective tax rate for “the top 1%,” which is 29.6%.  Interestingly, it’s also lower than the level for the 25% quintile of the 1%, which is 21.2%.  According to these statistics, 75% of the top 1% pay at least 21.2% in effective tax rates, while only 10% of the middle quintile pay above that rate.  So much for unfairness.

The White House reports that the Obamas gave “$172,130 – or about 22% of their adjusted gross income – to 39 different charities.”  Good for them; that’s the kind of wealth-spreading that conservatives endorse.  On the other end of the spectrum, though, we have the Bidens, who had a reported AGI of $379,035 — and who donated $5,540 to charity.  That comes to about 1.5% of their taxable income, which was an improvement over earlier years … but not by much.  Contrast that to Mitt Romney, who donated $4.1 million on an AGI of $20.9 million in 2011 on his estimates, which would come to 19.6% of his AGI.

Democrats want to use this early-Friday release to have the media peppering Romney to release his returns all weekend long.  However, as noted, Romney has already released his 2011 estimates along with his 2010 returns in January, and the final returns aren’t due until Monday anyway.  Don’t expect that to keep the media from banging this drum over the next few days anyway.  As I wrote in January, the only purpose in this obligatory dance is class-warfare voyeurism.

Addendum: It occurs to me that the White House may have especially wanted Hilary Rosen off of Meet the Press in order to keep the one-weekend tax-return narrative from getting buried by the “war on women” backfire.  I don’t think they can avoid that outcome, however.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I keep hearing him say he can afford to pay a little more so I say put up or shut up

ldbgcoleman on April 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

So, if the Obama’s taxable income fell from $1.2 million in 2010 to $789,674 last year, are Barry and Mooch sitting there at night asking themselves if they’re better off now than they were 4 years ago?

Trafalgar on April 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Why can’t the 1% pay their fair share? /s

Oil Can on April 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

He keeps saying he can afford a little more so he should put up or shut up

ldbgcoleman on April 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Did turbo timmy do bho and mo’s taxes? If so, they probably made well over 1M but only reported 789,674? bho has a real problem with math and makes one wonder if these numbers are true?
L

letget on April 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

In CNN’s preview of the release, Political Ticker noted that White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed that the data would show that the Obamas would have needed to pay more had the Buffett Rule been in effect

Hey, there’s nothing stopping the Obamas from getting out the checkbook and sending in additional money. Why not set the example for all this “the rich should pay more” nonsense.

Bitter Clinger on April 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

So, if the Obama’s taxable income fell from $1.2 million in 2010 to $789,674 last year, are Barry and Mooch sitting there at night asking themselves if they’re better off now than they were 4 years ago?

Trafalgar on April 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Indeed.

Bitter Clinger on April 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Sounds like he needs to get Billy Ayers to write an addendum or a “lost chapter” to “Dreams” so he can repackage and reprint it. Sell a few more to all the liberal fluffers to boost his income above a million. He should afterall practice what he preaches! Oh wait, it’s Obama and he’s a dem, but I repeat myself…

JAM on April 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Unless they pay taxes on the in-kind “benefits” they get from free housing, free travel, free staff, etc., etc. then they need to shut up about fairness.

txmomof6 on April 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Did the Democrats just raise taxes?

Eleven Things Your Tax Pro Doesn’t Want to Hear From You This Month

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2012/04/04/eleven-things-your-tax-pro-doesnt-want-to-hear-from-you-this-month/

10. I owe more than I did last year. What did you do wrong? Even if your situation doesn’t change a whit – not even a penny – the Tax Code is constantly changing. For example, the Making Work Pay Credit expired in 2010 and was replaced in 2011 with the payroll tax cuts. The credit was a flat amount but the cuts are based on a percentage. So depending on your income level, you could see more of a cut – or less – or it might be the same.

Did the Obamamedia conveniently forget to inform people their taxes went up?

Galt2009 on April 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

$789k income for 2011?

What a loser. I want a president who knows how to make money (especially outside of gov’t) like Mitt. We choose to follow an economic winner, not a middle income poseur, like President Lame Duck!

Nemesis of Jihad on April 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

The White House reports that the Obamas gave “$172,130 – or about 22% of their adjusted gross income – to 39 different charities.

I hate to think what charities the Obama’s give to — Planned Parenthood (via Susan Komen Foundation?), Rev. Wright’s church, ACLU, Americans for the Separation of Church and State, hmmm is the Communist Party of America a charity?

Christian Conservative on April 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Joe Biden sure is one generous bastard ain’t he?

Did he also donate some used underwear to the cause like Billy Jeff did?

jukin3 on April 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Sounds like he needs to get Billy Ayers to write an addendum or a “lost chapter” to “Dreams” so he can repackage and reprint it. Sell a few more to all the liberal fluffers to boost his income above a million. He should afterall practice what he preaches! Oh wait, it’s Obama and he’s a dem, but I repeat myself…

JAM on April 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Sales of his TWO autobiographies are going to collapse once he won’t be able to compel government agencies to buy them anymore.

I hope the people of this country learn their lesson on this.

wildcat72 on April 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Carney’s argument wasn’t specific to the Buffett Rule, which wouldn’t have applied anyway.

But that’s what he wants people to think he’s talking about when he says “Under the President’s own tax proposals”. Weasel.

forest on April 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Considering the week they’re having, if I were a dem strategist, I would strongly suggest a weekend of golf or a vacation, or something, anything off the tube.

How much were the female white house employees underpaid?

They need some new subject matter that won’t blow up on them.

dogsoldier on April 13, 2012 at 1:03 PM

..is it just me, or does it seem like the Obama campaign is flailing. First “The War on Women” rebutted by Romney’s immediate rehash of the stats showing just how vicious the Obama “recovery” has been on the distaff side (90% of the jobs lost were wimmin), Rosen’s hoof-and-mouth disease outbreak, and now the NAG’s boss (That’s N.O.W. for the un-Rushicated) attempting to qualify the remarks by saying Ann Romney never worked outside of her home a day in her life?

While not evincing signs of desperation, it surely shows a lack of coherence.

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 1:05 PM

and the final returns aren’t due until Monday anyway.

No, Tuesday.

Mark1971 on April 13, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Just breezed through Jugears tax return.

He’s claiming a capital loss of $3000 this year (the maximum annual allowed) from a carry-over of $117k (IIRC) in capital losses from his business as an author.

How do you lose money as an author, considering his books have made him a millionaire?

BobMbx on April 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Drat! Hit the wrong button!

..and now this: Romney already released his 2010 taxes and released a preview of his 2011 taxes. Both showed he donated substantially more to charity that The POSOTUS and his lobster-sucking WIDE LOAD FLOTUS. And there are other warts hidden in their as well.

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

The White House reports that the Obamas gave “$172,130 – or about 22% of their adjusted gross income – to 39 different charities.”

Heh, I’d sure like to see the names of those 39 charities. I imagine he works his charities about like he works his green energy subsidies.

petefrt on April 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

So, if the Obama’s taxable income fell from $1.2 million in 2010 to $789,674 last year, are Barry and Mooch sitting there at night asking themselves if they’re better off now than they were 4 years ago?

Trafalgar on April 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

..extremely precious observation!

:-)

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Just breezed through Jugears tax return.

He’s claiming a capital loss of $3000 this year (the maximum annual allowed) from a carry-over of $117k (IIRC) in capital losses from his business as an author.

How do you lose money as an author, considering his books have made him a millionaire?

BobMbx on April 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Maybe people have been returning the books?

Bitter Clinger on April 13, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Rasmussen: Romney up 4.

Rusty Allen on April 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Christian Conservative on April 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Yep, what charities did he support and what did he get in return.

petefrt on April 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Everyone raise your hands who didn’t see this coming?..:)

Dire Straits on April 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM

You know, the thing that keeps at me, that I never see mentioned is that Obama or any others for that matter, who wish for the government to take more of their money, DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE EXEMPTIONS….
Which from the looks at the numbers supplied, the Obama’s probably took exemptions.

Now what they could do (and I am not in favor of this, it is just an idea)…is not add another tax to our God awful tax code….but once income reaches a certain level…we’ll say $1 million…..
Then all exemptions are disallowed.
No child tax credit,
No mortgage interest exemption,
No charity exemption, etc….

But seriously speaking….for people who want to pay more…
That option is available…..they don’t have to take deductions.

MityMaxx on April 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Just breezed through Jugears tax return.

He’s claiming a capital loss of $3000 this year (the maximum annual allowed) from a carry-over of $117k (IIRC) in capital losses from his business as an author.

How do you lose money as an author, considering his books have made him a millionaire?

BobMbx on April 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Huh. The State Department better step up their book buying.

The Washington Times reported first reported the purchase on Tuesday, noting that the president may have pocketed several thousand dollars from the sale. In 2010, Obama reported royalties worth between $1 million to $5 million for “Dreams from My Father,” and between $100,001 and $1 million for the “The Audacity of Hope.”

Fallon on April 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM

So write a check for the amount you would owe under the Buffett rule – no law that says you can’t give more than required.
Why is it with libs they 1) are all about do as I say not as I do and 2) apparently can’t do anything unless they are MANDATED somehow to do it – they can’t seem to handle anything VOLUNTARY.

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM

So write a check for the amount you would owe under the Buffett rule – no law that says you can’t give more than required.
Why is it with libs they 1) are all about do as I say not as I do and 2) apparently can’t do anything unless they are MANDATED somehow to do it – they can’t seem to handle anything VOLUNTARY.

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM

The “rules” are for everyone else. Ask Timmy Geithner about that.

Bitter Clinger on April 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Baraka, we’re still awaiting those 23 years of tax returns!
What do you have to hide?

OkieDoc on April 13, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Sounds like he needs to get Billy Ayers to write an addendum or a “lost chapter” to “Dreams” so he can repackage and reprint it. Sell a few more to all the liberal fluffers to boost his income above a million. He should afterall practice what he preaches! Oh wait, it’s Obama and he’s a dem, but I repeat myself…

JAM on April 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

The next best-seller written by Ayers will have Ayers name on it, after little Bammie has left office, and it will be the story of how he and his father engineered a president.

Can you imagine how the fact that he achieved this and can’t talk about must be eating away at him?

slickwillie2001 on April 13, 2012 at 1:22 PM

“Quick somebody give that poor person some money!”
Joe Biden

jukin3 on April 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 1:05 PM

As one of our HA posters mentioned yesterday, the DNC planners are complaining about the venue for the convention at charlotte, SC. Apparently they called it a desert regarding food quality and availability. I heard southerners are kinda proud of their cuisine…and this is a swing state. Oy!

a capella on April 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

So who audited the Obama’s tax returns?

Not that I’m suspicious, but….Charlie Rangel, John F Kerry, Timmy Geithner……….

GarandFan on April 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

However, as noted, Romney has already released his 2011 estimates along with his 2010 returns in January, and the final returns aren’t due until Monday anyway.

C’mon, Ed. Help out the cause. Look at Romney’s return. He’s had an extension filed for weeks, if not months. Romney is not legally required to file his “final” return until mid-October. In his case, to ensure all the information is collected, no one–NO ONE–should expect him to file and release his 2011 until June or July. If the media don’t like, screw ‘em. It’s the law. And an extension to file is not an extension to pay, and I’m sure that Romney is well overpaid to the feds and to every state in which he may file a return.

BuckeyeSam on April 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Now what they could do (and I am not in favor of this, it is just an idea)…is not add another tax to our God awful tax code….but once income reaches a certain level…we’ll say $1 million…..
Then all exemptions are disallowed.
No child tax credit,
No mortgage interest exemption,
No charity exemption, etc….

IIRC, the child tax credit and mortgage interest exemption are already phased out at incomes well below $1 million, but the charity exemption is still in place at all income levels.

Perhaps one of our CPA/tax preparers can clarify/correct as needed.

EyeSurgeon on April 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Put your money where your mouth is Mr. President and pay more. You say you can afford it. You say you want to. What’s stopping you? Do you need the force of government to do so?

Jvette on April 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I wonder how much Obama’s secretary paid in taxes… heh!

crazywater on April 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I wonder how much Obama’s secretary paid in taxes… heh!

crazywater on April 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Look up in the HA Headlines.

Fallon on April 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Just breezed through Jugears tax return.

He’s claiming a capital loss of $3000 this year (the maximum annual allowed) from a carry-over of $117k (IIRC) in capital losses from his business as an author.

How do you lose money as an author, considering his books have made him a millionaire?

BobMbx on April 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Generally, I think highly of your comments. But here, you’re dead wrong. I loathe Obama as much as anyone; however, he should be criticized for appropriate things, not your incorrect recollections.

I’m looking at a downloaded version of Obama’s 2009 U.S. Form 1040. On Schedule D, Line 8, he reported a 29 January 2009 sale of 9,472 shares of Bank of Hawaii (acquired by inheritance). His income-tax basis in these shares was reported at $480,908–presumably the fair market value of those shares on the date of death of the decedent from whom he inherited the shares. Obama sold those share on that January 2009 date for $355,029, netting him a $125,879 long-term capital loss, which he could apply to offset a 2009 net capital gain of $352 and to offset $3,000 of 2009 ordinary income, which he did. So, Obama carried a capital loss of $122,527 to 2010.

Looking at Obama’s 2010 U.S. Form 1040, I see that Obama applied his capital loss carryover to offset $3,000 of ordinary income; hence, he carried a capital loss of $119,527 to 2011.

I haven’t downloaded his 2011 return, but according to you he applied the carryover to offset $3,000 of ordinary income in 2011.

The point to this exercise is that Obama did not realize a capital loss from his authoring activity. To call him on that was a mistake. Find fault with him elsewhere, but not on the point you made. I guess this grinds me so much because these are black and white facts, not something subject to interpretation.

BuckeyeSam on April 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Where are they getting that kind of income on the president’s salary?

Old Country Boy on April 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

@ EyeSurgeon on April 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

thanks for the info, I was not aware of that bit o’ information.

Well that explains the increase in charitable contributions by Obama.
If I recall, it was a lot less in previous years, percentage-wise….

But this year, it is at 22%

MityMaxx on April 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

My issue is how much of Obungler’s income is royalties from those lie’n’tall-tale-filled books some mysterious author(s) likely wrote but published under his pseudonym that got him anointed with his brilliant’n’hopey’n’changey title?

stukinIL4now on April 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM

@BuckeyeSam on April 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

At this point we just need a more simple tax code….this one is so dorked up, that not even the politicians that do the tax laws, could even complete their 1040′s accurately.

I hate tax time….I burn up at least 5 hours one weekend doing mine…only to see I need to send more money to Uncle Sam…
Knowing people who are sitting at home collecting welfare and paying section-8 housing rates….
And not trying to contribute to society in a positive way.

MityMaxx on April 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Oh, and just something else that grinds me….

I and my wife made $6K less this year….but we paid more in taxes.

Taxes paid for 2010 – $11,109
Taxes paid for 2011 – $11,620 (but we made $6,000 less)

MityMaxx on April 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

BuckeyeSam on April 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Uncle.

I did not research past returns for the source of the capital loss as you did. It appeared to me the loss (on schedule C) was his business as “author”.

I am wrong, you are right, and he’s still an ass.

BobMbx on April 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM

My issue is how much of Obungler’s income is royalties from those lie’n’tall-tale-filled books some mysterious author(s) likely wrote but published under his pseudonym that got him anointed with his brilliant’n’hopey’n’changey title?

stukinIL4now on April 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Don’t forget, after he won the election but before the coronation, a book-publishing company tossed him $500,000 for a yet-written “childrens’ book”.

That’s how liberals pay alms to proggies they worship, -throw them a bundle for some crappy book that might never be written.

slickwillie2001 on April 13, 2012 at 2:39 PM

….and he’s still an ass.

BobMbx on April 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM

LOL

MityMaxx on April 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

BobMbx on April 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM

He is, and you’re still a very good commenter.

As a tax-policy matter, it’s a little interesting that, depending on whether the estate of Obama’s decedent paid any estate tax and how much appreciation in those shares wasn’t taxed, Obama gets to claim an ongoing benefit for a capital loss on the sale of an asset that fell in his lap. For federal gift tax purposes, you can’t claim a capital loss on assets you receive from a donor unless your sales price is less than the donor’s basis in the asset.

But Obama’s just abiding by the law, as would I.

BuckeyeSam on April 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Until Celebrities and politicians willingly give up all but $50K a year of their income, I don’t think they have ANY right to lecture ANYBODY that they should give up more of their income in the name of “fairness”.

Violina23 on April 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

So, if the Obama’s taxable income fell from $1.2 million in 2010 to $789,674 last year, are Barry and Mooch sitting there at night asking themselves if they’re better off now than they were 4 years ago?

Trafalgar on April 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

…I would have had to pay taxes on the vacations I took, on the taxpayers dime.

KOOLAID2 on April 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

It cracks me up to see Obozo pandering like this. Considering he only gave 1/2 as much when he made twice as much in previous year…..he’s such a clown. I gues he meant “most transparent panderer ever” instead of “most transparent administration”.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/03/obama-releases.html

KMC1 on April 13, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Picture of the Day: If Obama Had A Son, He Would Not Look Like Trayvon

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/04/picture-of-day-if-obama-had-son-he.html

Resist We Much on April 13, 2012 at 5:36 PM

So if POTUS were asked are you better off than you were 2 yrs ago, the answer would be NO?

Would you hire someone who has lost so much in income?

Mitt contributed 19 times more to America than President Obama. Thank you MITT for your part in saving America…

originalpechanga on April 13, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Why am I getting served a Tammy Baldwin for congress ad asking me to support the Buffett rule? Not exactly a smart ad server. I’ll click a few times to make sure she gets charged for the stupid ad placement.

AZfederalist on April 13, 2012 at 9:30 PM