Posted in: Politics

President Obama Also Pays Lower Tax Rate Than His Secretary

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President Obama has a little bit of a quandary on his hands. For the last few months he has toured the country with a vendetta against the rich. He believes they are not paying their fair share of taxes. He has even been touting the so called “Buffett Rule” due to the fact that billionaire Warren Buffett pays a lower percentage of his income in taxes than his secretary.

This year President Obama also paid less in taxes than his secretary.

Obama and his wife Michelle reported income of $789,674 last year, on which they paid $162,074 in tax – a rate of 20.5% whereas Obama’s secretary Anita Decker Breckenridge, makes $95,000 a year on which she pays a higher tax rate.

White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage told ABC News,

“[Breckenridge] pays a slightly higher rate this year on her substantially lower income, which is exactly why we need to reform our tax code and ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share.”

Under the Buffett Rule, due to be considered by the Senate next week, millionaires will be made to pay a minimum effective tax rate of at least 30% when annual income is $1million or more.

In January, it came to light that Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney only paid about 14% of his income in taxes. He made more than $20 million dollars.

The Buffet Rule proposal has almost no chance of overcoming Republican opposition in Congress, but the whole point of the vote is to make Republicans seem like they care more about the wealthy than middle income Americans.

Obama’s campaign also aims to exploit the fortune Romney earned over decades as a private-equity executive, valued at up to $250 million. Obama’s Campaign manager Jim Messina made sure to point out the tax shelters and offshore accounts Romney has used to manage his money.

Messina said in a statement,

“What does he have to hide? Why did he open a Swiss bank account instead of an American bank account and establish a corporation in Bermuda instead of on our shores?”

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14 Responses to “President Obama Also Pays Lower Tax Rate Than His Secretary”

  1. David Lambertson

    Obama did not pay a higher effective tax rate than his secretary. That is a lie and sadly, a the misinformation comes from the White House. Obama's actual effective tax rate was 32.65%. The maximum effective rate his secretary could have paid had was 20.3%. I don't know why the media has failed so miserably in reporting this. I am an ardent Obama supporter. But I do believe the White House released this misinformation to influence the vote on the Buffet amendment. Regardless, the news reports are misleading.

  2. Paula Qualls Gurley

    David Lambertson Wow! Kind of like he did when he was running for election? Kind of like he does all the time. He says whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear and then he goes back and does a few things that matter to him.

  3. David Lambertson

    Paula Qualls Gurley – Naw, that's just the same old tired and very tedious political diatribe. Obama has kept many of the promises he made when he ran and – like all politicians, did not keep all of them – but more than most. So, I think he generally tells the truth. He did not on this occasion. However, I'm guessing your issues with him as nothing to do with his honesty as much as it does his policies. e.g., if he promised he would work on health reform to get elected and did not – you'd probably be okay with that.

  4. Paula Qualls Gurley

    David Lambertson he told gays he supported their cause, and yet refuses to take a stand on gay marriage. He said he was for legalizing medical marijuana and then threatened states with the federal agencies, he said first off he would get out of Iraq and Afghanistan…………………….

  5. Gary Haythorn

    I agree that the report is poorly written and doesn't tell me anything worth repeating or complaining about. I paid roughly 19% personal income tax but is that 19% of gross, adjusted gross income, taxable income or what? How much income do I have that is tax free. How much is taxed at capital gain rates? I do not believe and it is highly unlikely the President's secretary pays a higher tax rate than 20%. Her marginal rate might be 25% but with a gross of $95K there is no way she is paying greater than around 18 to 19%. If you don't get all the facts, you end of forming an opinion based on half truths or quarter truths.

  6. David Lambertson

    Paula Qualls Gurley Yeah – I agree that there are things that he did not follow through with – you could add immigration reform and repeal of the Bush Tax Cuts (which he actually had a chance to eliminate but did not). Where I give him some slack is that I think the health care reform (his primary promise) killed him politically including the loss of the House. i.e., his options have been relatively limited since then.

  7. Paula Qualls Gurley

    Everyone is screaming about Romney not paying his fair share, what about Obama?

  8. Chris Nelson

    He is willing to though. That's what his proposal is on taxing the rich is about. I haven't heard him say everyone except him.

  9. Paula Qualls Gurley

    Chris He paid what the IRS said he must, just as Romney did. Don't blame Romney for following the law when Obama did the same thing.

  10. David Lambertson

    Don't know if you are interested or not Gary – but I put together the numbers and the rates here:

    Obama paid a rate of almost 33% of his taxable income. The 20% number quoted in the media was derived from dividing his total taxes paid by his "adjusted Gross income". It should have been divided by his "Taxable Income. The reason this is important is that his Gross Income includes all of the proceeds from his book sales (which he donated to charity). His taxable income of course is net of all the money he gave away to charity.

  11. David Lambertson

    The numbers are here:

    Obama paid a rate of almost 33% of his taxable income. Romney paid a little over 14%. Romney paid less because most of his income is derived from capital gains which is capped at 15%. Ordinary income (e.g., wages, etc) is taxed all the way up to 35%. Nobody is complaining that Romney broke the law or did not follow IRS guidelines. They are complaining that the IRS guidelines should be changed.

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