The Obamas' tax return: A glimpse into the President's financial life
The Obamas' TY2007 returns reflected a gross income of $4.2 million, mostly from royalties on The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father. Bothmemoirs got a big bump from Obama's campaign as millions of Americans rushed to bookstores to learn more about the mysterious man who was still many months away from securing his party's nomination for the presidency.
In 2008, the Obamas made far less income. The two books raked in nearly $2.5 million in royalties, which bulk of their $2.7 million income. Barack Obama's paycheck from the U.S. Senate netted $139,204, and Michelle Obama earned $62,709 as an executive at the University of Chicago hospitals. The pair donated $172,050 to charities including CARE, the United Negro College Fund, and several churches -- excluding, notably, the Trinity United Church of Christ, led by the Obamas' once outspoken and now forsaken minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
The $855,323 in federal taxes that the Obamas paid amounts to more than four times their combined salaries, but represents 32% of their total income. Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife earned a combined $269,256, and sent $46,952 in to the feds.
As tea parties raged nationwide yesterday, it's reassuring to be reminded that tax laws apply to everybody regardless of income, prominence, public position, or bona fides as limousine liberals. The Obamas' tax returns reflect an open, honest attitude toward paying one's debt to society. Here's hoping that cabinet members -- past, present, and prospective -- will take notice.