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Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:48 PM

 

Obama paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, White House confirms

President Barack Obama's secretary paid taxes at a higher rate than he did in 2011 despite having a "substantially lower income," the White House said Friday, casting the disparity as an argument for Congress to adopt the so-called "Buffett Rule."

"The president's secretary pays a slightly higher rate this year than the president 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," Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman, told Yahoo News by email.

Obama on Friday released his 2011 tax filings, showing that he paid $162,074 in total taxes on adjusted gross income of $789,674, an effective rate of 20.5 percent. The first couple paid $31,941 in Illinois income tax. Obama's secretary, Anita Decker Breckenridge, made $95,000 in 2011, according to the White House's public report on pay in the West Wing.

The president has been making the case for the Buffett Rule legislation that would raise taxes on the very richest Americans in order to ensure they do not pay a lower rate than middle-class filers. Obama has used the measure as a political cudgel to assault Mitt Romney, who has dismissed the proposal as a campaign gimmick. The Buffett Rule is named after billionaire financier Warren Buffett, who has said that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. Legislation to enact it faces a vote in the Democratic-held Senate on Monday. It is expected to fail, but even if it succeeds it is sure to die in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-paid-lower-tax-rate-secretary-white-house-192756522.html

Good argument for the Buffet rule. I wish I could figure out how to pay a rate close to 20.5%.

15 replies, 1745 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, White House confirms (Original post)
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 OP
dkf Apr 2012 #1
jberryhill Apr 2012 #4
Major Nikon Apr 2012 #12
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #10
dkf Apr 2012 #14
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #15
Rosa Luxemburg Apr 2012 #2
former9thward Apr 2012 #6
Rosa Luxemburg Apr 2012 #8
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #3
ctaylors6 Apr 2012 #5
LiberalFighter Apr 2012 #7
zorahopkins Apr 2012 #9
itsrobert Apr 2012 #11
bluestate10 Apr 2012 #13

Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:55 PM

1. I wonder if he did it through investment income or charitable giving.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:17 PM

4. Social Security Cap


That accounts for a good chunk of the disparity in "total taxes".

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:07 PM

12. Most don't include FICA in what's quoted as the effective tax rate

If so, Obama's secretary would have an effective tax rate that's much closer, if not beyond, what he paid.

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Response to dkf (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:03 PM

10. Good point

The Obamas gave about a quarter of their income in charitable contributions. If the President's office workers had done similarly, then we'd have a fair comparison to make.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 09:47 AM

14. Yeah it would be funny if the disparity is due to the average persons lack of charitable giving.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 12:48 PM

15. People who make a lot

can afford to give a lot, folks who make less often have less to share with tax-recognized charities.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:56 PM

2. Mitt Romney may have paid less tax than his lawn care workers?

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:00 PM

6. Actually his lawn workers likely paid no taxes at all.

It says they were paid in cash. The odds they reported any of it are about zero.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:25 PM

8. and with all the loopholes I expect Romney will get a refund

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:00 PM

3. No ... No ... No ...

Obama on Friday released his 2011 tax filings, showing that he paid $162,074 in total taxes on adjusted gross income of $789,674, an effective rate of 20.5 percent.


No ... he paid that much in total FEDERAL taxes. If we were to compute the tax rate of any high earner and compare it to that of moderate or lower earners, the disparity would be much, much greater.

For example, while everyone pays X% in sales tax and Y% in property tax and Z% in payroll taxes (up to ~$103K, then the higher earner pays no addition taxes), adding these other taxes has the effect of lowering the higher earners' rate and raising the lower earners' rate.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:40 PM

5. agree, except not necessarily true with property taxes nt

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:18 PM

7. Probably several ways to pay less

Make less income
Don't have income that is taxed at the progressive rates. Dividends and capital gains.
Have more children which means more tax exemptions.
Be able to itemized deductions.
Don't report all income.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 08:27 PM

9. 99%!

Tax the rich bastards at a rate of 99%!

I don't want the rich to pay the same rate that I do!

I want them to pay more.

Much, much more.

Tax the 1% at a rate of 99%!

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:04 PM

11. The Secretary of State?

I think Hillary makes a good living.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:28 PM

13. Read the full return.

A person can reduce their tax rate by donating large sums of money to charity. Read the full return, with all deductions accounted for.

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