Did The Obamas Pay A Lower Rate Than Their Secretary? (Updated: Question Answered?)


The President and First Lady released their tax returns today, and they paid significantly less than the 30% figure he uses for the Buffett Rule, though to be honest, he didn’t reach the million dollar threshold the Buffett Rule would impose.

The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 20.5%.

So, I have two questions for the Obamas.

  1. Did your secretaries pay a higher effective federal income tax rate than you did?
  2. In the name of “fairness,” are you going to donate more money to the IRS to increase your effective federal income tax rate to 30%?

I anticipate the answer to #2 will be a resounding no, which means that he’s following the old familiar Democratic “do as I say, not as I do” formula.

I also wonder if the Kennedys, the Kerrys, and the other millionaire Democrats and Democratic supporters are going to pony up enough to make their effective federal income tax rate 30%. I really doubt it. After all, the Buffett Rule is just a political gimmick, even Obama says so!

Update: Looks like we may have an answer to our question.

The most recent information about salary regarding Obama’s secretary is for his former secretary, Katie Johnson, who is listed by the White House as having made $90,000 in 2010.

According to Wikipedia, Johnson is 31 years old and now attends Harvard Law School. I don’t know about her personal life or what her deductions would be, so I can’t assume any children or extra deductions.

On a $90,000 salary, she would pay $16,578 in federal taxes, $3,780 to Social Security, and $1,305 in Medicare taxes.

That adds up to a total federal tax burden of $21,663 on $90,000 in adjusted gross income, or a tax rate of 24 percent.

In other words, unless these calculations are somehow wrong, the Obamas did indeed pay a lower rate than their secretary.

In the name of “fairness,” Barack and Michelle Obama should immediately write a check to the IRS to bring their effective tax rate up to 24 percent.

But I bet they won’t. They’re quite happy living in the lap of hypocrisy.

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About Conservative Wanderer

Conservative Wanderer is currently Editor-in-Chief of That's Freedom You Hear! That means anything that goes wrong can be blamed on him. Previously he was a contributor to the PJ Tatler.

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  1. Obama’s Blunder On Taxes « A Conservative Wanderer - 16 April 2012
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