President Obama’s Secretary Paid Higher Tax Rate Than He Did

gty barack obama ll 120410 wblog President Obamas Secretary Paid Higher Tax Rate Than He Did

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama today released his 2011 federal income tax, with he and his wife reporting an adjusted gross income of $789,674. The Obamas paid $162,074 in total tax – an effective federal income tax rate of 20.5%. The Obamas also reported donating approximately 22% of their income to charity — $172,130.

President Obama has been making a big political push for the “Buffett Rule,” which would require millionaires to pay a minimum of 30% of their income in taxes. To illustrate the point, the president has pointed out that billionaire investor Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than does his secretary.

President Obama’s secretary, Anita Decker Breckenridge, makes $95,000 a year. White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage tells ABC News that 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. ”

It should be noted that president would not be impacted by the Buffett Rule, though he would see his taxes go up if the so-called Bush tax cuts on higher income wage-earners were allowed to expire, as the president says he wants.

-Jake Tapper

User Comments

“It should be noted that president would not be impacted by the Buffett Rule, though he would see his taxes go up if the so-called Bush tax cuts on higher income wage-earners were allowed to expire, as the president says he wants.”

Rather, he would not have been impacted by the Buffett Rule this year, with his income on the decline. But it’s quite possible / likely he would be affected by it in the future.

Posted by: Theodore | April 13, 2012, 3:04 pm 3:04 pm

Easily remedied…FLAT TAX!!!

Posted by: angus | April 13, 2012, 3:10 pm 3:10 pm

it should also be noted that the clown Obama would not be effected by any of the “Hope and Change” rules, including the unconstitutional Obamacare nightmare!

Posted by: HUH? | April 13, 2012, 3:20 pm 3:20 pm

President Obama has said, he would have no problem adhering to the buffet rule if it was law. I’m sure he doesn’t do his own taxes. Whoever does, surely used every rule possible to lower his taxes as they should have.

The problem is we need to get rid of those frivolous rules that cost average working Americans while only benefitting the rich.

Posted by: tmferretti | April 13, 2012, 3:30 pm 3:30 pm

Obama could easily make a voluntary payment to Treasury – but he chooses not to do so. He’s more interested in using the class warfare “soak-the-rich” rhetoric for political gain – while ignoring the need to reform entitlements and control spending.

Posted by: Jeff Miller | April 13, 2012, 3:30 pm 3:30 pm

At least Obama is willing to pay more in taxes… All Rompey does is complain about it!

Posted by: Lorrie | April 13, 2012, 3:32 pm 3:32 pm

HIC – Hypocrity N Chiief

Posted by: jamescbuilder | April 13, 2012, 3:34 pm 3:34 pm

Just put in a freakin’ flat tax. Funny how they complain about the tax code being unworkable, but then the proffered solution is to add more rules to it. Messing with the tax code wont stop our impending financial collapse unless they change the substantive programs causing the problems (entitlements).

We’re all getting really pissed. 2012 is gonna be a repeat of 2010, and if the R’s dont fix it after 2012 then they will be done next time around. We are taking this country back, believe it.

Loving how Obama’s war on women and the rich are tanking simultaneously. There are real issues out there, and the D’s silence on those is deafening. Does Obama have any real solutions aimed at actually solving a problem?

Posted by: Jon Sanders | April 13, 2012, 3:35 pm 3:35 pm

Let’s do the math. If we collect the Buffett tax for the next 250 years — a span longer than the life of this republic — it would not cover the Obama deficit for 2011 alone. The Buffett Rule is a farce. Does he really think we’re that stupid?
The Buffett Rule redistributes deck chairs on the Titanic, ostensibly to make more available for those in steerage. Nice idea, but the iceberg cometh. The enterprise is an exercise in misdirection — a distraction not just from Obama’s dismal record on growth and unemployment but, more important, from his dereliction of duty in failing to this day to address the utterly predictable and devastating debt crisis ahead.

Posted by: migraine | April 13, 2012, 3:36 pm 3:36 pm

This claim is bogus. Obama’s secretary makes $95,000 a year. With an AGI of $95,000, her taxable income is, at most, $85,500, after taking into account the $5,800 standard deduction and $3,700 personal exemption. (It would be even less, if she could itemize deductions.) Even assuming her status is married, filing separately, which produces the highest tax amount of any filing status, she would owe $17,982 in federal income tax for 2011, assuming she does not qualify for any tax credits that would make this amount even lower. That computes to a tax rate of 18.92% of her AGI, which is *lower* than the President’s 20.5% rate.

Posted by: Tax Truth | April 13, 2012, 3:40 pm 3:40 pm

Can someone explain to why the president had to fund a retirement account? He put $49,000 into a SEP account further reducing his tax liability. He is presidential pension and the money he will make after he leaves office is not enough for retirement.

LIke most Americans, he toke advantage of the tax laws to minimize his tax liability. He is a hypocrite.

Posted by: Michael | April 13, 2012, 3:43 pm 3:43 pm

Typical “do as I say, not as I do” liberalism. The only thing “transparent” about Odrama and his administration is the hypocrisy. Can’t wait to here how Barry’s going to try to walk this back.

Posted by: BigSurprise | April 13, 2012, 3:43 pm 3:43 pm

The fundamentals are that the rich are protected by the same military we all are. They drive on the same interstates and they enjoy the same benefits the government provides for every citizen. It’s not asking too much that they pay their fair share of the costs of those benefits.

The republicans have this mindset that the rich are elite and should be given more breaks that hardworking Americans.

Posted by: tmferretti | April 13, 2012, 3:48 pm 3:48 pm

Who cares about her tax rate. 95K a year for being a freaking secretary???

Posted by: Reber | April 13, 2012, 3:49 pm 3:49 pm

Typical Obama. Politicizes everything. I bet he jacked up his donations to charity to drop his taxable income so he could whine about people paying more taxes. Make a note of it, Obama wants to increase taxes on charitable donations!

Posted by: cntrlfrk | April 13, 2012, 3:54 pm 3:54 pm

President Obama,,you now have a record…and voters are discovering that the Emperor Has No Clothes..

Posted by: ren1aa | April 13, 2012, 3:55 pm 3:55 pm

Just remember, anyone can voluntarily pay more taxes to the federal government, if they want to, without penalty. So, instead of requiring all to pay more, let those who want to, decline their refund or play an additional amount in their tax payment???

Posted by: DPD | April 13, 2012, 3:55 pm 3:55 pm

The Obama’s could have NOT taken the charitable deduction and then they would have paid a higher rate …. simple fix for imposing higher rate …. There’s NO law requiring taxpayers to take ALL of the exemptions and or deductions that they are entitled to ….. Those who feel they don’t pay enough should simply reduce the deductions of which they avail themselves.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | April 13, 2012, 4:03 pm 4:03 pm

The Buffett Rule wouldn’t apply to the Obama’s $790,000 income! (They made less than a million dollars)

Posted by: Common _ Sense | April 13, 2012, 4:03 pm 4:03 pm

“It’s the spending, stupid.” The federal govt spending nearly 25% of GDP is unsustainable.

Posted by: GreatHairGuy | April 13, 2012, 4:03 pm 4:03 pm

The President paid a tax rate of 31.2%. Taxable income of $496,376 / Tax of $156,094 = 31%

The math doesn’t lie. If his secretary chose to gift away 22% of her income and she is single, her taxable income would be $95,000 – charitable of $20,900 – exemption of $3,700= Taxable income of $70,400. The tax on that income would be $13,725 (according to IRS Tax Tables) That’s a rate of 19.5%. But nobody cares that they are lying and hardly anybody bothers to check. The math doesnt lie.

Posted by: Stickit | April 13, 2012, 4:08 pm 4:08 pm


No one is asking everyone to pay more taxes. All that’s being asked is that millionaires and corporations who enjoy the same benefits our government provides to all its citizens pay their fair share.

Posted by: tmferretti | April 13, 2012, 4:12 pm 4:12 pm

mr president pay your fair share.you are asking others to,so put your money where your mouth is.

Posted by: nugy | April 13, 2012, 4:17 pm 4:17 pm

“It’s the spending, stupid.” The federal govt spending nearly 25% of GDP is unsustainable.———Exactly!

Posted by: real_hope_and_change | April 13, 2012, 4:20 pm 4:20 pm

“All that’s being asked is Millionaires who enjoy the same benefits… pay their fair share.”

They already do… While some pay a lower percentage, they pay a greater amount. Why do the “same benefits” cost more for some folks? They don’t.

Put in a flat tax and that will be fairer… but the ultimate fairness would be for everyone to pay the same – if there are 100 people supported by the fire department charge those 100 people 1% of the costs – that’s fair. But since 47% of the country isn’t paying anything for the “same benefit” those of us who work are paying more than our fair share.

Posted by: Leith Cassone | April 13, 2012, 4:28 pm 4:28 pm

How do you know the rate the secretary paid. This is ridiculous. She could have a mortgage deduction that eats up alot of her gross pay. It is very easy to lower your tax rate with deductions. This is all speculation unless she and Buffet the Buffoons secretaries show their tax returns.

Posted by: Tom | April 13, 2012, 4:30 pm 4:30 pm

thats just wrong

Posted by: rod | April 13, 2012, 4:33 pm 4:33 pm

Fair share? Does that mean everyone pays the same amount? For Democrats, the answer is no. Does that mean everyone pays the same % in taxes? For Democrats, the answer is once again no. How do Democrats define fair share? Some pay more $ and % of their income than others because the Democrats declare that is “fair”. 47% no longer pay anything. Why should they care how much Washington wastes? It costs them nothing, or more likely, they actually receive money. Is that fair? The poster above said that everyone enjoys the “benefits” the government provides, but 47% pay nothing (or get something for nothing) while others pay both more in $ and as a % of thier income. Fair? Fair is defined in one dictionary as: 1.reasonable or unbiased: not exhibiting any bias, and therefore reasonable or impartial. Does the Democrats system of 47% paying nothing and the 53% paying it all meet the disctionary defination of fair? Nope. Fair would be we all pay the same amount (take all the government bills and divide it equally amongst the taxpayers). I bet if we did that then we would finally see the government stop wasting so much OUR money as then EVERYONE would have an equal stake!

Posted by: terdith | April 13, 2012, 4:38 pm 4:38 pm

Evidently the group of people getting hit the hardest are those like Joe the $250,000 – 500,000. Joe’s tax rate is higher than Obama’s and the secretary’s (might explain why he donates so much less to charity).

Posted by: snapboy | April 13, 2012, 4:40 pm 4:40 pm


Because they pay a higher amount doesn’t mean it’s their fair share. If you and I pay 30% it’s a greater hit on us than if they pay 15% of a million dollars and not what their actual tax rate is. Everyone should pay whatever their tax rate is, period.

Posted by: tmferretti | April 13, 2012, 4:42 pm 4:42 pm

you mean barry is an intellectually dishonest hypocrite? wait, let me pick my jaw up off the floor….

Posted by: James | April 13, 2012, 4:43 pm 4:43 pm


Try learning what the term EFFECTIVE tax rate means before you go calling people liars!

Posted by: SusanTR | April 13, 2012, 4:44 pm 4:44 pm

All I know is I am making less money than both of them and I pay I higher percent than both of them. But let’s face it it’s not illegal to pay in accordance to the tax law, and if I were them I would not pay more than I have to legally pay. Obama is in power so change the tax code, and while he is at it make it illegal for insider trading for the house, and how about getting rid of lobbyists, oh maybe campaign contribution laws should be tweaked, but I guess if these things happened the polished-tickens would actually have to work for the American people instead of leaching from the American people. I think Democrats and republicans alike need to step back and force the political hands to do what is right for America and quit keeping score for their failing political parties. IMHO

Posted by: KRJ | April 13, 2012, 4:57 pm 4:57 pm

I cant believe his Secretary pays more than him. I cant believe Joe Biden made 379K and gave 5 of 379 to charity. Well done boys.

Posted by: Matt | April 13, 2012, 5:00 pm 5:00 pm

At that income level, his tax rate should be at least 26%, so he obviously has tax breaks from investments, including capital gains, which he paid a lot less of a percentage on, which then brought his overall tax rate down. How come no one mentions that he, too, is paying much less in the way of taxes on his investments? That includes you, ABC.

Posted by: Leslie Weinberg | April 13, 2012, 5:03 pm 5:03 pm

You are reporting Obama’s ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME and the EFFECTIVE tax rate (i.e. the total tax owed AFTER DEDUCTIONS divided by his GROSS INCOME), that he paid, and then trying to compare this to his secretary’s GROSS INCOME, before deductions and tax credits, and then using the tax rate that would be charged on $95,000 of TAXABLE Income. If she has children she gets a $1000 per child tax credit. If she itemizes she will have an even lower effective tax rate. This is so disengenuous it is not even funny!! I expected better from you, Jake Tapper.

Posted by: RaeMarie | April 13, 2012, 5:04 pm 5:04 pm

you mean barry is an intellectually dishonest hypocrite? wait, let me pick my jaw up off the floor….

Posted by: James | April 13, 2012, 4:43 pm 4:43 pm

It seems to me President Obama has consistently said he and others as fortunate as him should be taxed at a higher rate – and he’s worked towards getting those changes implemented. It is the Republicans who have been resisting.

Posted by: Tomorrow 7 | April 13, 2012, 5:05 pm 5:05 pm

Every time I see posts like these, it makes me want to scream. If you’re lucky enough to make a million dollars a year and have a good accountant like Obama or Romney, then they will advise you to invest it into safe securities. And, if you’re lucky enough to earn capital gains, It is then taxed again. Remember this is the same money you have already paid taxes on once. Why doesn’t anyone see this?

Posted by: Linda | April 13, 2012, 5:08 pm 5:08 pm

His brother lives in a hut while he jets around on golf vacations.

The Obamessiah is much more generous with your money than he is with his own…

Posted by: Hypocritical POTUS | April 13, 2012, 5:09 pm 5:09 pm

Three words: National Sales Tax

Posted by: Anna R | April 13, 2012, 5:14 pm 5:14 pm

You can’t make this stuff up…most embarrassing president ever

Posted by: Damiante | April 13, 2012, 5:22 pm 5:22 pm

Any taxpayer can pay more than is owed by the application of the tax code. If the man feels that 30% is fair, let him make up the difference btw what he paid and that %. Can’t stand the man, but kudos to him for his generous contributions to charitable causes……………….although I’m sure politically motivated like everything else the man does.

Posted by: Ed | April 13, 2012, 5:22 pm 5:22 pm

I want to see the receipts of their charitable donations.
Because they are pathological liars.

Posted by: sablegsd | April 13, 2012, 5:23 pm 5:23 pm

“Three words: National Sales Tax”

Three words: No Frackking Way

Three more words: Cut Government Spending

Posted by: sablegsd | April 13, 2012, 5:25 pm 5:25 pm

Everyone on here is hopelessly dishonest except ROD who said;

Fair share? Does that mean everyone pays the same amount? For Democrats, the answer is no. Does that mean everyone pays the same % in taxes? For Democrats, the answer is once again no. How do Democrats define fair share? Some pay more $ and % of their income than others because the Democrats declare that is “fair”. 47% no longer pay anything. Why should they care how much Washington wastes? It costs them nothing, or more likely, they actually receive money. Is that fair? The poster above said that everyone enjoys the “benefits” the government provides, but 47% pay nothing (or get something for nothing) while others pay both more in $ and as a % of thier income. Fair? Fair is defined in one dictionary as: 1.reasonable or unbiased: not exhibiting any bias, and therefore reasonable or impartial. Does the Democrats system of 47% paying nothing and the 53% paying it all meet the disctionary defination of fair? Nope. Fair would be we all pay the same amount (take all the government bills and divide it equally amongst the taxpayers). I bet if we did that then we would finally see the government stop wasting so much OUR money as then EVERYONE would have an equal stake!

Congratulations ROD.

This is getting seriously scarry. The government had nothing to do with the money I made last year. None of my fellow Americans did either. Rod is dead on correct. Take the budget devide it by the number of PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY ABLE AMERICANS BETWEEN SAY 20-60 YEARS OF AGE AND SEND THEM A BILL. We all have the same general opportunities available to us, and we all are of about equal ability. Everyone should pay the same DOLLAR amount.
This system would insure the best health care for everyone
This system will eliminate Social Programs for undeserving people.
This system would eliminate Illeagal Aleans
This system would restore us to the undisputed Super Power of the world and the “To die for destination of all people worldwide.


I only graduated High School. I was from a poor family. My Mother was a single parent.
I, or my family have never wanted or needed anything in our lives.
I have never been unemployed and my wife has never been employed.
I am not smarter, luckier, or more talented than others.

I don’t abide anything immoral, and I work hard.

How is this possible for me but not for a hugh section of LOAFERS?

Posted by: John Nehring | April 13, 2012, 5:28 pm 5:28 pm

Posted by: Linda | April 13, 2012, 5:08 pm 5:08 pm

The principal on capital gains is not taxed. Profits on capital gains are taxed once.

Posted by: Jeb | April 13, 2012, 5:28 pm 5:28 pm

I don’t understand what the “fair share” the rich should pay. Do they want 100%. A ways back Sweden taxed income over 35,000 at 105%. So Ingmar Bergman (among others) bailed out. The Dems can’t possibly want that,can they?

Posted by: fred17 | April 13, 2012, 5:29 pm 5:29 pm

Mr Tapper get your fact right…are you saying the the tax bracket his secretary is in is slightly higher than the President or the actual tax rate she paid. It has been correctly pointed out that it is essentially impossible for her to pay a higher tax rate than the president assuming she takes even only the standard deduction.

Geez, no one understands anything about the taxes they pay…

Posted by: Pilgrim | April 13, 2012, 5:37 pm 5:37 pm

am I the only one who thinks this is poorly written? Anywho, there just aren’t enough specifics or credible sources. Judging by the amount of data I question the integrity of the article; there’s more to the story. Where did this guy to school?

Posted by: Mamoru Chiba | April 13, 2012, 5:37 pm 5:37 pm

The claim is dubious and certainly sloppy. Migraine had the right idea, but wrong arithmetic. If the secretary grossed $95,000 she would be entitled to a standard deduction (assuming she does not itemize) of $5,800 and a personal exemption of $3,700, yielding an adjusted gross of $85,500. The tax rate on that for a single woman is $17,564 yielding an effective tax rate of 17564/85,500 = 20.54%, versus 20.52% for Mr. Obama. That difference (one fiftieth of one percent) is hardly a good reason to stalinize the tax code. Further, as others pointed out, it assumes the secretary was single, did not itemize and had no other available credits or exemptions, hardly realistic. Just more hokem eagerly swallowed by a lapdog press who got gentlemen’s C’s in math for non-science majors in college.

Posted by: Lex1 | April 13, 2012, 5:37 pm 5:37 pm

Of course. His secretary is a woman and women earn 18% less than men employed at the WH. With that kind of war on women, it only makes sense that they pay higher taxes, too.

Posted by: astralweeks | April 13, 2012, 5:44 pm 5:44 pm

Now, this is interesting:

“It should be noted that president would not be impacted by the Buffett Rule, though he would see his taxes go up if the so-called Bush tax cuts on higher income wage-earners were allowed to expire, as the president says he wants.”

If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, yes, Obama’s taxes will go up – but so will his secretary, and guess which of the two then will have a much higher percentage of additional taxes due – Obama or his secretary.

Yep – his secretary’s life style will be much more impacted, than Obama’s, if the Bush tax cuts expire.

Posted by: gh | April 13, 2012, 5:45 pm 5:45 pm

Its time for the rich to pay their fair share. Everyone earning more than $789,673 should pay the “Buffet Tax.”

Posted by: Vatar | April 13, 2012, 5:49 pm 5:49 pm

Grammar check: The opening sentence is wrong. “…with he and his wife…” should be “…with him and his wife…”

Posted by: Editor Shane | April 13, 2012, 5:57 pm 5:57 pm

As usual this administration is lying. According to the 2011 tax calculator the secretary would have to have an income greater than $120,000 with no dependents or deductions in order to equal Obama’s effective tax rate.

Posted by: Rick | April 13, 2012, 6:22 pm 6:22 pm

The government had nothing to do with the money I made last year

You couldn’t be more wrong. The government provides the legal and regulatory framework upon which all wealth is created.

Posted by: elephant in the room | April 13, 2012, 6:23 pm 6:23 pm

Why would anyone expect a leftist liberal, POTUS or otherwise, to be less than utterly hypocritical when it comes to matters of money and personal perks. While you and I are forced to switch from incandescent to lousy and expensive alternative 100 watt bulbs to reduce the nation’s CO2 footprint, the Obama’s blow our contribution off into oblivion by yet another vacation armada of large jets travel to some vacation site. Oh, did I mention the squandered TAXPAYER money? Anyone looking for an example of “hypocrisy” need look no further.

Posted by: Honest John | April 13, 2012, 6:44 pm 6:44 pm

All regulations to mandate the use of non-incandescent bulbs have been defunded. Nobody is enforcing it anywhere. Let’s really try to be honest.

Posted by: elephant in the room | April 13, 2012, 6:58 pm 6:58 pm

There is absolutely no way that someone making 95k$ pays more than 19% worst case if the person has no deductions. The Whitehouse is lying again.

Posted by: Brian | April 13, 2012, 6:58 pm 6:58 pm

Migraine had the right idea and his MATH is correct.
Effective tax rate is $’s of tax paid divided by the AGI..adjusted gross income — so per Migraine (with no other deductions and assuming filing as single filer) $17,982/$85,500 = ~18.9%.
That is correct.
Obama again is a liar, stupid , or both.
Jake Tapper I thought you were a better journalist than this!!!!!!
Also she could put/defer some into a 401K and take responsibility for her own retirement instead of being the lefty she probably is and expect the government to take care of her completely. She could also donate some small amount to her favorite charity (not the government) and help the needy while helping to lower her effective tax rate some. Say she put $4K away in 401K and dontated $1K to a charity. Here taxable income would then be only $80,500 and her tax would be reduced to $16,256 and ther effective rate would then be $16,256/$95,000 = 17.1%.
As usual Obama either Lies or doesn’t know what he is talking about – or both.
Wealthy people who invest their money that they already paid earned income taxes on at some point in time anyway, into long term captital gain investments are only taxed by law at 15%. This is a tax law passed by a large majority of democratically elected congress — why does Obama oppose it. I thought he recently siad such laws should never be overturned!
But really we should all support that tax rate incentive is given to people with the resources to invest in long term capital investments..which are significantly risky — these fuel our free market economy, creating many jobs. The problem is, these people don’t trust Obama and his policies, this is what is holding back our economic growth. NOBAMA 2012

Posted by: stomer1 | April 13, 2012, 7:06 pm 7:06 pm

The ongoing myth seems to be that the money Romney invested was his own….it wasn’t. Private equity investments are other people’s money.

And again: economic growth is being held back by lack of consumer demand, nothing else.

Posted by: elephant in the room | April 13, 2012, 7:15 pm 7:15 pm

Typical liberal hypocracy. And Michelle spends tax dollars on her Marie Antoinette vacations. Can’t wait to see them put out of the White House, and maybe some jail time for the crimes they have undoubtedly been involved in.

Posted by: BobOnnit | April 13, 2012, 7:17 pm 7:17 pm

Posted by: BobOnnit | April 13, 2012, 7:17 pm 7:17 pm

It’s actually right wing hypocrisy. Previous First Ladies are allowed to take vacations of all kinds. First Lady Obama gets attacked. Talk about hypocrisy – probably a little bigotry thrown in as well.

Posted by: Judge Ben | April 13, 2012, 7:47 pm 7:47 pm

What a joke. Obama paid a lower tax rate because he received a deduction for charitable contributions. That deduction is available to anyone, including Anita Breckenridge. Obviously the percentage value of the deduction is greater when the income of the giver puts the person in a higher bracket. He wants it both ways: look good for giving to charity then wringing his hands over paying a lower tax RATE than his secretary. He still PAID more than his secretary EARNED. So what do we really learn from this? Obama just wants other people’s money and adulation. Oh, and someone tell Biden that the Hair Club for Men is not a charitable organization. He must have made a mistake on that, how else could he have (again) given only a measly 1.5% of his income to charity?

Posted by: Tom in NY | April 13, 2012, 8:29 pm 8:29 pm

The answer is simple. Lower the amount to qualify for the “buffett” rule…. That would make a lot more sense. Of course, O’Bozo COULD have avoided using deductions, like “gifts” to his daughters. They hardly need the money. Or he could give them the money and not take deductions for it. Perhaps the amount “qualifying” amount should be anyone making over $40,000 a year.

Even better? Why not just have your check go to the government? Then they can pay you an allowance each month after taking what they need……

Posted by: BigBoa | April 13, 2012, 8:43 pm 8:43 pm

The dems are using every hoax they can to avoid the real issue. The economy stinks. Only Romney can straighten out this mess. Furthermore, if you make it you should get to keep it and spend it as you please instead of sharing it with all the lazy lackeys. No one should have to pay more than 15% no matter what you make. Government fraud along with it’s elected so called “leaders” are not accountable. Pelosi with her jet, I’d like to see her returns. Better still, I’d like to see her canned.

Posted by: Rick | April 13, 2012, 9:02 pm 9:02 pm

well whats her rate you never said what her rate is ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Posted by: Mark | April 13, 2012, 9:03 pm 9:03 pm

Posted by: BigBoa | April 13, 2012, 8:43 pm 8:43 pm

You’re deducting ‘gifts’ to your daughters? Please fill us in on how that is done.

Posted by: Joe | April 13, 2012, 9:07 pm 9:07 pm

The president could do a straight tax return without any deductions. That way he would be setting the example of what he is trying to do to higher income earners.

Posted by: Berpastr | April 13, 2012, 9:20 pm 9:20 pm


Obama knows Congress will never pass the “Buffett Rule”, but since he can’t run on his record of failure, he plans to run a campaign fueled by Class Warfare!
The taxes Obama is calling for is really a increase in the capitol gains tax, not income tax! If raised, millions more people will lose their jobs and the economy will crash worse than before!
Obama has no idea how to fix the economy but to make it even worse! How much longer is the media going to give him a pass while he keeps blaming Bush for Obama’s failed policies???

The fastest way to fix the economy and create more jobs is send Obama back to Chicago this November!

Posted by: BIG JIMMY | April 13, 2012, 9:26 pm 9:26 pm

he can’t run on his record of failure

Posted by: BIG JIMMY | April 13, 2012, 9:26 pm 9:26 pm

What record of failure?

Over 4 million jobs have been added since Obama’s policies hit full stride. GM is back at the #1 car company in the world! Third shifts are being added at automotive plants. Manufacturing is up. Another 200,000 jobs added in March. Iraq war has been ended. A withdrawal plan is in place for Afghanistan. Bin Laden is dead. Kaddafhi is gone. Many, many al Qaeda leaders are gone. All of the world including Russia and China are onside against Iranian nuclear development. Nuclear inspectors are back in Iran. Against odds, America has been protected from any massive terrorist attack. The stock market has gone up hugely since Obama’s policies began to kick in. People have regained all of their savings they lost under Bush and more. Oil production in the country is up. Green energy production in the country is up. Don’t ask, don’t tell ahs been repealed. Equal pay for equal work reinforced. Millions of low-income children covered under health care.

This is a top of the line administration.

Had Bush or any Republican accomplished all of this in 3 years, the right wingers would be creaming their jeans and calling him one of the greatest presidents of all time. Trouble is – it isn’t Bush – it’s Obama – and right wingers are biased hypocrites .

Posted by: Dan | April 13, 2012, 9:32 pm 9:32 pm

Why does Obama need to create a climate of fear and class envy? Well thats easy, Obama has no record of success to run on for his reelection! So he has created a number of ‘straw man’ political demons to run his campaign on. Things like “War On Women”, the “Buffett Rule”, “Fairness” are all forms of Class Warfare and out-right lies!

Posted by: BIG JIMMY | April 13, 2012, 9:42 pm 9:42 pm

Things like “War On Women”, the “Buffett Rule”, “Fairness” are all forms of Class Warfare and out-right lies!

Posted by: BIG JIMMY | April 13, 2012, 9:42 pm 9:42 pm

Nonsense. Look at the Republican legislation against women passed in Wisconsin and Virginia just for starters. Second, there is no way Mitt Romney should be paying taxes at a rate as low at 14% when he’s making multi-millions year in and year out.

These are straight forward issues the majority of Americans agree with.

And as pointed out already in the post before yours, you’re completely wrong about ‘no record of success’.

Posted by: jiffy | April 13, 2012, 9:59 pm 9:59 pm

The Democrats are making a genuine effort to end the massive redistribution of wealth that the Republicans have been engaging in for the last 30 years.

Posted by: Bainman | April 13, 2012, 10:05 pm 10:05 pm

Capital gains was taxed as regular income for a long time in the past and the economy did not crash because of it.

Posted by: Bainman | April 13, 2012, 10:18 pm 10:18 pm

If the secretary were a man, perhaps the prez would pay him more. Why are Buffet and Obama so cheap? I think it is pretty lousy that an assistant to either of these men is being paid so little

Posted by: todd | April 13, 2012, 10:33 pm 10:33 pm

All Obama needs to do is NOT INVEST in tax free bonds and stop investing for dividend income.
Those have a lower rate.

He pays a lower rate on purpose. He could easily pay a higher rate with investment income. Easy. He chooses to take the tax breaks. He could also write a check.

For Liberals: Lesson #1: Municipal bonds are tax free so the governments can pay a lower rate on the money they borrow.

So…. if you make muni/government bonds taxable what happens?
They will need to pay more to borrow.
Result? They will have to TAX YOU more to pay it.
So, raise the taxes on govt bonds and your taxes go up.

See, this is how things actually work.

I am mainly impressed with Obama’s 22% to charity. Must be for show. Wasn’t it under 2% last year and he caught flak? Always for show. And Biden gave like $600 total?

22%… that’s almost what conservatives usually give! Wow!

Did any lib here know that Buffet is fighting to NOT pay $1 Billion in taxes for one of his companies? No? Oh yeah, not covered by your media.

Posted by: ster | April 13, 2012, 10:38 pm 10:38 pm


It did not crash. But it did knot grow either.
Go ahead, raise it. See what happens.
You like jobs in China? Even Europe and not here?

People will invest there and not here.

Get over your envy and do what helps the most people – jobs, etc…
Once libs get over their anger and envy and greed at other people’s wealth and study what actually works best for the little guy, we will be better off.

Oh yeah… I think the word was STAGFLATION. You can look it up, Bain.

Posted by: bainmanfoolish | April 13, 2012, 10:40 pm 10:40 pm

Mitt Romney’s record of success includes risking other people’s money to buy companies, fire workers, run the companies into debt by borrowing against them, sell them off for profit, and then pay incredibly low taxes on those profits even though he didn’t risk a penny of his own money. And any cost of unemployment or failure of these debt ridden companies falls on the public. Is anybody impressed by this?

Posted by: Bainman | April 13, 2012, 10:43 pm 10:43 pm


Let me tell you about Romdork.
Bain Cap?
Using Obama’s language, they SAVED jobs.

Those same companies would have gone bankrupt.
EVERY WORKER would have been unemployed.
Doing what they did saved thousands. Yes, they laid people off (duh),.
If not, the companies would have gone bankrupt and ALL would be laid off.

Dont let facts get in your way though. Liberals are allergic to them/

Posted by: bainmanfoolish | April 13, 2012, 10:48 pm 10:48 pm

We are quite confident that stopping the Republicans from continuing to redistribute wealth up the income ladder to those who aren’t creating jobs anyway will help the little guy more than giving Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and all their corporate buddies even more huge tax breaks which can never be paid for.

Posted by: Bainman | April 13, 2012, 10:52 pm 10:52 pm

“If not, the companies would have gone bankrupt and ALL would be laid off”

There is not a shred of evidence to back up this claim.

Posted by: Bainman | April 13, 2012, 10:56 pm 10:56 pm

The squeals will be deafening when those riding the corporate gravy train are forced to crack open their checkbooks and pay their fair share of taxes for the first time in 30 years.

Posted by: Bainman | April 13, 2012, 10:59 pm 10:59 pm

How did the Obama’s afford all those vacations, campaign trips & golf/parties on a $790K income? Looks like an investigation is needed.

Posted by: dave | April 13, 2012, 11:25 pm 11:25 pm

Has no one caught this?
The Effective Tax Rate is what you pay in taxes divided by Taxable Income.
Taxable Income is Adjusted Gross Income less deductions and exemptions.

The Effective Tax Rate is NOT taxes divided by AGI, which is what the article explains.

Take the AGI, reduce by at least his charitable deductions, less 3700 * 4 (exemptions), less other itemized deductions …that will be his taxable income.

Which means he paid more than 20%. Then, he may be subject to Alternative Minimum Tax (don’t have those schedules memorized).

Keep in mind: I am NOT an Obama fan. But I do want people to understand the rules and proper reporting.

Posted by: cpalady | April 14, 2012, 12:07 am 12:07 am

13%. That’s what Willard’s tax rate was. Let’s go back a few years and see where his revenue was generated from. He won’t do that, will he? Yeah,jhe’s really in touch with the the common man.

Posted by: John Schwarz | April 14, 2012, 3:16 am 3:16 am

Secretaries that invest the same percentages as their bosses will pay a lower capital gains rate every time. Rather than demonizing their bosses for putting their money at risk and fueling investment in our economy, Obama wants to steal the seed corn and waste it on solar boondoggles backed by his campaign bundlers.

Posted by: Steve B | April 14, 2012, 3:41 am 3:41 am

Brian [and Migraine]: I think if you use a calculator to do the division you might change your MATH answer.

More importantly, the whole thrust of the article is misleading (since we don’t really know about her filing status, exemptions, deductions, other sources of income…), and, the Obama team knew that when they promulgated it. After all, Mr. and Mrs. Obama had a set of slick accountants who navigated them through the code to minimize their tax bill: do as we say, not as we do.

Posted by: Lex1 | April 14, 2012, 4:09 am 4:09 am

How about that, this man of hte people who is co concerned about the poor, paid more in taxes than I made working at my job. Interesting that none of his policies have done anything to assist me in getting a higher paying job, or alleviate the tax increases and rising prices inherent in his administration.

Posted by: Jon Weiss | April 14, 2012, 5:24 am 5:24 am

Obama always says he is willing to pay more taxes. FUNNY, I don’t see where he paid more than the minimum required.

Can Obama also please tell the country why he is using a SSN issued to someone born in CT in 1890 ? Don’t only illegal aliens steal SSN

Posted by: scott | April 14, 2012, 6:59 am 6:59 am

There is absolutely nothing stopping Obama from paying the 30% to set a good example. But, true to his ilk, Democrats are hypocrites who talk a lot and have nothing to say.

Posted by: roxanne | April 14, 2012, 7:33 am 7:33 am

So even if Obama gets his Buffet tax law, his secretary will still pay more taxes than Obama.
Hey Obama! Our tax system is still called a volunteer tax system. Why don’t you set an example for others to follow. Why don’t YOU volunteer some more of your personal money toward taxes.

Posted by: Mike | April 14, 2012, 7:57 am 7:57 am

So much for “the rich” paying their “fair share”! What a hypocrite!!!!

Posted by: Daxe | April 14, 2012, 8:40 am 8:40 am

Of course his secretary paid a higher rate than he did, isn’t that the way all politicians set up the tax laws, weather they are democratic or republican, they set up the tax law so the burden fell onto the middle class. The poor pay nothing, the rich have had the politicians in their pocket since day one. Who else is going to pay for our over bloated government spending?

Obama can whale all he wants about taxing the rich, but it was he and his elitist buddies in congress who set up this outrageous tax code we have. 26,000 pages of gobble gook. Both democrats and republicans are to blame, this is not a one party problem, this is an elitist problem.

Everyone knows that the tax laws in this country are in need of reform, and has been in need of reform for a very long time, but who has done anything about it? Nobody that’s who. And who is going to do anything about it? Again nobody.

So his secretary, better just get used to it, along with every other middle class American. This is your government at work. Scary isn’t it?

Posted by: Joe Lucido | April 14, 2012, 8:52 am 8:52 am

So Bo-Blame-O thinks we can just add on another page or two to the current tax code to make it fair? I’m calling BS. The days of keeping the dumbmasses ignorant are starting to fall down around our elected officials. We will correct the problem through the ballot box. If per chance it does not work, I believe we have sufficient manpower to take our country back.

Posted by: Steve | April 14, 2012, 9:11 am 9:11 am

The Pres and VP need better tax advice. With their income and connections, there are many opportunites they can be taking (all legal) to reduce their tax burden – while supporting the formation of capital to help drive the economy. I would be interested in seeing BO’s returns from before he ran for office (any office).
For them to NOT take all the legal opportunities they are allowed indicates a laziness on their part. Is this who we want as the Leader of the nation – an individual who is willing to leave money on the table – thinking the Government can spend it more effectively then they themselves can? See my point – big gov all the way for these caricatures.

Posted by: GNAC | April 14, 2012, 10:25 am 10:25 am

Jake, did you actually see the secretary’s tax return? Again, you people are mixing apples and oranges. There is no way the secretary is paying more than 20% of her income in taxes. No. Way. Her top marginal rate might be higher than 20%. That’s what they’re saying. That’s the case with Buffet’s secretary too. But in reality, at that income her effective taxation rate has to be about 11%, like pretty much all middle class incomes. Seriously, Jake, you really need to check these things and not just accept the pablum you’re fed by the White House.

Posted by: RickS | April 14, 2012, 11:05 am 11:05 am

Obamas charitable donations would probably have been less if he was taxed an additional 10%. I am assuming his speding would have been about the same but most americans natural response to paying higher tax rates is spend less. Even Buffett would abide by this rule. If he is taxed an extra Billion, he is not going to go out and decide to spend an addional billion to buy or fix a failing business model. In other words, Buffett will have a Billion less to spend.

Posted by: Tom | April 14, 2012, 11:09 am 11:09 am

Seriously, What HASN’T Obama lied about?

Why would anyone in their right mind trust someone who has told nothing but lies.

Posted by: Ronstradamus | April 14, 2012, 11:36 am 11:36 am

The conclusion of this article is incorrect. The maximum tax rate for a single earner (no kids, no deductions, no nothing) is 18.4%. The tax amount would be $17,557.
Tapper’s a good reporter. He should see for himself.

Posted by: Wes Miller | April 14, 2012, 11:44 am 11:44 am

I could give that percentage of my income to charity if I didn’t have to pay for food, gas, cleaning supplies, day care and utilities.

Posted by: glump | April 14, 2012, 11:56 am 11:56 am

“President Obama’s Secretary Paid Higher Tax Rate Than He Did” – Jake Tapper

Let’s compare W2s.

Posted by: Noz | April 14, 2012, 11:59 am 11:59 am

God, you conservatives are idiots. He said he should be paying more taxes and wants it changed. And he gave 22 percent of his income to charity. Wow, an evil guy!

Posted by: Tim | April 14, 2012, 12:33 pm 12:33 pm

Obama is the one who announced this as an illustration. Don’t be so quick to attack him like he’s a hypocrite. He is the one who is trying to make the point about the system not being fair.

Posted by: astroyo | April 14, 2012, 12:50 pm 12:50 pm

If he wanted to pay more taxes he could ! Nothing stopping him ! He could simply waive the itemizations, credits, etc. that he says are so “biased” for the wealthy. Just like stingy Biden could contribute more than 1.5% to charity. There is NOBODY holding a gun to Obama or Biden’s heads “making them” pay less tax. Obama and his wealthy cronies (e.g. Kerry, Geithner, etc. are FRAUDS ! They talk a good game but are the first in line to avoid taxes and to spend taxpayer money for themselves and their families !

Posted by: saduslover | April 14, 2012, 1:51 pm 1:51 pm

So what stopped this butthole from sending in a check for the DIFFERENCE? Nothing. Like most liberals he’s a LYING POS and looks for EVERY BENEFIT that he can GET as he blames others for doing the SAME! REMOVE THIS FECAL STAIN FROM THE OVAL OFFICE!!!!!

Posted by: The Arbiter | April 14, 2012, 1:58 pm 1:58 pm

Do the math — if you calculate the secretary’s taxes using the current tax table from the IRS, her effective tax assuming standard deduction and one exemption, is 18.5%. That is less than Obama’s. Once again the WH is both lying demagogging the issue!

Posted by: Mark Brown | April 14, 2012, 3:13 pm 3:13 pm

They are not the “Bush” tax cuts. They are the “Obama” Tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts expired in 2010 and were extended by a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President Obama.

Posted by: Jake | April 14, 2012, 4:09 pm 4:09 pm

As has been stated by others, the statement about the tax rate paid by his secretary is almost certainly false or at best a misleading statement that does not tell all the details of her circumstances.
If she is single and takes the standard deduction her rate would only be 18.5%. It could easily be lower if she had itemized deductions. The false nature of the claim is easily discoverable and should have been part of any serious news coverage of the statement.

Posted by: James Opfer | April 14, 2012, 6:28 pm 6:28 pm

Brophy Saturday 14 April 2012 - 4:37 pm | | Brophy Blog

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