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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama paid federal income taxes of $150,253 on an adjusted gross income of $789, 674, an effective tax rate of just 19%. When the first family’s tax burden is figured the way Obama’s proposed “Buffett rule” tax would be calculated, however, they paid 27.9% of their income in tax —still shy of the 30% minimum effective tax rate he wants millionaires to pay.
Both the Obamas and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were hit by the existing alternative minimum tax, which mostly snags upper middle class folks with big deductions for state and local taxes. The Obamas’ total tax bill was boosted $12,491 as a result of the AMT. The Bidens, with a gross income of $379,035, paid income tax of $86,892, for an effective tax rate of 22.9%. Of the Bidens’ total tax, $6,805 was due to the AMT.
The Buffett rule, which Senate Democrats plan to bring up for a symbolic vote on Monday, the eve of the federal tax filing deadline, wouldn’t apply to the Obamas or Bidens—it is phased in for taxpayers with adjusted gross income of more than $1 million and takes full effect at $2 million.
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