President Obama’s taxes drop in latest tax returns

First Couple’s income drops as book sales fall off. Photo: The First Couple with their daughters in official White House portrait

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2013 — Since becoming president in 2008, President Obama has seen a drop in sales of his two best sellers, “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope,” both which made him a millionaire, causing his personal income to fall off.

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2012 tax returns were released on Friday (view here), showing their total income in 2012 was $608,611 and they paid $112,214 in taxes, an effective federal income tax rate of 18.4%. Most of that income came from sales and royalties on his two books with the remainder coming from his annual presidential salary of $400,000.

The Obamas donated 24.6% of their income — $150,000 — to 33 charities, with Fisher House Foundation, based in the Obama’s hometown, Chicago, receiving $103,871 of that contribution. Fisher House Foundation provides free or low-cost housing for veterans who receive medical treatment at medical treatment at military hospitals.

The White House says that the Obamas’ tax rate would have been higher if Congress would pass the reform to the tax code that he has proposed, such as the Buffett Rule, asking the richest Americans to pay “their fair share while protecting families making under $250,000 from seeing their taxes go up.”

The First Couple also paid $29,450 in Illinois state income tax.

Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden reported an adjusted gross income of $385,072, paying $87,851 in federal taxes, or a 22.8% tax rate, and nearly $17,000 in state income taxes.

SEE RELATED: Taxes: You pay taxes, why not the Fat Cats?

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.


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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe


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