You might not have noticed, but on April 15th, the White House released President and Mrs. Obama’s 1040 tax return. This made me happy, as it seems to be a very transparent act, one indicating that the Obamas have nothing to hide in their finances, and pay taxes, like everyone else. If you are so interested in seeing their return, you may do so here.
According to what I have figured out, the Obamas made a little more than 2.5 million dollars last year, and paid nearly 700,000 dollars in federal income tax. That’s quite a lot – but did they complain? Not at all. Also, I would like to point out that thy donated about seven percent of their income to charitable organizations, including the United Negro College Fund, and a local anti-poverty fund.
Their income comes mostly from royalties from the two books the president authored. Before that, they made decent money (250,00 a year) but were certainly not very wealthy.
One of the things I so respect about the first family is that they practice what they preach. They pay taxes without grumbling, give charitable donations to programs that inspire them and that they believe will make a positive impact in the US. This is true not only of their taxes and giving, but also of the vegetable garden on the White House lawn, from which much of the produce is given to local homeless shelters. The President has called for all Americans to do what they can to help others out – and sure enough, the Obamas are “practicing what they preach.” I respect that, and I am happy to see it happening. Also, Mrs. Obama shops a J. Crew, which Jen and I think is great for a couple of reasons. First, it’s Jen’s favorite clothing store, and it also demonstrates that Mrs. Obama wants to look nice without being outfitted daily by some exorbitantly priced designer.
I think their taxes tell us a great deal about them as a family. Yes, they are making good money – but that income is something they have earned, and have worked hard for for most of their lives. They realize that their taxes are the price they pay to live in a great society. They give generously to charitable organizations. They live a financially responsible life, and are setting a good example for Americans everywhere.
- Jason Dean
TaxesBy Jason W. Dean in Culture