Declining book sales are largely to blame for a sharp drop in the Obamas' income during 2012, according to the first family's tax returns released today.
The president and first lady filed jointly, with an adjusted gross income of $608,611. They paid $112,214 in tax and donated $150,034 to 33 charities. His tax rate this year is 18.4 percent. In their release, the White House notes that the president would increase his own tax rate under his administration's proposed reform of the tax code:
"The President believes we must reform our tax system which is why he has proposed policies like the Buffett Rule that would ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share while protecting families making under $250,000 from seeing their taxes go up. Under the President’s own tax proposals, including limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it."
The Obamas' income was down about 22 percent from last year, when they earned $844,585. Here's Reuters, noting the election-year decline in book sales that accounts for much of that decrease:
The Obamas' outside business income fell sharply as the president's book sales declined. In 2012, the couple had business income of $258,772, down from $441,369 in 2011. Book sales have declined dramatically since the early days of his presidency. In 2009, his profits from book sales came in at $5.6 million.
You can download the tax return yourself at the White House website, where the Bidens have also posted their returns.