April 11, 2014, 03:04 pm
Falling book sales cut Obamas' income
By Justin Sink
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama earned $481,098 in 2013 and paid $98,169 in taxes, according to documents provided Friday by the White House.
Their earnings have dropped significantly due to weakening sales of the president's books. In 2012, the Obamas reported $608,611 in income.
The first family's effective tax rate in 2013 was 20.4 percent.
"The president pushed for and signed into law legislation that makes the system more fair and helps the middle class by extending tax cuts to middle class and working families and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
"In 2013, as a result of his policies, the president was subject to limitations in tax preferences, as well as additional Medicare and investment income taxes, for high income earners."
The Obamas also reported nearly $60,000 in gifts to charity — substantially down from the $150,000 they gave in 2012, and the $172,000 they donated in 2011.
The Obamas' largest donation, as in prior years, was to the Fisher House Foundation. The president donates the proceeds from his children's book to a scholarship fund organized by the charity for children of fallen and disabled soldiers.
While the foundation netted $117,130 from the president in 2012, that declined to $8,751 in 2013.
The Obamas' next highest charitable donation was $5,000 to the Sidwell Friends School — an exclusive Washington private school attended by their daughters. The first family also donated $2,000 to a fund for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and $4,000 to the American Red Cross.
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill reported an adjusted gross income of $407,009 in 2013, and paid $96,378 in federal taxes — good for an effective tax rate of 23.7 percent.
The Bidens contributed just over $20,000 to charity in 2013, including the royalties from Jill Biden's children's book, which were given to the USO.
The second family netted $30,552 in Social Security benefits.
The children's book is largely responsible for a bump in both the Bidens' income and charitable giving. In 2012, they made $385,072 and contributed just over $7,000 to charity.