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How much does the US president earn per year?

Barack Obama is a rich man. But not because of the presidency, which earns him $400,000 a year. His two books make him much more, but their sales are now slowing down. Yashwant Raj reports.

world Updated: Apr 14, 2013 01:03 IST
Yashwant Raj

Barack Obama is a rich man. But not because of the presidency, which earns him $400,000 a year. His two books make him much more, but their sales are now slowing down.

His adjusted gross income and wife’s combined, as disclosed in federal taxes filed earlier this month for 2012, was $608,611, down from $5.5 million in 2009.

Most of that was from his two books: “Dreams from my father” and “The audacity of hope”. Sales are down now, and so are Obama family fortunes.

The Obamas paid $112,214 in taxes.

But, White House said in a statement, the president was willing to pay more, which would have happened if his proposal to hike taxes on the rich was accepted by Republicans.

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Believe that. The Obamas gave away more in donations — $150,134 — or about 24.6% of their adjusted income — to 33 charities, $103,871 to just one.

Tax filing season closes on April 15, and presidents have traditionally released their returns to encourage others file, and also show they are not different.

The situation, however, could have been different if Obama lost in 2012 and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, was the president, who is many times richer.

His tax returns had become an election issue with Democrats alleging he paid income tax at much lower rates than those earning much less than him.

They challenged him to release his tax returns, which he did with some reluctance. But for only 2011 at first. And resisted calls for more disclosures.But Romney was forced to disclose details for one more year.

Vice-president Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, who is a college teacher, together reported adjusted income of $385,072. Their federal tax was $87,851.

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