(Olivier Douliery, European…)
Reporting from Washington — President Obama's income dropped substantially in 2010 from the previous year due to declining book sales, but he is still comfortably in the ranks of the nation's millionaires, his federal tax returns show.
The Obama family earned $1.73 million last year, largely from sales of the president's books, "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope." Obama also derived income from his new children's book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," but he donated all proceeds to a charity benefiting children of slain and disabled soldiers, the White House said
The Obamas paid a total of $454,00 in federal taxes and $52,000 in Illinois state taxes, according to the returns, released Monday by the White House.
In 2009, the president's first year in office, he and his wife earned a total of $5.5 million, an amount driven by robust sales of the president's books.
President and Michelle Obama donated a total of $245,000 to 36 assorted charities last year. Their largest donation ($131,000) went to the Fisher House Foundation, which supports military families. That amount came primarily from sales of the children's book, according to the White House. Obama wrote "Of Thee I Sing" before he took office in 2009; it hit bookshelves last fall.
Separately, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, released returns showing income of $379,178 in 2010. The couple paid a total of $86,626 in federal taxes, $14,479 in Delaware state taxes and $3,515 in Virginia income taxes. They also made charitable donations worth $5,350 in both monetary and in-kind donations, according to the White House.
While the Obamas gave more than 14% of their adjusted gross income to charity; the Bidens donated less than 2%.
The fresh confirmation of Obama's millionaire status comes at a moment when he is calling on Congress to end the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Republicans, he likes to say, want to extend the tax breaks for people like himself.
During a speech on deficit reduction at George Washington University last week, Obama said that House Republicans "want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that's paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay $6,000 more in health costs. That's not right. And it's not going to happen as long as I'm president."