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Obama and Biden Release Tax Returns

By Michael D. Shear
Barack Obama's successful quest for the White House powered the sales of his books, making him millions even as he assumed the presidency, his tax returns show.

As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama earned about $2.6 million from the sale of his books, "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams From My Father," according to the returns released by the White House today.

The book sales represented the vast majority of the First Couple's income, although they also reported wages of about $200,000 and a small amount of investment income.

Together, they paid about $855,000 in federal taxes. They would have received a $26,000 refund, but asked that the amount be applied to their 2009 income taxes instead.

The returns, his first released while president, show that Obama donated $172,050 to charities, including $25,000 to the CARE and the same amount to the United Negro College Fund.

The White House also released the tax returns for Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden. The couple earned far less than the Obamas, reporting income of about $270,000.

Biden paid about $47,000 in federal taxes and donated $1,885 to charity, the records show.

Their returns follow:

Obama's returns:

  • 1040 Form
  • 709 Form
  • State income taxes

    Biden's returns:

  • Federal Disclosure
  • State Disclosure

  • By Web Politics Editor  |  April 15, 2009; 5:24 PM ET
    Categories:  Barack Obama , The Green Zone  
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    It is nothing short of appalling to see the pittance the Bidens contribute to charity on a combined $270,000 salary. Didn't they learn anything from Catholic social teaching about giving to the poor?

    Posted by: arthurgowran | April 20, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

    Well, I guess I found my answer.

    Seems Barry and Michelle have gotten wiser now that they are in the lime-light!

    While still contributing @$50K to groups such as the United Negro College Fund and other "Black" Charities;

    they seem to now be throwing a larger amount out to other groups!

    I just wish it did NOT include Hispanic activist groups!

    That Bridge is OMINOUS!

    La-Raza and Amnesty!

    Two phrases I despise as much as Reconquista and La Invasora!

    Posted by: SAINT---The | April 16, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse


    No. Next question?

    Posted by: JakeD | April 16, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

    Posted by: scrivener50 | April 15, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

    Hopefully, the Obamams got Geithner to prepaired there taxes.

    Posted by: dashriprock | April 15, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

    His books were good??? Audacity of Dope?

    Posted by: cr10 | April 15, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

    For some the word suffering is meant for others, it's not in there vocabulary.

    Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | April 15, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse


    I know EXACTLY what I am posting about. For instance, donating money to shelter(s) is not the same thing as setting an example, in every newspaper and channel in the country, of actually adopting said shelter dog.

    English at its best!!

    Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

    A year ago, then- President George W. Bush reported taxable income of $719,274 for the 2007 tax year. He and Laura Bush paid $221,635 in federal income taxes that year.

    Posted by: mharwick | April 15, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

    Posted by: xxx1 | April 15, 2009 8:19 PM
    dcn1: Let me get this straight: Obama writes a good book, you buy it, then complain he made too much money from the book you bought.
    Did he force you to buy the book?

    Please, go get a dictionary and look up the word ‘Sarcasm’ before posting again.

    Posted by: dcn1 | April 15, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

    Biden paid about $47,000 in federal taxes and donated $1,885 to charity, the records show.
    Obama in 2002 donated much less on almost 250 thousand income. Just goes to show. Obama donated 0 to Jeremiah Wright's old church last year but had donated a total of 26,000 in earlier years before the "problems" arose.

    Posted by: mharwick | April 15, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

    He gave up that kind of income for the measly income of POTUS, and they still complain. I wonder what the Bush, Clinton tax returns looked like when they were POTUS?

    Repub Hypocrites, or is a black man writing intelligent books too much for you?

    Posted by: xxx1 | April 15, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

    Obama said that it was "boneheaded" to have dealt with Rezko by purchasing the 10 foot strip. He didn't say it was boneheaded to get the help he needed from a contributor and a man under FBI investigation as everyone knew however.
    The tenants of Rezko's failed housing units (Rezko was also represented by the law firm Obama worked at and where Rezko got help in qualifying to build housing) left the tenants freezing in the winter as no heat was provided to the buildings.
    The memory of some is very short but the facts remain.

    Posted by: mharwick | April 15, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

    JakeD, how about you before you rail against something you know the facts! That dog, the one they got for free?!?! They donated the money they would have spend to a shelter in Washington, DC. Maybe if people stopped with all this "he said/he did/we want/blah blah blah" and people actually work towards buiilding a better country, we would be in a better standing both here and abroad! Politics at its best!!

    Posted by: JamesGnPhilly | April 15, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

    sandynh, he paid paid nearly 33% of his income in taxes. What percentage of your income did you pay?

    Posted by: wangbang747 | April 15, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

    dcn1: Let me get this straight: Obama writes a good book, you buy it, then complain he made too much money from the book you bought.

    Did he force you to buy the book?

    sandynh: I have nothing against constructive critique, but your comments are rather idiotic.

    HockeyMike351: Another foolish comment, the POTUS has the same freedoms we do. Does anyone tell you who to donate too?

    Posted by: xxx1 | April 15, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

    In 2002, the year before Obama launched his U.S. Senate campaign, the couple reported income of $259,394 and $1,050 in deductions for gifts to charity, below the national average of $1,872.
    Obama bought his mansion for $1.650 million dollars. The sales price was $1.950 million and the owner/seller required that his empty lot adjacent also be purchased simultaneously for $625 thousand dollars.
    Sen. Obama had a good friend that helped him buy his mansion by buying the lot next door for full price at the same time Obama negotiated a $300 thousand dollar reduction on the mansion. After the sales closed, the good friend who was also his largest contributor over the years ($250 thousand) sold Obama 10 feet from the lot to enhance Obama's property size and did so even though Obama's friends lot could no longer qualify as a buildable lot. This very good friend then erected an expensive iron fence between the lot and Obama's mansion and sold his empty lot to another friend at a loss.
    Who was Obama's good friend? None other than A. Rezko who had built failed public housing some in Obama's own district and was indicted and convicted of 16 counts of corruption involving Blagovich and whose sentence has been delayed pending his testimony in the Blago case.
    Rezko's wife was the name on the lot and borrowed the money to buy it as Rezko was already under FBI investigation and had no funds to buy nor need for the empty lot. She had an income of $37 thousand a year.
    Northern Trust was the lender to Obama.

    Posted by: mharwick | April 15, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

    A Democrat pays taxes???

    Posted by: birvin9999 | April 15, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

    Say what you will about the Obama's "riches" - at least they were based on the fruits of Barack Obama's labor (and talent) in writing 2 books.

    Contrast that w/ how GW Bush made his fortune - on the backs of the taxpayers of Arlington, TX, when he turned a $500k interest into a nearly $15 million windfall.

    Funny how GW Bush had NO PROBLEM w/ that TAX HIKE.

    Posted by: commonsense7 | April 15, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

    2.6 million? The Robber barons! This is 52 times what I will earn this year. I work hard, make a quality product and only earn a mere 50 grand. Obama writes two self-aggrandizing autobiographies and makes 2.6 mil, IT'S JUST NOT FAIR.

    It’s about time big government confiscates the ill-gotten wealth of these greedy fat-cats and “spreads it around” to helpless victims of this evil American kleptocracy. I will be waiting for my redistribution check Mr. President.


    Posted by: dcn1 | April 15, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse


    I think because, if it's a "gift" from a dying Ted Kennedy, then no one is supposed to remember they were going to rescue a shelter dog instead.

    Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

    So great. Since he's Obama san it's OK he rakes in millions and then tells us we have a duty to pony up - when's he gonna do it"? 'and by the way, how come he couldn't pony up and pay the going freight for that stupid dog? He certainly can afford it!

    Posted by: sandynh | April 15, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse


    What makes you think TEA throwers didn't pay their legal share of taxes today?

    Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

    P.S. while "First Lady" is not an official position, it is a full-time job. The East Wing is a part of the White House Complex and maintains a separate budget. It is a two-story structure on the east side of the White House Executive Residence, housing offices for the First Lady, White House Social Secretary, White House Graphics and Calligraphy Office, and correspondence staff, and other members of the White House staff. The East Wing also includes the White House theater, the visitor's entrance, and the East Colonnade, a corridor connecting the body of the East Wing to the residence.

    You can see how many people are involved in the East Wing (from last year):

    Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

    I guess the U.S. breaks down into at least two parts. Those of us who pay our taxes and really consider it a part of our patriotic duty, a way of giving back to the nation we love, and those who throw tea in the water.

    This was a good day for these officials' taxes to be released. It reminds us that they aren't immune from the same obligations we all have.

    Posted by: tinyjab40 | April 15, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

    Nothing wrong here. He is a good man.

    Posted by: yarbrougharts | April 15, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse


    It is standard practice for Presidential candidates too (I was hoping to get their Social Security numbers though).

    Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

    Tax returns released by the White House show Obama and his wife, Michelle, together made $2.7 million last year.

    While that is far more than the U.S. median household income of about $50,000, it is also far less than the Obamas made the previous year. In 2007, they made $4.2 million.

    Michele had to give up her big paying what??? A board member.

    Posted by: mjno | April 15, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

    I think it is outlandish that the President has to detail his tax return - this is supposed to be a confidential document - it would be sufficient to just give the amount he earned, the amount of taxes he paid.PERIOD. Is big brother lurking here?
    One thing I don't figure - is Michelle Obama's OCCUPATION really "First Lady"?

    Posted by: cqbrodie | April 15, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

    It is a shame that President Obama decided to donate the vast majority to an organization that only helps those with the proper color of skin. I wish he would have chosen a more diverse charity. Still I applaud him for being so generous.

    Posted by: HockeyMike351 | April 15, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

    The man paid over $800.000 in taxes and did it with a smile on his face. Contrast the scenario with the anger, groan, cry and pain in the faces of Rush DUMBaugh, Low, Lou Dobbs, Sean VANITY, Bill OH REALLY! and the rest of the morons who claim to be Christians but don't bother to read the bible to find out the obligation of the Rich to the poor. Yes Jesus was right! It is far more easier for a MAN SITTING ON A HORSE TO GO THROUGH THE EYES OF A NEEDLE THAN A RICH MAN TO GO TO HEAVEN. Rich people like the Limbaughs and the Hannitys think the poor are lazy. They never ever consider the myriad of variables in life that sometimes push a person to poverty or extreme poverty. And no matter the argument one brings up, the Republicans don't give a damn! They cry out! they are poor because they are lazy. History and perculiar situations be damned! Ask them to pay a little more taxes so that lesser mortals could also be helped , and they will call you a communist; a socialist; a fascist. They will call you every name in the book without blinking an eye. All because they are asked to give a little more so that the life of a poor guy somewhere could be saved. At the end of the day they still call themselves CHRISTIANS. The mercyful Lord is really patient and trully merciful.
    Christians indeed!

    Posted by: erzuah34 | April 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

    "OMG, LOL, let's make idiotic remarks about every single thing Obama does because we are Old White Bitterz who live in a state of perpetual outrage."

    Posted by: marSF | April 15, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

    Which "conservative" is trashing Obama's income?

    Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

    Nothing wrong with making bucks off a bestseller.

    Conservatives had no problem with bush and his family millions, so their trashing of Obama's income is just sick.

    Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 15, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

    Please see page 28 of the president's 1040 where you will find a list of the many and varied organizations to whom money was donated. Also, how do you expect legal immigrants to acclimate to the United States except by taking English classes?
    Third- What is wrong with you?

    Posted by: kimeb1357 | April 15, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

    To the Bidens:
    So you gave less than 1% of your adjusted gross income of $269K to charity? Please, be more generous next year. This is way below IRS data for avg. charity donation for those in your income bracket. Do you want to be called "cheap"? Thank you.

    Posted by: rf49 | April 15, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

    Obama's new tax plan is to take from more prosperous Americans and give it to lower wage earners. That is welfare not tax reform. I'm not against helping those that need it. However, I feel this will lead to another entitlement class. I'm concened too many Americans will rely on the government for their needs and not themselves.

    Posted by: saelij | April 15, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

    I thought socialist didn't care about making money? Looks to me like President Obama is just like the rest of American's. He likes to make money too.

    Posted by: kubrickstan | April 15, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

    American tax payers should mail their money to the nearest Bank ... Saves time. They won't have to wait for the next Government bail-out.

    Posted by: gatorsn09 | April 15, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

    I was interested to see that the Bidens apparently do not own their Delaware house outright (I assume that is what the mortgage deduction means). As I recall, Senator Biden was known to have less net worth than all or most of the other 99 Senators of the last Congress, since he has served as an elected official from such an early age. This tax return reflects that. The Bidens are clearly well to do compared to most Americans, as he said in the VP debate, but still of humble means compared to most Senators and other leaders.

    I was a little surprised not to see any royalty income from Promises to Keep (Biden's memoir), although admittedly it has been out for a few years. It was definitely on sale in 2008 and I bought a copy, so that's a few cents of royalty right there! Maybe the royalties are still being taken out of his original advance.

    The best part was seeing Dr. Jill Biden's earnings as a community-college teacher. Go Jill!

    Posted by: fairfaxvoter | April 15, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse


    I'm not holding my breath. We already KNOW he filed a false tax return since he listed his occupation as "US President" LOL!

    Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

    OK JakeD, time to get to work.

    See if you can find any Charitable Contributions by the O'Bomba's NOT to "Black" Charity!

    Me, I can wait until they are listed-if ever! ;~)

    Posted by: SAINT---The | April 15, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse


    Just how much did Mrs. Senator Biden make;

    Teaching English as a Second Language?!

    Sooooooo Glad! there is no conflicts of interest regarding our Nation's Immigration Policies! :-(

    Posted by: SAINT---The | April 15, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

    LOL! Biden gave a whopping 0.007% to charity. At least Obama gave 6% away.

    Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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