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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Obama's loaded

Barack Obama has released some of his tax returns to the MSM. And get this: Last year his and his spouse's income was "$983,826, down from $1.6 million in 2005." The Chicago Tribune writes about it here. A copy of the tax return is here. (Via TaxProf Blog.)

And I note -- the s.o.b. is not subject to the alternative minimum tax, the way "rich" families like mine are!

Comments (22)

the s.o.b.

Easy there.

not subject to the alternative minimum tax

I'll defer to the tax guy... How did he avoid it?

Yeah, is that any way to talk about "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy..".

I ask you.

He's clean and rich.

Well, there sure are a lot of IRS forms in this return I'll never be using.

I know the figures are astronomical to us mere mortals, but it hardly seems fair to have to pay a $377 penalty when you've "loaned" the Feds $40,000 for the year.

How did Obama avoid the AMT?
(I too defer to the Tax Guy)
My wife and I just got our clocks cleaned by AMT this year, again.
Well, I suppose it's time for us "Filthy Rich" to lay off our pastry chef, the gardening staff and sell off a few sports cars and "bling" to pay the tax.
That's right after we pay the State Income tax, Property tax and Auto tags, let alone our daughter(s) tuition in college, that we get no help on from some Federal Program or get to even imagine to write off on taxes.
What a lovely system we have.

They paid $277,431 in taxes. Does it really matter if they avoided the AMT? I suspect (though our esteemed tax guru could tell us for sure) there are many others who earned far more and yet paid far less in taxes. A list of such people would be much more interesting.

Such a list would be hard to get. Tax return information is confidential. Although the IRS is now using private debt collectors, and so some information is likely to leak out at some point...

Oh Good, ANOTHER fellow who can really relate with thousands of Americans. Yup, I see he knows what it's like to live on $20/hour or less. Just because he's black doesn't make him any more in touch with me than any of the white rich guys running for President (or the one ** too rich for words ** woman).

I'd like to see an average joe run and win, my wish has the same chance that a snowball has in hell.

From what I know of the prez candidates backgrounds- John Edwards is form the most working class background. He grew up in a textile town- Robbins, North Carolina. His mom and dad both worked at a textile mill. He was the first to go to college. He majored in textile engineering undergrad. He gave Elizabeth an $11 ring.... I am inspired by his acheivements, but I expect some readers on this blog will probably denounce Edwards and cry a river for schmuck doctors who choose to let pregant women deliver vaginally when they have footling breach babies whose vital signs drop to near death and are born with cerebal palsy.

"They paid $277,431 in taxes."

Clearly that is not enough. Vote him and a few more Democrats into office and the far more fair amount of $377,431 or $477,431 would be the tax for that rich SOB.

He's clean and rich.

Why do you give Edwards a pass for being wealthy (I'd link to your comment, but the archive takes forever), while Obama is an SOB?

I don't give Edwards a pass. I know he's rich, which makes him different from you and me. But at least he's self-made rich, and he made his money busting corporate America's chops.

This is the first I realized how loaded Obama is. (I should have suspected as much, since just about everybody in the Senate has big money. Even Wyden has remarried up to Gatsby level.) I see B.O. in a different light as a result.

I suspect that Obama's family had greater financial resources than Edwards's -- not that it matters all that much.

Obama may be rich today but he is certainly self-made. Remember he was raised by a single teenage (19 when he ws born) mother and his grandparents, who were retired military people. Not exactly a silver spoon sort of situation.

I also would point out that just because he is well-off now, does not mean that he always was. Up until the last few years, he and his wife were making around 50,000 dollars each as civil rights attorneys, despite the fact that they could have ben making a lot more given their harard law education. Before that, he spent several years making 14,000 per year (about 8 dollars per hour) as a community organizer, so i am quite sure that he CAN relate to getting by on less than 20 dollars an hour. I find it pretty hard to begrudge him his current success. He and his wife also reported giving 60,000 dollars to charity this year. I say we cut them some slack.

So Obama's got big bucks. Maybe that's why Rev. Al doesn't like him. No racial hate, no "shake down the white corporation" mentality, nothing for the race-baiters to exploit, Obama just isn't Al's kind of guy.

Hillary, by contast, understands. Pays in cash, no questions asked. A money raising chameleon, who can change her views on the drop of a hat or today's new polls. She understands Al, and helped take him from Nike sweatsuits to thousand dollar suits. Two self-interested Democrats who stand for nothing except the singleminded, shameless pursuit of power.

The last Democrat that I voted for was Bill Bradley. I'll listen to Obama because I think he has something new to say. He seems to be sincere and as honest as someone can be in the dirty game of politics.

Edwards made his money 'busting corporate America's chops'?! He made his money by suing doctors using junk science - blaming them for causing infant cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, his golden tongue trumped the latest scientific evidence with most of his juries. How noble of him.

I believe Obama's economic good fortune was mostly the result of two best-selling books.

As for Edwards: why should we accept the proposition that "butch" knows better than the plaintiffs, judges, juries and courts of appeal where justice lay in the tort cases that Edwards won for his clients?

Don't believe me. Believe the numerous scientists and physicians that conducted the studies that refute the junk science that Edwards used as evidence.

I'm saying Edwards is a liar or a bad guy. He did what a good attorney is obligated to do: be an effective advocate for his client. But don't pretend he's some noble 'Robin Hood' taking down those evil, baby-hurtin' corporations.

I meant, "I'm NOT saying" he's a bad guy.

I hope this comment doesn't get me banned, but is the AMT really as big a problem as it's being made out to be?

I know that the AMT hasn't been indexed, which it should be, but isn't the concept basically that if you make a lot of money, there's a minimum that you have to pay, regardless of how expensive your home is (i.e., how much you deduct for mortgage interest), or how many kids you have, or how much you deduct for state income tax, or medical expenses, or whatever?

My understanding is that it used to only apply to the top 1% -- say, more than $250,000 a year. Now, because it hasn't been indexed, it's applying to the top 5% -- approximately $150,000 or more a year.

Is it really such a bad thing to tell the top 5% that they aren't allowed to take the full deductions that someone at a lower income is allowed to take? In other words, that there is a "minimum tax" that they must pay?

(Let the stoning commence.)

I'll infer that you don't pay the AMT, Miles. If true, then of course it's not a big problem for you. It's not any problem at all for me, either. Taxes of any kind aren't really a big problem for those that don't pay them.

Indexing is just for schmucks, too.

That was just pea gravel, BTW.

In reading over Obama's 2006 taxes, I notice they didn't release Schedule A, which would have made for interesting reading. That he didn't pay the AMT is an interesting observation. What I find even more interesting is that they also didn't release the AMT calculation form. If you use Turbo Tax or Tax Cut, the AMT calculation is done automatically and the form is part of the tax submission. I suspect that the reason he didn't pay the AMT is that more than half his income comes from self-employment (Schedule C). AFAIK, nothing attributable to those earnings are subject to the AMT. The schedule A would have allowed us to see what itemized deductions he claimed, many of which will trigger the AMT.

If you haven't paid the AMT, or looked at the calculations, you'll see why those of us who have to pay it (10 years running for my wife and me) get so pissed off about it. We're hardly rich, although we do well. Unfortunately for us, virtually all our income comes from W-2 or 1099R sources. This is all reportable and all exposed. The "rich" take advantage of a variety of methods to keep their "earned" income as low as possible, while maximizing the "unearned" income, which doesn't trigger most of the AMT exclusions.

The reason he didn't pay the AMT, I'm thinking, is because he already made so much money that he was taxed at the highest regular income tax rates, which are higher than the AMT rates.

The very wealthy don't pay the AMT. Only the somewhat wealthy. It's a tax on the upper middle class and above, but the very highest income folks don't get tagged with it.

OTOH, the Obamas made so much that they didn't get full dependency exemptions (or personal exemptions) for themselves and their daughters. At least us merely rich types still get those.

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