Does the president get a fair shake?
Mr. John Nightingale (Reader Input, April 16)) declares that the president paid taxes at a rate of 18 percent. This is false to fact. The Obamas gave $150,000 of their before-tax earnings to charity, leaving them with $450,000. They paid $112,000 in federal taxes for a gross rate of 24 percent.
If you back-calculate from the 2013 tax tables, the Obamas are in the 35 percent tax bracket with a taxable income of about $400,000. So the truth of the matter is that they pay taxes exactly like other citizens according to the tax tables shared by taxpayers including Mr Nightingale, though their charitable donations as a portion of income, at 24 percent, are probably much higher than most. I don’t see what could be fairer or less perplexing than that.
It may seem that $400,000 is a lot of money. But when you look at a conservative rate of return for truly rich politicians such as Mitt Romney, it is a pittance — less than one week of interest in some tax-free offshore account.
John Sisson, Newcastle