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Obama's tax rate is 18.4 percent. Is that too low for a millionaire?

The release of President Obama's tax returns last week showed that his tax rate has gone down. Of course, his income went down and he gave a lot to charity, but critics are still chirping. 

By Husna HaqCorrespondent / April 15, 2013

President Obama walks out from the White House before leaving to play basketball at the FBI building in Washington Sunday.

Yuri Gripas/Reuters


Has President Obama been taking advice from Mitt Romney’s tax accountant?

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Months after attacking Mr. Romney for his low tax rate, some critics are now turning the tables on the president, saying his 2012 tax rate is too low.

The president paid $112,214 in federal income taxes on an adjusted gross income of $608,611 in 2012, making his effective federal tax rate 18.4 percent. (The Obamas also paid $29,450 in Illinois income tax.)

Apparently, that’s a lot less than some folks at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” pay.

“The president was talking about how shameful it is that Mitt Romney paid less in taxes than teachers paid in taxes, and yet Barack Obama, reportedly worth $14 million, paid less in taxes than teachers or Warren Buffet’s poor, overworked secretary,” “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said on Monday's show.  

Is Obama’s tax rate too low?

Well, for starters, it’s still higher than Romney’s 2011 rate of 14.1 percent – though that’s not saying much.

It’s also higher than US taxpayers’ average income tax rate of about 11.8 percent in 2011, according to the Tax Foundation, a tax research group in Washington. And it’s higher than the rate some 46 percent of Americans, mostly poor or elderly, pay – that is, no federal income taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a tax think tank.


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