Buffett Rule, Taxes, and Biden

Some of these stories are just too much.

Special rules, for special people.

Axelrod: No plans for Obama to donate extra to defray deficit despite low tax rate – Fox News: A top campaign adviser to President Obama made clear Sunday that the president has no plans to chip in extra money from his own income to defray the deficit — and would insist that the tax system itself be changed so that the wealthy pay more. Campaign strategist David Axelrod was asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether the president might contribute more to the U.S. Treasury after the release of his tax returns showed Obama paid a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. The president and first lady Michelle Obama paid an effective rate of 20.5 percent on gross income of $789,674, a lower rate than the president’s secretary — who earned less than $100,000. The 20.5 percent rate is also less than the 30 percent Obama wants top earners to pay under the so-called “Buffett rule.”

I don’t know anything about this Free Beacon site, but the numbers are interesting.

Hostile Workplace – Washington Free Beacon: Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show. According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).

Biden’s a real piece of work.

Change You Can Believe In (Joe Biden edition), As Long As You’re Using Someone Else’s Money …: Joe and Jill Biden just released their 2011 tax returns. They reported $379,035 in adjusted gross income (AGI) last year, on which they paid $87,900 in income taxes; and they deducted $5,540 for charitable gifts. The table above shows the Bidens 14-year history of AGI and charitable gifts and the average charitable gifts for AGI amounts comparable to the Bidens, according to IRS data via Forbes. Now that Vice-President Biden’s tax returns are coming under public scrutiny he’s suddenly feeling a bit more charitable than the former, rather uncharitable Senator Joe Biden, whose tax returns probably received little attention, if they were even released at all.

Least shocking news of the day.

Obama Family Tax Shelter – Washington Free Beacon: President Obama and his wife, Michele, gave a total of $48,000 in tax-free gifts to their daughters, according to tax records made public on Friday. The president and his wife separately gave each daughter a $12,000 gift under a section of the federal tax code that exempts such donations from federal taxes. There is nothing illegal about the president’s taking advantage of this tax shelter, but it does raise eyebrows given that he has lamented the myriad tax exemptions used by the wealthy—“millionaires and billionaires” like himself—to pay less in taxes. He has yet to propose a comprehensive plan to reform the byzantine tax code. The Obama’s tax return indicates that the gifts, likely for their daughter’s college educations, began in 2007, when the maximum exemptible amount was $24,000 per couple. The maximum exemption has since increased to $26,000 per couple.

And I agree with Geithner here, blaming Obama for the unemployment of women seems iffy and tenuous, at best. There are a lot of other real concrete things to take him to ask for. Focus on those.

Timothy Geithner Calls Mitt Romney Claims ‘Misleading,’ ‘Ridiculous’: WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner threw water on one of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s claims about the economy and women, saying Sunday that it is “ridiculous” to imply the president is to blame for high unemployment among women.

And this is priceless. Whose side is Axelrod on?! ;-)