White House

Click on the picture below to see if you can find the word tax in the word cloud of President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text according to Wordle.

Wordle: President Obama's 2011 State Of The Union

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24/7 Wall St. has posted an article which examines the net worth of all the American Presidents in terms of 2010 U.S. Dollars:

Because a number of presidents, particularly in the early 19th Century, made and lost huge fortunes in a matter of a few years, the number for each man is based on his net worth at its peak.

In the case of each president we have taken into account hard assets like land, estimated lifetime savings based on work history, inheritance, homes, and money paid for services, which include things as diverse as their salary as Collector of Customs at the Port of New York to membership on Fortune 500 boards. Royalties on books have also been taken into account, along with ownership of companies and yields from family estates.

The net worth of the presidents varies widely. George Washington was worth over half a billion in today’s dollars. Several presidents went bankrupt.

Beginning on page two of the article you will find a chart which includes the President’s name, estimated net worth, and historical points of interest.

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2011: The Year of Taxpayer Uncertainty

by Joshua on May 26, 2010

In his Tax Foundation article Mark Robyn, addresses the uncertainty of the tax landscape in 2011:

Polls show that many Americans are anxious about their taxes and believe their payments are rising. At first glance this seems like a public misperception because tax policy at the end of the Bush administration and the beginning of the Obama administration has been dominated by a blizzard of tax cuts, most narrowly targeted at a few taxpayers but some broadly benefiting low- and middle-income people. But paradoxically, the people are right to be worried about high taxes. With federal deficits growing and the U.S. debt mounting to alarming levels, Congress will soon need to cut spending or raise taxes to shore up the long-term fiscal outlook.

In the article, Robyn calculates what typical tax returns will look like in 2011 under the tax policies that prevailed before the President Bush was elected, all Bush-era tax changes extended to 2011 (with no changes from President Obama), and combine Bush and Obama policies as outlined in the President’s 2011 budget.

Here is an example of table in the article. The table reveals the taxes owed (+ or -) on typical tax returns:

Table 1

Summary: Taxes Owed (+ or -) on Typical Tax Returns

Pre-Bush Bush Obama
Single Parent, One child, $25,000 - $928 - $1,881 - $2,281
Married couple, two earners, three children, $45,000 $1,020 - $1,510 - $3,183
Married couple, one earner, two children, $50,000 $2,825 $688 $288
Married couple, two earners, two children, $85,000 $7,235 $5,383 $4,583
Single, no children, $60,000 $8,236 $7,484 $7,084
Single, no children, $150,000 $29,962 $26,996 $26,996
Married couple, two earners, two children, $150,000 $22,776 $19,268 $18,468
Married couple, two earners, two children, $300,000 $64,181 $61,292 $61,292
Married couple, two earners, no children, $500,000 $130,210 $123,900 $130,342
Married couple, two earners, no children, $1,000,000 $298,510 $254,167 $307,342

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Here is a link to President Obama’s 2009 Financial Disclosure Form. If you scroll through to Schedule B Part II: Gifts, Reimbursements, and Travel Expenses you will see that the Obama Family Dog, Bo, was a gift valued at $1,600.

Vice-President Biden’s Financial Disclosure Form is also available here.

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