"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
This one seems to have flown a bit under the radar, but last week several national and international publications carried this story:
"White House won't say if Obama kept promise to return 5% of his salary in solidarity with budget sequester 'furloughs' – but his tax return hints that he never did
*The president pledged a year ago to send $20,000 of his 2013 salary back to the treasury as a symbolic gesture to furloughed employees
*Most of the furloughs never materialized, and Obama's promised salary give-back may also have dissolved with the passage of time
*The joint tax return he filed with the first lady shows no indication of a rebate to the Treasury – something he would logically have deducted from his taxable income
*Federal law sets the president's salary at $400,000, making it impossible for the president to reduce his pay without writing a check for the balance
President Barack Obama pledged in the spring of 2013 to give back 5 per cent of his $400,000 salary in solidarity with federal government workers who were expected to lose an average of two weeks' pay because of automatic budget cuts – known in Washington parlance as a 'sequester.'
A year later, however, it's not clear that he made good on his $20,000 promise.
Mr. and Mrs. Obama's 2013 tax return, which the White House published last month, shows an adjusted gross income of $481,098. The couple claimed $147,769 in itemized deductions, but no line-item for a $20,000 give-back to the United States Treasury is anywhere to be found.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reported on April 11 that the first family made $59,251 in deductible donations, and said that the largest such gift was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation, a network of 'comfort homes' where family members of wounded warriors can stay while their loved ones are receiving medical treatment.
They also deducted $42,383 in interest on their Illinois home mortgage and another $29,176 in personal property taxes. But the Obamas' Schedule A, where they would likely deduct a salary rebate from their income for tax purposes, is silent on the matter.
The New York Times reported on April 3, 2013 that Obama made his intentions known at the height of the national debate over the budget sequester.
'The president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,' the Times quoted an Obama administration official saying.
Since the salary of a U.S. president is set by law and can't be altered, the official said, Obama planned to pay $20,000 to the Treasury in equal installments beginning retroactively in March, and ending at the close of the fiscal year in September.
Those seven checks, then, would have been for $2,857.14 each.
But there's no evidence ink ever hit paper."
No evidence, indeed. Perhaps it was the President's RACIST advisors or staff (or family) who failed to remind him to keep this promise?
Only time will tell, but Mr. Obama doesn't seem to have a sense of urgency to settle this matter (either).
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