Several writers at Planet POV are fond of pointing out how the Main Stream Media shapes the political discussion by choosing what information it promotes and how it shapes the transmission of that information.
The Obama Tax Returns for 2011 are a prime example of this. After watching coverage of the returns on CNN, MSNBC, CBS and Current, I conclude that only Current was interested in a full coverage of what the tax returns meant. Print media coverage has been almost uniformly poor. On line, coverage has been very misleading on the right, and sparse on the left.
The Basic Info:
$5.6 million income; $1.8 million Federal Taxes.
The Obama’s paid 20.1 Percent IN FEDERAL TAXES;
They gave 22.5 Percent TO CHARITY.
That’s 42.6 Percent of their total earnings….Plus
Continuing payouts to 10 Charities from $1.4 Million Nobel Prize Money.
The Obama’s’ overall rate is .5 Percent lower than the median top one percent income earner and is much higher than that of most middle-income Americans. Households making between $60,000 and $100,000 paid on average 8 Percent of their income in federal incomes taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center. Obama’s average tax rate over the last ten years has been nearly 30 percent. Like many of the wealthy Obama has benefited from the current tax structure, and from deductions, most notably those for donations to charity. Obama has also contributed significantly to his own retirement accounts.
The Obama’s donated $172,130 to charities in 2011, 22.5% of their adjusted gross income. The largest beneficiary was the Fisher House Foundation, which received $117,130 — the after-tax proceeds of the president’s children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. Fisher homes are donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs so that families can stay nearby while a loved one is receiving treatment. Additionally, the Foundation ensures that families of service men and women wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan are not burdened with unnecessary expense during a time of crisis.
In addition, there were the ongoing donations from the $1.4 million in Nobel Prize money not included on the form because President Obama turned it entirely over to charity. Nobel pays out its prize money in annual allotments. The Obama’s donated all of the prize money to 10 charities. Full list at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-donates-nobel-prize-money-charity
The first couple paid $31941 in Illinois income tax. Plus undisclosed Cook County Property Taxes.
WHY WASN’T ALL OF THIS IN THE GENERAL MSM COVERAGE? DOES IT MAKE OBAMA LOOK TOO GOOD? How about a comparison with previous presidents? Or with current GOP leadership?
This is the president putting his money where his mouth is.
It deserved fuller coverage.
BUT….the Media in general, even the so-called Progressive media, want (need) a tight race. Tight races sell newspapers, magazines, books, advertising time. They build readership and viewership. They make money. Lots of money.
SO….for example, Fox emphasizes that Obama paid less than the “average” (more accurately the “median”) top one percenter and ignore how small that “less” is and how much the Obama’s gave to charity. Furthermore, most income earners at the level of the Obama’s in the $5 to $6 million range pay taxes at levels far closer to the 14 Percent paid by Mr. Romney last year. Fox has also used the line that Obama’s rate is lower than his secretary’s- a shot at the Buffet rule icon.
Huffington Post, has had two stories on the Obama taxes. The first headlined “Obama Tax Return Released For 2011″ is very brief, provides no analysis and invites readers to study the linked tax returns for insights. Ridiculous.
The second HP story has this headline: “Obama Tax Return Claims Mortgage Deduction That Most Helps The Rich”, a reference to a $10,000 home mortgage deduction. Misleading.
So, if they won’t tell the truth or spread the word, those who support the progressive agenda better do the job.