President Barack Obama’s tax return showing he paid an 18.4 percent tax rate is prompting charges of hypocrisy following his attacks during the campaign against Mitt Romney for paying lower rates than school teachers or “Warren Buffett’s secretary.”
“The hypocrisy is mind-boggling,” Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,”
said Monday. “This president plays class warfare for a year and a half on the campaign trail. He attacks Mitt Romney for paying a lower tax rate than school teachers, repeatedly.”
Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said on the “Morning Joe” show that the rate paid by Obama was too low.
“The fact is, we can’t run this country based on the amount of revenue that we’re collecting today,” Murphy said. “We can’t collect 18 percent from people making that much money and be able to afford to build roads and bridges and educate kids and do the medical research we used to.”
The White House on Friday released the president and first lady’s 2012 tax returns showing the couple had an adjusted gross income of $608,611 and paid $112,214 in taxes.The Obamas were able to lower their tax bill by itemizing deductions, and claimed $150,034 in charitable donations.
During the presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly attacked Mitt Romney for paying a 14.1 percent effective tax rate in 2011.
“My opponent thinks that someone who makes $20 million a year, like him, should pay a lower rate than a cop or a teacher who makes $50,000,” Obama said while campaigning in Virginia Beach last fall.
Scarborough said it was statements like that which show the president was being hypocritical.
“Barack Obama has been championing raising taxes on small business owners for years and he is paying 18 percent in taxes because raising those taxes don’t affect him,” said Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida. “This guy talks about fairness and he’s paying 18 percent.”
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