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Book sales dropped enough to make the US president exempt from the Buffett rule he's been pushing for.
The Obama family's income slid by nearly $1 million last year, pushing President Obama out of the reach of the Buffett rule he's been championing.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama earned a combined adjusted gross income of $789,674 in 2011, their tax return showed.
They paid $162,074 in taxes, which worked out to an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent, according to the Washington Post.
Because his income was under $1 million, the president would not have to play by the Buffett rule. Named for the billionaire investor who once noted that his tax rate was lower than his secretary's, the proposal would require anyone making more than $1 million to pay the same tax rate as most middle class Americans - at least 30 percent.
The Buffett rule is Obama's choice to replace the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire this year. If the Bush tax cuts expire as scheduled, Obama is among those who would have to pay higher taxes, USA TODAY said.
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About half of Obama's income came from his $400,000 White House salary. The rest stemmed from sales of his books, which have fallen enough to cut his income to less than half of what it was in 2010.
Still, the Obama family is "well inside" the top 1 percent, the Atlantic noted.
They're not as wealthy as the Romney family, however.
Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney, who has an estimated net worth of around $250 million,hasn't yet released his 2011 tax return. Romney's 2010 tax return showed he earned about $21 million that year.
He paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent, Reuters said.
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