v'ܩ Obama and Biden’s 2009 Tax Returns
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Obama and Biden’s 2009 Tax Returns

April 21st, 2010

Obama and Biden had some interesting things with their 2009 tax returns. A couple things, first their charitable contributions, second their mortgages.

Charitable Contributions

Obama made $5.5 million, mostly from book sales. Biden made $333,182. Of that, Obama gave $329,100 to charities and Biden gave $4,820. So Obama gave 5.9% and Biden a whopping 1.4%.

Obama’s isn’t too bad, over 300k is a pretty good chunk of change, but as a percentage it still isn’t that high. Biden on the other hand, is pretty pathetic.

For people who campaign on “helping people” you’d think they’d give a little more of their vast resources to actually help them. Apparently they’d prefer to take your money through taxes than give some of their own.


Obama paid $52,195 in home mortgage interest payments and Biden paid $30,349. This is pretty unbelievable to me. How in the world do you make over 5 million dollars in a year and still have a mortgage? What could possibly be the point? Maybe he needed to take out a HELOC on the White House to buy some votes for ObamaCare.

Apparently they haven’t read my article on how to payoff their mortgage early. It’s no wonder they can’t figure how to balance the federal budget.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: General Politics Tags:
  1. April 21st, 2010 at 23:39 | #1


    Thanks for the article! You make an interesting (and humorous) point about Obama’s mortgage. However, from a purely numbers standpoint you don’t actually want to pay off your mortgage early. I know Dave Ramsey says otherwise, but Dave neglects to mention a few facts in his presentations. Also, he is usually talking to people with serious amounts of debt, so teaching them to get rid of it all is probably not a bad idea. However, here are some reasons why you should NOT pay off your mortgage early:

    1) By the end of your mortgage, you are paying the bank back with dollars that are worth less, due to inflation. Why would you pay more now when you can pay less later?

    2) You can write your mortgage interest off of your taxes. I know Dave Ramsey makes fun of people who say this, and then gives a contrived argument about how paying $10k in interest is a bad way to save $2.5k in taxes. However, combined with the next point - this tax write-off is free money.

    3) Instead of paying more towards your mortgage, you can invest that money in a decent mutual fund.

    a) This money is much more liquid than your home should you need to tap into it for an emergency, an investment opportunity (such as capital to start your own business), or otherwise.

    b) With current mortgage rates, the interest gained on your mutual funds should outpace the interest lost on your home loan.

    c) Combine the interest income with the tax write-off and this is a WIN WIN for not paying off your mortgage early.

    All of these factors combine into what’s called the “cost of money”. Basically, it’s what you’re actually losing by paying off your home early instead of investing the money elsewhere.

    4) The longer the term of your home loan and the more you have left to pay off, the LESS LIKELY you are to be foreclosed on should you lose your job. I know this seems totally backwards and wrong, but think about it from the bank’s perspective. If you still owe the bank lots of money, it’s to their benefit to work out a payment strategy with you. If they foreclose on you and do a short-sale on your house, they’re going to end up losing money (compared to what you still owe on the loan). However, if you were diligent at chipping away at your mortgage over the years and only had a little bit left — they will foreclose on you as soon as possible! Then, they’ll turn around and sell your house for a huge profit. How’s that for a KICK IN THE PANTS!!! :)

    Anyway, this is just a thought. I know all number games are purely speculative and there is definitely a comfort factor with paying off your mortgage early — as well as other advantages thereof. However, since Obama makes so much money he is probably just playing the numbers straight up and milking that tax write-off as long as he can, and investing the millions.

    Also, if you really really really wanted to chip away at your mortgage faster, you could always invest what you were going to apply towards the principle each month. Then, at the end of each year you can still apply the same cumulative amount to your mortgage. Because you invested that money all year, you’ll be left with extra interest you wouldn’t have had before.


    p.s. The aforementioned is just my $0.02 on the subject. I’m not a financial adviser in any way, shape or form. I’m an engineer. Please talk to a trained financial professional before embarking on the strategies I have laid out here. Please consider the environment before printing this rant. Save the children. Save the whales. And get off my lawn you damn kids!!!

  2. April 22nd, 2010 at 11:11 | #2

    I’ve certainly heard that argument before, but there are a few things in there to consider. First, if you almost have it paid off, you won’t get foreclosed on. You can sell it before the bank gets a chance to take it from you. You may not get market value, but way more than having it foreclosed. You probably have enough time from job loss to foreclosure to get it sold if you need to.

    I agree that I can “probably” make more money investing. After the interest deduction you are effectively paying between 3-5% depending on your loan interest and tax bracket. However, over the last decade the stock market has returned about 0%. If you paid more towards the mortgage you would have beaten the S&P 500. Investing instead of paying the mortgage could work out, there is no doubt about it. But it is certainly more risky.

    Effectively you are investing on margin. Granted it is not as bad as margin, no margin call if you lose money, but you are still borrowing to invest. I don’t know anybody who suggests using margin, but I know all kinds of people who want to invest instead of paying the mortgage.

  3. April 22nd, 2010 at 11:32 | #3

    Also, you talked about starting a business. Think about how much easier it would be to go off on your own if you didn’t have to make a mortgage payment each month.

  4. April 22nd, 2010 at 21:55 | #4

    True, true, true and true! All great points! I told you there were advantages to both… so how about a hybrid approach?!? I swear we’ve already had this conversation on two or three different blogs. Oh, wait… that’s because we have! :D


  5. April 28th, 2010 at 14:34 | #5

    Biden gave $4,820? What a cheap skate. If I made $333,000 last year, I would give more than $4k.