Over 30% of President Obama’s 2009-2011 Gross Income Came From Foreign Sources

This whole kerfuffle about Mitt Romney, Bain, and off-shoring (not “outsourcing”, as our uneducated, credentialed president seems to think), is pure nonsense. At the same time, the best defense is a good offense, so in many ways, Romney has brought this on himself. If, for the last three years, he had been hammering away at Obama’s record (and he really hasn’t),  and if even now he was willing to go after Obama in the same way he and his minions went after his GOP challengers, then this would not be a news story right now. But I digress.

The real issue is that Obama is in many ways guilty of the very things he is accusing Romney of. A case in point, via Jim Lindgren at Volokh:

[I]n the three tax years in which Barack Obama has been President … fully 30.1% of the Obamas’ gross income has come from foreign sources: ($2,711,340 out of a 3-year total gross income of $8,993,449).  In 2009, 26.5% of the Obamas’ gross income came from foreign sources. In 2010 it was a whopping 41.4%, and in 2010 it was 30.2%.
The salary that we taxpayers pay him as President (just under $1.2 million over the 3 years) accounted for less than 13% of the Obamas’ income, a share dwarfed by their 30% from foreign sources over the same period.
From 2009 through 2011, the Obamas paid $87,429 in foreign taxes, which they applied toward a credit to reduce their U.S. tax bill …
Their returns do not disclose which foreign countries are responsible for paying the Obamas the $2.7 million in foreign source income, but the overwhelming bulk of it must come from payments resulting directly or indirectly from book sales.

No, it’s not exactly the same as what Obama is accusing Romney of doing.

Or is it?

In most cases, the books that Obama sells overseas are produced by foreign subsidiaries or foreign licensees of his American publishers–the publishing is effectively outsourced to foreign companies, which employ foreign translators, foreign editors, and foreign marketing managers and salesmen. In nearly all cases, these foreign books are printed in foreign print plants, using paper sourced in foreign countries. (Indeed, this is true of many if not most books sold in the US.) The books are held in foreign warehouses (actually, at a high expense), until they are distributed by foreign trucking firms. The books are then sold in foreign bookshops. Thus, through his book sales, Obama is providing hundreds if not thousands of jobs overseas, dumping millions of dollars into overseas economies (yes, “millions”–his royalties only make up a small percent of the total price of the books), and provided tax revenues to foreign governments while avoiding paying any taxes on this foreign venture in the US (this is what the tax credit is about).

By exactly this slender a thread, Obama is accusing Romney of “outsourcing”, though on a somewhat larger scale.

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1 Response to Over 30% of President Obama’s 2009-2011 Gross Income Came From Foreign Sources

  1. Yet in the three tax years in which Barack Obama has been President ( 2009, 2010, and 2011 ), fully 30.1% of the Obamas’ gross income has come from foreign sources: ($2,711,340 out of a 3-year total gross income of $8,993,449). In 2009, 26.5% of the Obamas’ gross income came from foreign sources. In 2010 it was a whopping 41.4%, and in 2010 it was 30.2%.

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