From the White House’s website last Friday:

Today, the President released his 2012 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $608,611. The Obamas paid $112,214 in total tax.

The President and First Lady also reported donating $150,034 – or about 24.6 percent of their adjusted gross income – to 33 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $103,871 to the Fisher House Foundation.

The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 18.4 percent. The President believes we must reform our tax system which is why he has proposed policies like the Buffett Rule that would ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share while protecting families making under $250,000 from seeing their taxes go up. Under the President’s own tax proposals, including limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it.

The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $29,450 in state income tax.

This all seems pretty straightforward, yes? The Obamas made a lot of money, they donated a lot of money, and paid a surprisingly low rate of taxation. So far, nothing much to see here.

However, the Devil’s in the details, as they say. Via Politico:

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid the lowest effective tax rate since they moved into the White House by taking advantage of the most popular — and expensive — benefits in the tax code.

Tax returns released by the White House on Friday show that the Obamas paid an effective tax rate of 18.4 percent on more than $608,000 in adjusted gross income earned in 2012. Last year, their rate was 20.5 percent.

According to Politico, the Obamas were able to reduce their taxable income by over $250,000 through donations, mortgage interest write-offs, and over $63,000 “in Illinois state and local taxes.”

This is an obvious case of “do as I say, not as I do.” President Obama campaigned on taxing the wealthy and eliminating deductions. In the official tax statement posted above, the White House uses the President’s tax rate to say loopholes and the like should be eliminated.YetStill the President utilized deductions he wants to eliminate!

Tea Party activists have stood against the President’s plans to raise taxes ever since he first proposed them. One could perhaps respect his principles if he stood by them when it came to his own taxes. Instead, it appears President Obama and his wife are taking full advantage of loopholes and deductions – making their arguments for higher taxes a case of rank hypocrisy.