The Obamas: A two-thirds pay cut in 2010

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- President Obama and the first family earned about two-thirds less in 2010 than the year before, and donated about 14% of their income to charity.

The Obama family, in tax returns released Monday by the White House, reported an adjusted gross income of $1,728,096, down from about $5.5 million in 2009.

The Obamas reported paying $453,770 in federal taxes. They donated $245,075, or 14% of their income, to 36 different charities. Fisher House Foundation, a charity that works with veterans, took home the biggest single donation.

The president earns a salary of $400,000 for his day job. His paycheck was much higher because his books -- "Dreams From My Father," "The Audacity of Hope" and "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters" -- continued to register strong sales. But those sales were not nearly as strong as they were the year before.

Obama is donating the proceeds from the latest book, "Of Thee I Sing," to a Fisher House scholarship fund for children of fallen and disabled soldiers. This year, the contribution was $131,075.

The Obamas donated $15,000 to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of America.

In 2009, the Obamas paid about a third of their income -- $1.8 million -- in federal taxes.

Obama said in a speech last week that top earners -- himself included -- should pay higher taxes.

"I don't need another tax cut," he said. "Warren Buffett doesn't need another tax cut."

Also released was the return of Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife, Jill. Their adjusted gross income was $379,178, on which they paid federal taxes of $86,626.

The Bidens donated $5,350 to charity, in both monetary and in-kind donations, an amount equaling 1.4% of their adjusted income. The biggest donation listed on the tax return is a $1,400 donation to the Northern Virginia Community College Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Elizabeth Alexander, Vice President Biden's press secretary, issued a statement to CNN that emphasized that the Bidens also donate their time to charitable causes.

"The charitable donations claimed by the Bidens on their tax returns are not the sum of their annual contributions to charity. They contribute to many causes with their time, as well as their checkbooks," she said.

-- CNN's Ed Henry and Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report To top of page

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