President Obama recently released his 2011 tax return information in an effort to promote his "Buffet Rule" and push Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to do the same. Despite the president's effort at "transparency" some have questioned his unusually high refund.
Obama released the information from his tax return last week, on the same day that Mitt Romney requested a tax extension. Romney has been reluctant in the past to release information regarding his financial earnings, a move which the president has questioned.
"I think that it's important for any candidate in public office to be as transparent as possible, to let people know who we are, what we stand for, and you know, I think that this is just carrying on a tradition that has existed throughout the modern presidency," Obama said, according to a transcript produced after his Friday interview with the Spanish-language network.
Obama has used the information from his tax return to support his proposed "Buffet Rule" which would require anyone earning $1 million or more to pay an effective minimum tax rate of 30 percent.
"The president's secretary pays a slightly higher rate this year than the president on her substantially lower income, which is exactly why we need to reform our tax code and ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share," White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage told Bloomberg News.
However, despite Obama's attempt at a forthcoming attitude, media sources have questioned the president's IRS tax return, which is over $24,000. The large amount however, represents only three percent of the president's income of $790,000, which appears to be about average.
Each person that requests a tax extension is automatically given a six month extension. In Romney's case, the extension request may be due to his more complicated return, which includes off shore accounts, although the candidate did provide an estimate of his 2011 return.