Obama's 'Compare Your Tax Rate To Romney's' Calculator Won't Compare Obama's Salary

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | April 16, 2012 | 5:40 PM EDT

I got an e-mail today inviting me to use the “Buffett Rule” tax calculator to compare my tax rate to Mitt Romney’s. Funny thing: it doesn’t let you compare if you make as much as Pres. Obama – or anyone who’d be subject to the “Buffet Rule,” for that matter.

The e-mail from a deputy campaign manager at Obama for America, sent from, has the subject line: “Compare Your Tax Rate To Romney’s”

It makes a pitch for the “Buffet Rule,” a plan to raise taxes on “millionaires” and invites readers to go to its online Buffet Rule Calculator, enter your salary, and see how your tax rate compares to the rate Mitt Romney paid for tax year 2010.

However, if you enter Pres. Obama’s adjusted gross income for that year ($789,674), you’ll see a virtually virtually subliminal message flash up telling you that tax rates for that income “vary significantly.”

Then you’re bounced to another page telling you that a middle-class couple making $42,500 each pays a 20.6% tax rate, while Mitt Romney pays only 13.9%.

And, if you click on the “Apply The Buffet Rule” button, it’ll tell you that your 13.9% rate won’t change, but “millionaires” will have to pay 30%.

Funny thing: that “average” family’s tax rate is higher than the 20.5% rate Obama paid (which the tax “calculator” won’t calculate for Obama’s income, anyway).

In fact, the tax calculator also bumps you to the $42,500 tax rate if you enter any income $250,000 or higher. Obama has said that incomes under $250,000 wouldn’t face higher taxes under the Buffett Rule.

So, if you’re being targeted by the Buffett Rule, you can’t use the tax calculator to find out what your new tax rate will be – unless you’re a millionaire.

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