President Obama has proposed increasing tax rates on wealthier Americans -- including himself -- while conservatives have fought to defend the rich from any attempts to increase their taxes. But despite their fight to stop all proposals aimed at having the rich pay their fair share, the right-wing media have attacked Obama over the effective federal tax rate he and his wife Michelle paid on their 2011 income.
Andrea Tantaros, a co-host of Fox News' The Five, said that the problem isn't that Obama pays "what effectively is a tax rate of about 20 percent," but that "he begrudges everybody else for doing" the same thing. She suggested that Obama should "lead by example and simplify the tax code" because "he's using all these same loopholes."
In a post titled "Obama Family Tax Shelter: First Family Transfer Wealth, Avoids Taxes," The Washington Free Beacon wrote: "There is nothing illegal about the president's taking advantage of this tax shelter, but it does raise eyebrows given that he has lamented the myriad tax exemptions used by the wealthy -- 'millionaires and billionaires' like himself -- to pay less in taxes. He has yet to propose a comprehensive plan to reform the byzantine tax code."
When, in 2011, Obama released a jobs plan that would be paid for in part by limiting the deductions that could be claimed on wealthier taxpayers' tax returns, conservatives responded by shouting "class warfare" and accusing Obama of "soak[ing] the rich."
And when, in 2010, Obama sought the elimination of the Bush tax cuts for the highest earners, conservatives advanced several dubious claims to suggest that ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would hurt "many small businesses" and hinder job growth.