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Obamas report $2.7 million in earnings for 2008

WASHINGTON - President Obama and his wife, Michelle, millionaires from his best-selling books, made $2.7 million last year and paid just under one-third of their adjusted income in federal taxes.

While the income, mostly his, was far more than the U.S. median household income of about $50,000, it was quite a decrease from the $4.2 million the Obamas made in 2007.

Both years, nearly all of the earnings came from Mr. Obama's best-selling books. Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope brought in about $2.5 million in royalties last year, according to copies of the returns released by the White House yesterday, the federal filing deadline.

Mr. Obama earned $139,204 as a Democratic senator from Illinois last year before leaving his seat after winning the November election.

Michelle Obama received a salary of $62,709 from the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she was an executive.

The couple's total federal tax came to $855,323. That was 32 percent of their adjusted gross income of $2,656,902.

They reported contributing $172,050 to charity last year, including $25,000 each to the CARE international relief agency and the United Negro College Fund. That $172,050 represented about 6.5 percent of the family's adjusted gross income.

That percentage is roughly two to three times the national average for household donations to charity, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The White House also released Vice President Joe Biden's tax returns.

Mr. Biden and his wife, Jill, earned $269,256 last year.

The Bidens' main sources of income were salaries from the Senate, Widener University, and Delaware Technical & Community College and royalties from the audio rights to the vice president's memoir, Promises to Keep.

According to tax returns released by the vice president's office, Mr. and Mrs. Biden paid $46,952 in federal income taxes and $11,164 in Delaware state income taxes.

The couple donated $1,885 to charity.

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