If Obama Loves Taxes So Much, Why Doesn’t He Marry Them?

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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

That is a childish way of asking why President Obama, who keeps talking about how rich people like him would be glad to pay more taxes, doesn't just start giving more to the IRS voluntarily. As Obama said during his debt-reduction speech last week:

I don’t need another tax cut. Warren Buffett doesn’t need another tax cut. Not if we have to pay for it by making seniors pay more for Medicare. Or by cutting kids from Head Start. Or by taking away college scholarships that I wouldn’t be here without. That some of you wouldn’t be here without. And I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me. They want to give back to the country that’s done so much for them. Washington just hasn’t asked them to.

And yet, when Obama filed his returns this year, he used itemized deductions (which he proposes getting rid of) and the current tax rate as stipulated by the Bush tax cuts (which he has vowed not to renew) to shave $182,998 off the amount he would owe if his tax reforms were enacted. So why not just pay his ideal amount of taxes now? Washington hasn't "asked him to," but it's also not stopping him. "The Form 1040, after all, only stipulates the minimum tax an American must pay," Reuters' Greg Eastbrook points out. "More is always welcome."

Why Obama should pay more in taxes [Reuters via Daily Dish/Daily Beast]