President Obama has been campaigning around the country this week (or as he puts it, going on official, taxpayer-funded business trips) to talk about his plan to have taxpayers continue to subsidize student loans. When he does this, he claims that he and Michelle know what it's like to struggle with student loans and that they only paid off their loans eight years ago.
Jonathan Karl at ABC News was curious about what their income was like during these years of struggle before paying off student loans.
But according to their tax returns, which are available on the White House website, the Obamas had a healthy, six-figure income by the year 2000 (the earliest return available). And for at least two years before his loans were paid off, Obama, by his own definition, made so much they were wealthy enough to pay higher taxes.
Here's a rundown of the president's income, according to his tax returns, in the years before he paid off his student loans:
In 2001 and 2002, the Obamas would have met the $250,000 standard the president has set for those wealthy enough to afford to pay more taxes.
It's also notable that the Obamas didn't claim deductions for student loans on any of those years, most likely because they made too much money to qualify for the student loan deduction.
Yes, I'm sure that was quite a struggle to repay student loans on a nice six-figure salary. I mean, I'm not even saying it was a walk in the park but that the Obamas might be a bit out of touch with what an actual economic struggle is.
And beyond all this, I have to say that this student loan subsidy -- and our "conservative" Mitt Romney is backing it, too -- really chaps my hide.
I chose a less expensive college than some of the ones I got into and I worked full-time to put myself through school without any debt.
Please tell me more about how Obama and Romney want me to subsidize those who made different choices.