White House Assistant Pastry Chef Susan Morrison shows off salted caramels, a favorite of President Obama, in March 2012...We've been seeing all the details of the President's tax returns and how he wouldn't be subject to the Buffett Rule because he didn't make over a million dollars last year.
An interesting question: Do presidents declare the value of food, preparation, maid service, maintenance etc. provided to them in their family residence unrelated to their official duties?
I assume not.
In real America, if your employer provided you with living quarters, prepared meals, in-home entertainment systems, etc. such benefits would be considered part of your compensation and be subject to taxation.
I think it wouldn't be a bad idea if presidents had to declare such benefits on their taxes. Obviously, things such as dinners and lunches where official business is being conducted and security details should be exempted.
But there's no reason why a first family either can't figure out how to prepare meals on their own or pay taxes on this benefit. Families all over the country do so every day.
If they had to declare this sum, I'm sure the Obamas' income would have come in considerably above the $790k they declared -- which kept them below the $1 million threshold and one with the people.