Obama's Income Tops $5 Million in 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama's 2009 financial disclosure forms released by the White House on Monday reveal that he earned US$5.6 million last year. It is the highest annual income by a U.S. president since presidential tax returns began being released during the Richard Nixon years, according to the Christian Science Monitor on Tuesday.

It is five times larger than the $1.1 million that Bill Clinton made in 1996, and much higher than the average annual income of $800,000 earned by Obama's predecessor George W. Bush.

Most of Obama's income came from the sales of his two books, "Dreams from My Father" (1995) and "Audacity of Hope" (2000), which skyrocketed after he was sworn into office in January last year.

U.S. media believe that he could rake in from $1 million to $5 million a year from each book. The President's official annual salary is $400,000, and since his term began on January 20 he made a pro rata salary of $374,460 in 2009. Without his books, Obama would not have earned anywhere near a million dollars.

Other interesting things to note in Obama's finances include the $1,600 value of the family's pet dog, Bo, a Portuguese water dog that was a gift from the late Senator Edward Kennedy. He also made less than US$1,000 from the sale of a tax-free trust inherited from his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who passed away just one day before the presidential election in November, 2008.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 19, 2010 09:40 KST