Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet blog extra: Barack and Michelle Obama earned $991,296 in 2006


WASHINGTON -- White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported $991,296 in income in 2006, boosted by a $506,618 payout in advances and royalties for his books, according to returns released by his campaign Monday.

The Obamas have four main sources of income:

• • Obama's Senate salary of $157,082.

• • Book income of $506,618. Obama's second book, "The Audacity of Hope" was released last fall and soared to the best seller lists.

• • Michelle Obama's income of $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals. She will get paid less in 2007 because she cut back on her job because of the campaign. She made more in 2005 because of a signing bonus from the U. of C. given when she was promoted to vice president of community and external affairs in January 2005, just as Obama was sworn in as senator.

Tax returns from last year showed her total compensation in 2005 went from $122,000 to $317,000, though the higher figure includes a one-time pension payout and the bonus.

• • Michelle Obama's income of $51,200 from TreeHouse Foods, where she has been on the board of directors since June 2005.

For 2005, the couple reported a taxable income of $1.6 million. The higher figure was due to more money Obama received from book royalties and advances on a multiyear book deal as well as the higher amount Michelle Obama collected from the U. of C.

Interest income on the most recent return totaled $4,590 with $1,188 from dividends.

The Obamas donated $60,307 to charity, including $13,107 to the Congressional Black Caucus 501(c)(3) Foundation; $15,000 to CARE; $5,000 to the Muntu Dance Theater, where Michelle Obama sits on its board; $22,500 to their church, Trinity United Church of Christ, and $4,700 in other charitable contributions.

The Obamas' return was prepared by Wineberg Solheim Howell & Shain on La Salle Street.

This from the Obama campaign….


INCOME: $991,296
The Obamas’ income dropped from $1.6 million in 2005 to $991,296 in 2006, in part because their 2005 income included a one time bonus related to Michelle Obama’s job at the University of Chicago Hospitals and royalties and an advance associated with Senator Obama’s books.

BO (SENATE): $157,082
BO (BOOK): $506,618
MO (TREEHOUSE): $51,200

TAXES PAID: $277,431
The Obamas owed $277,431 in Federal taxes in 2006. During the year, they overpaid their taxes by $40,856, and applied that overpayment to their estimated tax payments for 2007.

The Obamas’ gave a total of $60,307 to charity, including $13,107 to the Congressional Black Caucus 501(c)(3) Foundation, $15,000 to CARE, $5,000 to the Muntu Dance Theater, and $22,500 to Trinity United Church of Christ. They also gave $4,700 to miscellaneous recognized charities.

• ABOUT THE MUNTU DANCE THEATER: The Chicago-based Muntu Dance Theatre performs authentic and progressive interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music, and folklore. Michelle Obama is a member of the board for the Muntu Dance Theater since 2000. []

• ABOUT CARE: CARE tackles underlying causes of poverty so that people can become self-sufficient. Recognizing that women and children suffer disproportionately from poverty, CARE places special emphasis on working with women to create permanent social change. []

• ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS FOUNDATION: The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is the premier organization that creates, identifies, analyzes and disseminates policy-oriented information critical to advancing African Americans and people of African descent towards equity in economics, health and education. []

• ABOUT TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: The Obamas have been members of Trinity since 1988.

The Obamas reported earning $4,590 in interest and $1,188 in dividends from accounts at JP Morgan Chase, Northern Trust Bank, and UBS.

The Obamas paid approximately $1,000 in household employment taxes for child care services, and paid a $377 Federal tax penalty to address an underestimation of taxes owed due to Senator Obama’s book sales.


This feels really, really invasive. Tax returns of senators are public information also? What did Hillary Clinton's look like? I think some compare/contrast commentary will be the natural (and ugly) path to this type of corrosive "disclosure." And the points are????

What is it with Lynn Sweet and Chicago Tribune? Do you have something against Senator Obama? I agree with the above post that this article is very intrusive. What is the point of this news article? It seems to me that Ms. Sweet and the Chicago Tribune is intent to bring down Senator Obama. If you cannot be objective with your articles, please do not call yourself a journalist!

To the good Doctor Berbeno, Lynn Sweet does not work for the Tribune, she works for the Sun-Times. I knew you Obama supporters were not too bright, but I didn't know you were that stupid.

To Corrective Jerry,
You could have made your corrections without insulting Obama supporters in general. BTW who do you support???

To Corrective Jerry,
My question was "what is it with Lynn Sweet and Chicago Tribune, because both has consistently ran negative stories on Senator Obama, I do not recall writing that Ms. Sweet is employed by Chicago Tribune, if you can't read properly, who's stupid now?

to Jo: Thats a very FAIR request on your part. Yes, if everybody is going to be blabbing about Bush, Cheney, and Obama's tax-returns, its only right that we see where all of Hillary's has gone and her worth net, also.

About Obama's charity givings: Am I the only person who is curious and noticed he didn't give anything to Jesse Jackson's Operation Push and Sharpton's group, either. He's a smart man. He wants his givings to go actually help the less fortunate and not into a couple of slicksters bank accounts.

People wonder why we can't get along. Ms. Sweet is anything but that. Usually people who are obviously angry or that nosey about other people's affairs or are unsually not satisfied in bed or are unable to satisfy someone in bed. They have therapists and toys for that.

1. How much was Ms. Obama's predessor paid at the hospital group for her job?
2. Was a new position approved for Ms. Obama?
3. Did the hospital position pay a lot more for her married name after election gave her husband a Senate seat?
4. Was Ms. Obama's predessor moved out of the way to favor a wife of a party favorite?

How did their resumes match up? Did she get a big raise when her husband moved to the Senate?

I don't see any disadvantage when the combined taxable annual wealth approachs a million dollars for this couple.
Educationally , they are elites.

I'm surprised to see what they've earned in relation to their charitable contributions to their church. The tithe is 1/10 of all your earnings. I guess that's to be expected from a pro-choice christian.

After listening to the Obamas, their past and present pastor, and their congregation's anti-American screaming and gyrating about the lack of opportunities in America ... the Obamas sure did benefit financially from our American system.
They made MUCH more than the majority of Americans make ... white, or black. And, especially considering the fact that we paid Obama for voting 'present' during most of his time in the senate ... and, since he didn't vote once on the Afganistan committe he chaired.

ms.sweet thank you for being correct in your writing I AS WELL AS YOU KNOW THESE OBAMa manics don't like it know OBAMA says he was deaf during his 20 yrs.of anti-this and that speeches however it sure seems he & the ms. know that 12-value doctrine of their church caucus; munta dance 22'500 wright's church sure CARE is a good charity why does OBAMA keeps only acknowleding his black-side???his commercial on health care seems he was proud of his mother and a littly angry towards his father...but then again they hardly show that commercial anymore....maybe WRIGHT didn't approve of it tooooooo mucg

Until the other day, when Michelle Obama's income was disclosed, I had no idea that the University of Chicago was paying administrators so much money. This explains why I receive one or two fund-raising brochures from one department or another at the University of Chicago every week -- and often more frequently!

Here is what my old friend Lynn Sweet wrote in her Sun-Times blog:

• • Michelle Obama's income of $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals. She will get paid less in 2007 because she cut back on her job because of the campaign. She made more in 2005 because of a signing bonus from the U. of C. given when she was promoted to vice president of community and external affairs in January 2005, just as Obama was sworn in as senator.


The only consolation is that Senator Obama and his wife might be jazz fans who make large donations to the Chicago Jazz Archive.

With University of Chicago salaries like this, perhaps I should apply for a job there again. When I left in May 1979, my salary was about $22,000 per year as assistant director of publications for the Graduate School of Business. I enjoyed working there, but I needed to make more money, as all of my fellow alums were doing.


George Spink
University of Chicago MBA (1976)
Los Angeles, California

I wish you Oba-maniacs could reply to issues about Obama w/out insulting the Clintons. Neo-cons LOVE this crap. I'll vote for the Dem--but alot of people won't if you guys don't stop it! He has to take criticisms...if it isn't brought up now, it certainly will be in the gen. By the way, I'm a former Edwards supporter, Hillary voter, but I'll viote for Obama if you guys will stop defending them like they're babes in the, that's not racist--anymore than "fairytale" is--but I'm sure you'll think of something!By the way, MSW--Cum Laude, also--also nominated for "
Who's Who Among College---or "Who the Hell Cares", is more like it! Bushy was an MBA at Yale, remember!

Now its May. Obama fans are complaining that McCain's wife has not released her tax form, filed separately from McCain. After she does, more complaints that she didn't release enough pages of the tax form, not enough details. McCain and his wife file separately and have a prenup.

Obama fans alone make me want to vote against Obama.

Can you people not get a grip?

The candidates release their tax form just so they can be analyzed. They are going for the highest public office in this nation.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 16, 2007 5:52 PM.

Bush pressures Democrats to send him Iraq war funding bill with no timelines for bringing soldiers home. Sen. Kennedy reacts. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet blog scoop: Obama speech today to be the “30,000 foot view on foreign policy.’’ UPDATE SPEECH POSTPONED. 75 minutes before delivery. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.