This should surprise no one. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions..._mantra_in_debt_we_trust.html#ixzz0FLMXeUT6&B Let's examine how tough things were for this couple using various public records. In April 1999, they purchased a Chicago condo and obtained a mortgage for $159,250. In May 1999, they took out a line of credit for $20,750. Then, in 2002, they refinanced the condo with a $210,000 mortgage, which means they took out about $50,000 in equity. Finally, in 2004, they took out another line of credit for $100,000 on top of the mortgage. Tax returns for 2004 reveal $14,395 in mortgage deductions. If we assume an effective interest rate of 6%, then they owed about $240,000 on a home they purchased for about $159,250. This means they spent perhaps $80,000 beyond their income from 1999 to 2004. The Obamas' adjusted gross income averaged $257,000 from 2000 to 2004. This is above the threshold of $250,000 which Obama initially used as the definition of being "rich" for taxation purposes during last year's election campaign. The Obama family apparently had little or no savings during this period since there was virtually no taxable interest shown on their tax returns. In 2003, they reported almost $24,000 in child care expenses and, in 2004, about $23,000. They also paid about $3,400 in household employment taxes each year. And as Michelle stated, they spent $10,000 a year on "extracurriculars" for the children. These numbers clearly show the Obamas were living beyond their means and they might have suffered financially during the decline in housing prices had they relied on taking ever larger amounts of equity from their home to pay the bills. But in 2005, Obama's book sales soared and the royalties poured in. Michelle explained, "It was like Jack and his magic beans."