Earlier this week roughly 21% of the population of the United States (65,340,608 out of 305,186,613) decided that Barack Obama should be the next President. I bring this up not to point out (once again) that even within the supposed Democracy it’s far from the majority that rules. No, mine is an economic question. As we all know Obama ran on a platform of “change”. Well, who thinks he’d be willing to institute a genuine change and reject his Presidential salary of $400,000? I certainly don’t expect that to happen, though it would be nice to see a “servant of the people” get compensated with more servant like numbers.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that the President has a tough job. Hell, even the Constitution states that the president should be paid-
US Constitution, Article II, Section 1
The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.
By the way, according to a legal dictionary (the Constitution is a legal document, after all) ’emolument’ means: “All wages, benefits or other benefits received as compensation for holding an office or employment“.
Now, few among us want to see the most powerful man in the world distracted from that job by worrying how he’s going to pay the power bill. But the fact of the matter is that the President doesn’t pay his power bill. We do. He doesn’t even pay rent while living in the White House (which costs roughly $4 million per year to maintain). Does that sound like emolument to you? How about the fact that whenever he wants to go anywhere he gets in a chauffeur driven limousine (both paid for by taxpayers) and driven to the airport to board Air Force One, which cost us roughly $325 Million! Four four years, this man pays for nothing while earning $400,000 per year.
Still think the President deserves that salary? Well then I’ll leave you with this final note from BeyondBooks.com–
Finally, the perks do not end when a President leaves the White House. It’s estimated that the minimum amount President Clinton’s pension and staff will cost U.S. taxpayers if his life span is average is $6,072,000.