Nov 082008

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

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.

  7 Responses to “Why Do We Pay The President Of The United States?”

  1. […] presents Why Do We Pay The President Of The United States? posted at Philaahzophy, saying, “From the “things that make you go hmmmm’ […]

  2. […] he puts new ones up every week and writes little responses. My dad submitted an article about us paying the president and got this response: Aahz – welcome to the party brother! And..Amen to that! The only thing he […]

  3. do you happen to know if he is considered an employee and is he, in fact, regulated by the Office of the Personnel Mangement?

  4. I have no idea. I would assume that the Office of Personnel Management is part of the Executive Branch which would mean it reports to the President, not the other way around.

  5. I found this so I think that Obama is still considered a federal civil servant and therefore can be investigated by the OPM, as Dr Orly Taitiz as suggested in her new lawsuit

  6. What does it matter if Obama’s a natural born citizen? The government has ignored the Constitution for the last 50+ years. Didn’t Bush call it “just a goddamn piece of paper”? Besides if Obama were somehow removed from office (which will never happen, BTW) they’d just install some other tyrant to steal our money. The people aren’t the problem, Doc, the system is.

  7. It’s the toughest job in the world! You’ve got people taking pot shots at you from every direction. Now that’s got to be worth something. Can you think of anyone else that gets criticized more than the President of the United States?
    Bush is still taking the heat and he’s out of office so I would guess he deserves some sort of compensation for that.

  8. You make a valid point, Charles. But the President of the United States receives all kinds of compensation both during and after his term of office. My question is, why does he need direct cash payments from the taxpayers as well since we’re already footing the bill for everything else in his life.

  9. OMG!!!! SHAME,SHAME,SHAME ON THIS GOVERNMENT! I would like to see not ONLY the former Presidents, but ALL members of Congress live on $40,000 a year, which is more than a lot of people in this country have to live on! It’s bad enough EVERY TAXPAYER in this country pays for practically everything he wants the rest of his life(including Secret Service),but, WAKE UP PEOPLE!,once they’re out of office, let them go back to being a REGULAR CITIZEN of the US. They need to learn what it’s like to live like a normal person….

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