Barack Obama Will Return Five Percent of Salary Due to Sequestration

Obama’s refund to the Treasury will amount to $20,000 in salary over the rest of the year.

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Evan Vucci / AP

President Barack Obama during the fiscal cliff negotiations in the briefing room of the White House on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Washington.

President Barack Obama will voluntarily return 5 percent of his $400,000 salary to the United States Treasury, a White House official confirmed Wednesday. The move, first reported by the New York Times, is in solidarity with federal employees who are seeing pay cuts or furloughs as a result of sequestration.

Under Article II, Section I of the United States Constitution, no sitting president’s salary may be altered while he or she is in office. Obama’s decision is in response to lawmakers failing to reach an agreement to keep the mandatory spending cuts from kicking in last month.

“The salary for the President, as with Members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed,” a White House official said in a statement. “However, the President has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury.”

Like many of his civilian colleagues at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is taking a pay cut equal to 14 furlough days. Obama’s refund to the Treasury will amount to $20,000 a White House official confirmed. Consistent with the across-the-board spending cuts being compressed into a shorter portion of the year as in the sequester, Obama’s payments will amount to more than 5 percent of his salary in every pay period through the end of the year.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Obama was refunding salary retroactive to March 1. In fact, a White House official clarified that Obama will return 5 percent of his total annual salary for the entire year.

467 comments
JohnBarflow
JohnBarflow

"Share in the sacrifice"  Oh no, I'll only make $380,000 this year, I can feel their pain now!

BrianCh16
BrianCh16

Symbolism over substance --- 5% less won't harm his lifestyle in the slightest.

On the other hand, I rather like the idea of the president and congress each getting substantial paycuts when they fail to come up with a balanced budget.   

DanToste
DanToste

Beleive me he will not lose a dime because he truthfully he will only be giving 5% of the kick backs he privately receives from the mega corporations that fund his radical dreams of domination of the U.S. his agenda will haunt him now till the end of his day's.

SANDYDEPEAUX
SANDYDEPEAUX

Symbolic at best.  It would be better if he cut back on his expenses.  He is forever in a campaign mode.

Michael Bowden
Michael Bowden

Wow, TIME magizine is ogling over Barack Obama! He's trying to make a good image for himself. This doesn't impress me TIME!

dedicated_civilservant
dedicated_civilservant

How about Obama give up 20% of his pay.  We are going to lose 20% of our pay during the furloughs.  Can you relate to giving up 20% of your pay and continue to pay the same bills you currently pay with 100% of your pay?  Our family will lose 20% from mine and my spouses pay becasue we are both government employees.  Now that is truly 20% of your household income for several months.

Rational_Db8
Rational_Db8

What a pathetic joke.  So Obama donates $20K back to the treasury - when if he would simply cut one hour of Air Force One flying time instead, he would save taxpayers over $184,000 for the costs of operating the plane alone.  Eliminate a single vacation out of the many he takes, and it would save over a million dollars.  Had he not take his long golf weekend with Tiger Woods, it would have saved over 341 furloughed workers.  Or his latest Hawaiian vacation, that would have saved over $7 million.  But golly gee, he'll sacrifice $20K, which I'm sure he'll really notice when he's worth millions already - and what do you want to bet he'll claim a tax write off for his little donation too, so it will really be a third less than publicized?  What a swell guy!! (do I really need to add the "/sarc" tag?)

Joseph Gillen
Joseph Gillen

too funny look at the middle fugures 16, 666 67 HE was on the BIBLE with his HOODIE!

who_says
who_says

@TIME @TIMESwampland Good on you Obama for returning part of your salary BUT what were you thinking on the Monsanto bill??

Tommy34684
Tommy34684

How about the Obama take 5% less vacations.

CruPaul Fisher
CruPaul Fisher

Better to give it to the families of all the innocents killed in drone strikes around the world. In fact give it all, 400.000 will never be enough.

SincPritchard88
SincPritchard88

@TIME classic symbolistic Obama move with zero impact on the reality of the situation.

Delta_Pa
Delta_Pa

And how much is the fascist Republican Taliban Tea Party giving up?

Oh that's right, let's complain about President Obama, because the Fox News Zombies can't 'man up' and admit classiness when they see it.

bazie1974
bazie1974

@TIME Um......I know federal employees who are losing 20%......

Jonathan Bazick
Jonathan Bazick

A little cut today means debt less tomorrow. It is bad how much we owe. What the hell are we to do. The federal credit card is coming to an end and who will negotiate the debt and what effect will that have and can we stop borrowing money and if you put household debt plus government debt together then what can we do. Do we have 16 Trillion dollars plus household debt I do not know another 20-30 trillion dollars. It getting, no it is, tragic and unacceptable. If we ever get out of this, this country will never be able to borrow again because the world community will go broke because of this debacle. Money borrowed true, but money also wasted on a military that will never produce any money at all. It is that pathetic.

AngryExile
AngryExile

.@theprojecttv I'd be more impressed if Obama gave back his Nobel Peace Prize. Y'know, for all the drone strikes.

Barbra Buys
Barbra Buys

Whoopee, that will really make a difference...

Joseph Sefo Moale
Joseph Sefo Moale

Liking him more, but to humiliate himself more in giving to the people who will happily shake him off...might be seen as dumb and maybe a little stupid...and thats why your president...courage when down, humility and patience...hope you'll soon be attending the people in the next fewer for the few minutes spent in my life like the individuality that is living. Keep strong if you get this post...from me

Gillian Dines
Gillian Dines

Goldman Sachs rules USA - what are they giving back ?

LiveMarsh
LiveMarsh

@theprojecttv if all th politicians and leaders thought this way, would world poverty and anguish start to abate? Just a thought.

VM Devi
VM Devi

Brilliant start ,, who else can do this if its not President Barack Obama. he is the best brilliant leader,, i wish can have a hand shake and salute in presence ,,, . god bless Sir.