Repost if you Agree

16 Aug

orig. published 7/19/2011

Do you know how much the
president makes?  I didn’t until today when a friend of mine posted on their
facebook wall one of those “re post if you agree” messages that pointedly talked
about one of many possible reasons for the downward spiral the economy has taken
as of late.  $400,000 is an awful lot of money for someone who on top of that
receives, in excess, of a million dollars in various expense accounts to cover a
number of things that he could need.  On top of that, the big cheese, also has
unlimited use of 5 full time chefs, the massive expanse that is the White House
and the Camp David retreat (oh, what I would give for a week in the wooded haven
that is Camp David, that is without all of the dignitaries and politicians) use
of the presidential limo that gets replaced every 4 years.

The President has at his
disposal an almost unlimited number of staff, 100 assistants for work in the WH
office, 3 outside people to work at the private residence, a seperate 34 people
to work in the domestic service and administration, an unlimited number of
outside consultants and experts and none of this even begins to cover the
maintenance on the grounds and property all of which is covered at no cost to
the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  On top of that he also receives a
$50,000 general expense account, an account for office expenses, an
entertainment expense, a SEPERATE entertainment account for “official”
presidential functions and a travel account for him and anyone traveling with
him.

Retirement, a time of
uncertainty for many, not so much for the president.  After his term is over,
the executive pension is pretty hefty, over $150,000/ yr hefty.  To put some
perspective on that, former president Clinton is expected to average out at
around $6 million.  In addition to the pension he also receives free office
space for his post presidential ventures and $96,000/yr to pay for office help
and is eligible for up to 150,000/yr for the first 2.5 yrs post presidency to
hire staff to help with the transition.

All of this on the tax payer
dime and none of this includes any money that he may make from any royalties or
business ventures he may participate in outside of polital office at any time.
Not a bad payday when you consider that the median household pay for us
commoners was around $50,000/yr in 2006.

Now, I realize the vast
responsibility that comes with being the leader of the free world and while I am
not saying that the president does not deserve to make more than anyone else I
also don’t agree that we should be footing the bill, especially in times of such
economic turbulence.  There is a possibility, although remote as it may be, that
we will not be able to pay our bills as of the beginning of August and that is a
frightening concept for a country that has always been the richest country in
the world.  So many of us don’t know just exactly how much or why we owe what we
do.

It seems to me that most of the
“pay” of being leader comes from the joy of being able to help our country in a
time of need and if the truth be known, the only reason that the president even
got a pay raise was because the leaders of Congress and the House wanted to vote
themselves a new pay raise and couldn’t do so until they did the same for the
big guy since their pay was getting dangerously close to his.  Now, there’s a
reason to get a raise!

All I am saying is that it seems
slightly skewed that the president makes $400,000/yr while our soldiers in
combat bring in a measly $20,000/yr and they put their lives on the line every
day, are on call 24/7, have absolutely no personal life, are away from their
families for months on end, are some of the most loved and most hated people in
the world, and while the president may have to make the call to declare war and
worry about the consequences of his decision our soldiers are on the front line
enforcing his decisions and they are the ones who see first hand the results of
those decisions.  Oh, did I mention that should the country go belly up and not
be able to pay our bills, the president gets paid, our soldiers
don’t.

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