Sunday, February 1, 2009

President's Benefits

This really opened my eyes up to just how much we pay in keeping out president comfortable and safe! It is absolutely amazing! So here is an article by S.M. Oliva.

"Compensating Incompetence"
By S.M. Oliva

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to limit total compensation for employees of companies receiving government "bailouts" to $400,000 annually -- because nobody should make more money then Barack Obama:

Going forward, you want taxpayers to help you survive? You want the people at your financial institution to have a job tomorrow? Then you are going to have to limit everyone's pay at your company to the same salary the President of the United States makes. Is that so unreasonable? It is eight times the median household income in the United States of America--$400,000 a year. I don't think that sounds like a bad deal. Should these people be making more than the President of the United States? Now, really, should they? They should not be making more than the President of the United States. So every executive going forward could not make more than $400,000 a year, and they have to limit that executive compensation for everyone in their company until they pay back every dime to the taxpayers.

Note that McCaskill speaks of the president's $400,000 "salary," conveniently ignoring the smorgasbord of other compensation and benefits the sitting president receives. The blog Dealbreaker offered a conservative breakdown of Obama's total compensation package:

Cash Compensation:
Salary: $400,000

Room and Board:
55,000 square foot mansion, in historic Washington, D.C.: @ $100/sqft: $5,500,000/yr
Personal Chef / Kitchen Staff: $300,000 / year
Other Servants / Attendants: $500,000 / year

Discretionary Use Of Private Aircraft:
(One of 2 Boeing 747-200Bs "Air Force One"):
Annual Costs: 120 hours @ $65,000/hr: $7,800,000
Annual Costs: 700 hours @ $65,000/hr: $45,500,000

Helicopter Fleet:
Annual Costs: 50 hours @ $5200/hr: $260,000

Other Personnel:
Personal Driver On Retainer (Defensive Tactical Driving Trained) @ $300/day $109,500
Personal Body Guards 35 @ $500/day $6,387,500
Use Of Personal Car 60 days @ $2000/day $120,000

Annual Benefits Total: $59,077,000

Four Years of Same: $236,308,000
Pension And Related Benefits:

Present value of Pension Benefits ($200,000 per year): $2,251,556

Total Benefits: $238,559,556

Average Annual Benefits: $59,639,889

There several more items one can add to this list: Discretionary use of the "presidential retreat" at Camp David; the White House political staff, including a small army of press and communications officers; a $50,000 expense account; a $100,000 nontaxable travel account; a $19,000 official entertainment allowance; and upon retirement, a presidential library maintained by the federal government. Dealbreaker also failed to account for redundancies in certain benefits -- i.e., the president always travels with a "backup" plane and two "decoy" helicopters.

And unlike the private sector, there's no possible "pay for performance" standard for the presidency. A president who runs up a massive deficit for "stimulus" or "liberating Iraq" gets compensated no differently then a president who pursues peace and prosperity. (The president's base salary cannot be diminished while he's in office, under the Constitution.) Indeed, total compensation tends to increase in less bad times when the president's "security" demands even more benefits in the form of additional Secret Service, military equipment, etc



a corgi said...

interesting; its a stressful job, I must admit and one I definitely wouldn't want, but in these hard economic times......wonder what they are cutting back on.......

enjoy the day