President Obama To Give Back 5% Of Salary “In Solidarity” With Federal Employees Who’ve Been Hurt By Sequestration
President Obama wants to show you as opposed to just telling you that he’s a man of the people, and he’s doing that by returning five percent of his $400,000 salary as a sign of unity with federal employees who have had to take pay cuts, been unemployed or deal with unpaid leaves from their jobs as an effect of sequestration. As part of the sequestration, in March, budget cuts were enacted between the defense and non-defense categories of government, and by the end of the year, it’s said that thousands of jobs will be lost or failed to be created because of these cuts and could even affect Medicare. Even historical sites and parks have been shut down for visitation because of the sequestration.
According to TIME, the following was said in a statement about the president’s choice by a White House official:
“The salary for the President, as with Members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed. 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.”
All in all, by the end of the year, that 5 percent (which will be distributed in payments each month), according to the Washington Post, will come out to about $20,000. Even Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is taking a voluntary pay cut, amounting to allegedly 14 furlough days (those unpaid job leaves we were discussing earlier). A democratic senator in Alaska is also following suit.
According to the Washington Post, this could be a move by the president to put public pressure on Republicans, and it could work:
“…what he is clearly hoping is that other Administration figures and other elected officials take his cue to forego some salary and, in so doing, keep the story in the news — ratcheting up the pressure on those (mostly Republicans) who are just fine with keeping the sequester in place.”
Whatever the motivation behind this voluntary pay cut, it’s a bold one that we here are impressed by. What are your thoughts?