Obama’s Salary 'Sacrifice' Is Patronizing
Dana Milbank: A $20K cut is nothing for a man worth millions
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2013 12:59 PM CDT
Barack Obama paying cash at a grocery store in Webster City, Iowa, in 2007.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, FILE)

(Newser) – Obama's decision to give 5% of his salary back to the Treasury to match sequester cuts to government agencies is hardly the "sacrifice" it's getting made out to be, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. Although $20,000 of his $400,000 salary is technically on par with cuts faced by federal workers, "the amount ... is so little for a man made wealthy by his political fame that it comes across as patronizing."

The Obamas reported a combined income of $8 million during the president's first three years in office, thanks to royalties from his best-selling memoirs. And that's nothing on the millions in appearance and speaking fees he'll rake in once he leaves the White House. "During World Wars I and II, there were 'dollar-a-year men' who left lucrative private-sector careers to serve their country in Washington," writes Milbank. "If Obama really wants to share in the furloughed workers’ 'sacrifice,' he should follow that honorable example and give back all but a dollar of his $400,000 salary. When he leaves office, he’ll be able to earn it back with a couple days’ work." Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 126 comments
Apr 6, 2013 4:10 PM CDT
Yes giving up 5% won't mean much to him overall. But that small gesture will keep the GoP morons from trying that lame argument for a while.
Apr 6, 2013 9:54 AM CDT
I guess the danger with "$1 a year men" is that they set a precedent. In principle at least the POTUS should be open to people who can't afford not to take a wage for 4 years.
Apr 5, 2013 10:58 PM CDT
I thought it was a very nice gesture. In another era, with an old white guy prez, this would have been seen as a behavior to emulate, not pick apart.