Is President Obama Really Worth His Six-Figure Paycheck?

presidential salary

When Robert Rizzo, former Bell city administrator, was found guilty of siphoning a fat annual income of almost a million dollars into his bank account, the public responded with outrage. It seems reasonable, then, that Barack Obama’s six-figure presidential salary is much easier for Americans to accept, considering his countless responsibilities and role as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief.

Considering even the president doesn’t rake in as much money as other political figures, the enormous salaries politicians pull in are raising concern over whether the nation’s leadership is worth citizens’ hard-earned savings.

We contend that the most popular political seats of local and national government have proven that they do, in fact, deserve their sizable paychecks, and those at higher levels of political power may actually be underpaid in comparison to their list of responsibilities.

City Council Salary

A city council member holds a seat that is often overlooked in terms of the amount of influence they have over the community they oversee.

The wages of a city council member varies from region to region. For example, members of the Los Angeles city council make an average of $178,789 each year. Similarly, Philadelphia city council seat holders receive a significant $121,107 in annual salary, as noted on a report issued by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

What do these local leaders do, exactly? Primarily, their role is to allocate funds to the Mayor’s proposed budget.

But it’s not just about basic dividing and subtracting — they are left to make challenging judgment calls and develop solutions to resident issues like traffic congestion, fire and police protection and even sewage disposal.

U.S. Congress

Congress is the governing body consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Congress is the key component in nation’s governing legislative body. The 435 House representatives and 100 Senators are entrusted to protect the welfare of the citizens of the United States.

A few responsibilities include mandating and collecting taxes, creating new laws, determining how the national budget is spent, exercising the decision to borrow money on credit and reserve sole exclusivity in declaring war.

That’s a pretty tall order, yet the rank-and file-members of Congress — in terms of the  U.S. senator salary and House of Representatives salary — put forth just $174,000 annually to govern a population of over 300 million people. Considering that some city council members in the country make more than this is a clear example that power doesn’t always equal pay.

Vice President Salary

Joe Biden’s vice president salary naturally inches closer to President Obama’s yearly wages at $230,700. The second-in-command has a whole host of responsibilities attached to his high-profile title, but compared to the defined roles other political seats hold, the Vice President of the United States’ duties are defined primarily by the needs of the president.

For instance, the president may request that his Vice President take charge of reviewing a particular policy portfolio or act as his lead adviser. Biden is recognized as the President of the Senate, wherein he executes his final vote in the event of a tie. As next-in-line to the President, however, his greatest task is to be prepared to take on the presidency should the need arise.

Presidential Salary

Leading an entire country and protecting the welfare of its citizens is a challenge that only a select few living individuals can fathom. While there’s no $1 million presidential salary check made out to President Barack Obama every year, he still receive a sizable income.

What does the United States president pull at the end of the year? A cool $400,000.

This top-dollar compensation is offered in return for the President’s service, which includes a laundry list of presidential responsibilities like vetoing bills or signing legislation into law, engaging in international diplomacy, issuing executive orders, extending pardons for federal crimes and giving a State of the Union address, among many other political appearances.

Citizens’ tax dollars usually go toward fair pay in proportion to the responsibilities shouldered by these political figures, but as any profession goes, a few outliers like Rizzo find a way to budget a few extra dollars into their salary equation.

  • BillBob819

    As a president, he has ruined this country as a nation with his so called Obama care. It is a policy that is way too expenseive for this nation.

    • queen

      Listen Billy Bob President Bush ruined the country long before Obama got in office. It is hard to clean up enormous piles of SHIT!!!! Get you facts straight. And the president does not have the power to clean it up. It is the senate and the house of representatives.

      • Deb

        At least there were more people working to clean it up~!

        • edwardeubanks

          @deb, the fact that there were more people working is a challenge for –not a result of– the Obama administration.

          Obama inherited a tanked economy. Argue as much as you want, but it is immeasureably healthier than it was in the winter of 2009. The people who complain the loudest about Obama’s handling of the economy are the same ones who deep-sixed it. Why should I trust their solutions?

          Listening to folks complain about Obama’s work reminds me of a conversation I had with my aunt who’d had a massive heart attack, but was revived by a cardiologist. She had nothing good to say about her doctor. Didn’t like his foreign accent. Didn’t like his bedside manner. Didn’t like the scar left on her chest. Didn’t like the hospital bill. Finally, I got tired of listening to her gripe and I said, “You know, Auntie. You sure complain loudly for a dead woman.”

        • dmttbt

          From what I read, you think that if more people are working that makes being president more of a challenge. Well don’t worry, he is doing all he can to put more people out of work. I guess that makes him a great president.
          He said he is for the middle class. As soon as we find out what he is calling the middle class we will have a better idea. He is destroying the working class. If you can find work at all, now you have to only work 28 hours instead of thirty. People say that is terrible, now they will have to work two jobs. Where are they going to get two when most can’t get one. First destroy the economy and get the people dependent on the government, that is not going broke because they just print more worthless money. Even China and Russia are shaking their heads when trying to figure out what the united states is doing.

      • dmttbt

        When Obama took over the deficit was 6.9 trillion dollars and he said it was a travesty a crime, unpatriotic. Now it is closer to 17 trillion after he has worked his ways and the unemployment rate is down to about what it was under Bush.
        People seem to think there is only two parties, but there are more and it is time the reigning two take a back seat. If you are waiting on either the democrats or the republicans to straighten out the mess they made, you are in for a long wait.
        There was gun running going on in Libya and that had something to do with the Benghazi massacre. I don’t know who was doing what to whom but someone was getting it done to them. Hillary got an award from Jeb Bush(presented the award ) for the great job she did. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Now they say she is definitely Presidential material. I may need to remind you she was to turn over some papers that were asked for by the courts, when she and Bill were in the white house and she could not locate them for two years and then she found them lying on a table. The cleaning staff had not touched that area for two years?
        She landed under sniper fire , is what she said when she was running for president last time and a general when asked replied,” do you think it would have not been reported by every news agency in this country?” Bill said that she is getting older and she forgets things sometimes. She was saying we could count on her to answer that red phone at 3 in the morning. What if she forgot where she put it?
        Just because some one says a politician is bad, doesn’t mean they think the others are good.From what I see they are all bad or our country and our public education system would be a model for every country. You don’t see that do you?

    • Norma Davis

      yes and that cost the gov. like 30 billion and then not to mention it is not going to work because people do not want any heathcare shoved down their throat.,some have rights ,or do they ??



    • dmttbt

      Eddie Clark, ” you is a councilmen a small town. ” From what I see of your spelling and your opinion I think you should be paying them $600.00 a month.
      Do you think that the $400,000 is al they come away with? If so you are deranged. We have a ruling Muslim in the white house. That does not mean all the rest of the politicians are good or bad, I would vote bad



  • Ray

    I fear that this country of taxpayers are getting fed up with the government and some of its leaders which may possibly cause a revolution as in other countries. Yes, it can happen here too. We have been to involved in other countries to the level of not providing for our own. What a shame! To cut off our own hard working average people and mess with the health benefits, medicare and social security, loosing jobs is not the way to go. Come on, shape up or ship out! Also providing promises of money, weapons, or other bribe tactics is stupid. Where are all the other countries? I don’t see them trying to correct world problems to much.. Now businesses are taking drastic measures to cut back due to Obama care as they claimed its to expensive. Can Obama come back to discuss these issues on the air -TV? Also talk about in detail what top government officials get from the President on down and what they plan to do to cut back on our hard earned tax dollars that we pay. Also all those perks that they get. Its time to put yourselves in the driver seat and do the right thing.. Would definitely like to hear from, everyone concerned on this issue. Please post. Also, Pres. Obama and Top Govt. Officials/Representatives, go live on U.S.A. – TV.

  • dmttbt

    Since we pay Obama we should be able to fire him.

    • Norma Davis

      80,0000 thumbs up for that ,but i think we will have to march his party OUT !

  • honest

    The wages of the President and all other political figures is outrageous! Our Soldiers can only dream of making enough to live. Oh and actually get paid when this great Goverment of ours shuts down. How can any one in there right mind think that this is okay. All of these people sit in there fancy offices that WE pay for and tell us how we should live our lives. While they are doing nothing but destroying this country and are okay with the worse unemployment rates in history, people loosing their houses, while we pay for their million dollar homes. How many of you reading this are going to be able to afford the healthcare that is being FORCED on you?? You know longer have the right to decide what is best for you and your family and choose whether to feed your children or pay for health insurance. This President and every other person in their high paying jobs are costing America the one thing that every one of us take for granted as an american, our FREEDOM”. Do you think that when they shut down our Goverment that they worry how they are going to pay their bills, keep food on the table or pay their mortgage? NO they don’t!!!!! All of you who think that it is fine for the President to be paid $400,000 dollars a year to cripple our country may need to think about the future of your children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles,cousins, will all of them be able to survive!!!!!
    I work in healthcare and I am telling you that this healthcare act can only cause this Country more harm than good. I see people every day including myself and my husband who worry every day how will we continue to live if we lost our jobs. Well I did loose my job thanks to the very people who made this and other laws that were suppose to “help” us. I now fear that as a “cancer survivor” I will now loose every thing that matters most. My husband has a job however if he needs to take more than two days in one week off, he has no health insurance for that week. God forbid we need to see a doctor we have no insurance, and even though it is only a week Obama Care does not provide for things like this, you either have it or you don’t. I worry every day what will happen come tax time when we have to disclose how many weeks we did not have insurance and then be assessed a penalty on our taxes for not having it all year. But the President and Congress have every thing they could want at OUR expense!!!!! Including life time healthcare that we will pay for.
    Who will care for the people who are homeless and can’t afford to take a shower or eat much less pay for healthcare. Face it people our President and Congress men do NOT care what happens to any one but themselves!!!!! Our Country would be better off with a child in office at least we would have a chance that they would listen to some one that matters!!!!
    Oh ya, queen you need to first of all learn how to spell then get YOUR facts straight!!! Obama DOES have the power to fix as you say “this pile of shit” he has that power because people like you voted him the President of this “GREAT” nation. You also voted for the great Senate and HOR’s that helped him screw up this Country. Were you being FORCED to buy insurance through Obama Care when Bush was in office? I don’t recall hearing anything called Bush Care. Get it together man, you are so wrong about this President! If you don’t agree now you will see how wrong you are the very day that this person LEAVES office, that can’t happen soon enough for this nations survival. How many more of our Soldiers will have to die before we stop spending our money on a war that should have ended years ago, oh that’s right Obama says it is over, that’s why seven thousand soldiers from Fort Hood Texas were just deployed to Afghanistan less than one week ago. My husband has served his Country so people like you could be FREE, thanks for your appreciation. I’ll let him know that he’s right dumb ass people like you still exist and don’t have a clue. Between Obama Care and this great war that Obama wouldn’t have the guts to fight in, have cost this Country every thing we had and more, if we ever recover from his 8 years we will be lucky. If you think he is so “GREAT” maybe you could have him quit giving himself and all his other “GREAT” people raises for doing nothing!! If the Goverment is shut down people don’t get paid, they shouldn’t either!!!!!!! Their income alone could reduce the Nations deficit real fast.
    So all you people who agree with Obama and friends, you better take another look. Every one else try to hang in there, things can’t get any worse and he will be out of office someday. Hopefully it won’t be to late to protect our young children and future leaders. For all those who fight for this Nation every day, THANK YOU, we do care and hope you ALL come back safe. Thank you to your families who fight with you as I did my husband. War really is “HELL on the HOME FRONT” to!!!!!!!!
    Take care every one, hug your children and families tight. At the end of the day they really are ALL we have!!!!!!!! As for you queen I can only hope you wake up some day!

    • Norma Davis

      they will believe he is evil real soon . look at breaking obama that stuff is real,real crazy

  • Paul Minicucci

    I can’t imagine a country where the football college at even non-BCS or FBS leagues makes more than the President. My brother-in-law is a real estate broker and he does virtually no work (he’d be the first to tell you that), his sales people do all the work and he almost never misses his $500,000. Something is wrong when the crooks on Wall Street make more in golden parachute bonuses than the President, any President, from Nixon to Clinton to Bush(es) to Obama make in two terms. It is no wonder that so many people undervalue Government service if the most important office holder in the land makes less than the average COO of medium size corporation. According to Money Ning, the average USA CEO makes $700,000 per year. In terms of actually earning that, I find it hard to justify. the CEOs I hang with don’t work nearly as hard as the average mid-level worker. I have worked in banking for 7 years and it is a truism, the higher you go the less you work..

    • Norma Davis

      little do you know they earn 250,000 every year for life even after their terms ,wonder why their broke . i guess we are not paying enough in taxes ,ha ha we Americans should not have to pay the big government taxes