Obama’s Finances: How to Solve the Debt Crisis

President of the United States, Barack Obama, is pushing for some strict legislation on tax reform. After the recent issue with the debt ceiling and now Cain’s 999 plan, Americans are left wondering how we as a country are going to get out of this financial burden. One of Obama’s big pushes has been that he wants to see significant increases in taxes for the wealthy. Personally, I think this is a great idea, but I don’t want to get stuck in this debate. Instead, I want to suggest a radical idea for working towards solving the debt crisis.

How Much Money Does Obama Really Make?

Have you ever wondered how much money the President of the United States makes? I know that I have. It isn’t that hard to figure out. If you google this, you will easily find that as president, Obama makes $400,000 each year. Considering the immense pressure that Obama is put under over the course of his term, I won’t try to argue that this is too big of a salary. I don’t think you could convince me to take this job for $400k a year.

What this doesn’t take into account, however, is that each and every president can make millions of dollars from publishing. In fact, this has been quite popular with past presidents. Previous presidents make millions from book sales and speaking engagements. If anyone has a secure financial future, it is the President of the U.S. Not only do former presidents not need to worry about their financial future, but they also have private security for the rest of your life. As if this were not enough, according to a report for congress,¬†former presidents also receive a pension. As of 2008, this pension was approximately $191,000 annual salary. Talk about financial security!

How to Fix the Debt Crisis?

While I am not a professional economist, I do know the basics of personal finances. I understand that if you owe lots of money, one of the first things you need to do is to reduce your expenses. If we want to tackle the U.S. debt, why not start at the top? Here is what I am proposing. It is no secret that the Obama family is not struggling financially. I propose that Obama forfeits his salary and pension as an act of good faith. It is not that I don’t think he deserves it. Like I said, I wouldn’t even consider doing his job for the same price. However, this would demonstrate to the country that he is really looking out for the prosperity of the country and it would save the country lots of money by doing so. As a result, I think people would start to consider how they can contribute and start to tackle the debt crisis.

Mr. President, if you happen to read this, I ask you to consider my proposal. Not because I don’t think you earn that money, but because it might help inspire others to follow suit and think of others before themselves. Debt management is always a controversial topic, but with actions of just a few, we can work towards an appropriate future.

What Do you Think?

What do you think? Do you think my plan could help reverse the process and put the country on a path towards eliminating its debt?

22 Responses to Obama’s Finances: How to Solve the Debt Crisis

  1. PKamp3 says:

    Politically, for Congress and the President to forfeit their salary, it would be a good idea. Economically, it would make almost no difference.

    However, if I was advising the President, I would have him wait until closer to November 2012, after the Republican Primary is done. Then he could forego his salary, and pressure the Republican candidate by asking, “will you take a salary in office?”.

    • Corey says:

      Great point about the political aspect PKamp3. That would be interesting to see what would happen.

    • Don says:

      If Romney is the Republican candidate, I think he would say sure, since he spent millions of his own money run his campaign last time.

      I’m not a strong Republican or Democrat person (I pick what makes sense), but most Republican candidates have money. I think most would say “sure, I’ll forego a salary”.

  2. Over the long-run, gov’t expenses must match revenue. The problem with the current spending is that the economy has not grown as expected, and revenues have not caught up. It’s time to acknowledge that infinite economic growth is not always going to balance the books, and perhaps reduce the size of the economy to a sustainable level.

    Here’s my theory: It all comes back to the price of oil. Wait until oil is $150-$200 per barrel…this recesssion will look like a walk in the park.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself. The worst is yet to come and the only real solution is to actually let a fall happen and then allow for a recovery. Bail outs aren’t the answer.

      • Wow, you guys are so pessimistic. I hope the worse is over and we can get back on track soon.

        • Corey says:

          haha. I love this dialogue. I hesitate to say that it will get significantly worse. I don’t think the economy is going to bounce back right away, but it will eventually.

        • Don says:

          While one never knows, I don’t think we’ll see oil prices that high again within the next 5 years. I’m betting there are tanks of oil sitting somewhere waiting to be brought to market from the recession…

          Besides the US has a lot of shale fields (I hope we don’t use them though). Natural Gas seems to be finally gaining traction too.

          I think the government is focusing on the symptoms of the problems in the US instead of the actual causes. Until they focus in the right areas, all they will be doing is putting a band-aid on the problems.

        • Aloysa says:

          I don’t understand why everyone expects the economy to recover in 4 years when it took 8 to ruin it?

  3. While I like the idea I have a better one: call off all the troops and close a dozen bases around the world. All of a sudden your deficit just shrank by a trillion dollars in just a few years!

  4. I say that even if Congress and the President forfeit their salaries for a month or two, it will demonstrate that they are serious about fixing the problem.

  5. charles says:

    Nice thought but it would never happen. Everyone is looking out for themselves even when they appear to be looking out for others

  6. I don’t think it would help. Few people cutting salary is not going to help economy. we need understand the whole game of economics. Money come sand money goes to others. If you earn more you will spend more and that will increase someone else’s income. The way to go is balancing imports and exports and military budget cut, calling in the troops etc etc. The things that makes money go out of the country.

  7. 101 Centavos says:

    Good thoughts – symbolic gestures *can* have an impact… Obama is young. Compared to the millions in speaking fees he’ll make after he leaves office, $400K is chump change.
    This discussion gives me an idea for a carnival of sorts.

  8. […] 20′s Finances on Obama’s Finances, and How To Solve The Debt Crisis […]

  9. Evan says:

    Economically who cares and even politically…Eh, I think he would get a couple of hours of good press out of it. Mayor Bloomberg in NYC doesn’t take a salary and it doesn’t come up that often lol

  10. ProfitsOn says:

    Good article and suggestion.

    However, there is so much the president can do.

    As it has already been said here, things could get worse before they get better.

    Deleveraging will require time.

  11. Brooke says:

    Interesting proposal, nothing I haven’t heard before I must admit. I agree with several here that it wouldn’t make a big difference in the end.

  12. Jackie says:

    I’d prefer to see congress & other elected officials forfeit their healthcare plans and pensions than to see people forfeiting a salary. It’s the benefits that are really super-nice compared to what most people get.

  13. JB says:

    2012 GOP candidate Ron Paul already announced that, if elected, he would only accept a wage equal to the average American wage (something like $38,000). A nice symbolic gesture to show you’re on the side of those who have been hurt by the poor economy.

    • Corey says:

      Wow, I didn’t know that. Crazy. I don’t think that will be enough to win the election, but it’s a start.

  14. […] Finances: Obama’s Finances: How to Solve the Debt Crisis – Americans are left wondering how we as a country are going to get out of this financial […]