The Presidential Paycheck - Where Trump Gets His Money
Ever wondered how much the President of the United States makes? We did an in depth look at how much the president REALLY earns per year. Are his expenses reasonable or just ridiculous. You decide.
The President of the United States is one of the highest-profile, highest-stress jobs on the planet, with a sizeable paycheck: $400,000 per year.
George Washington didn't want a salary but it was written into the Constitution that every Commander in Chief get a salary.
He earned $25,000, or approximately $632,314 in today's USD.
As a candidate, Donald Trump said he wouldn't take a salary of more than $1.
Trump has donated his salary to a series of charities: the National Parks Service, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services and, in early 2018, the Department of Transportation.
He's not the first to do this, though.
Herbert Hoover donated his $75,000 annual salary to charitable efforts and to give his employees pay raises.
John F. Kennedy donated his salary from Congress, the Senate and the presidency, totalling $500,000 over several years, to philanthropic efforts.
There are serious perks: a $100K travel account, $19K for entertainment (in addition to a private bowling alley, theater, jogging track, etc!) and a $50K expense account.
Need to go somewhere fast?
Use of Air Force One, the presidential plane, Marine One, the presidential helicopter, and The Beast, aka the limo with tank-like security, are all provided gratis.
Sure, being president makes your hair turn gray lightning fast, but you also get free healthcare, a $200,000 pension, office services and free transportation on official state business, not to mention a dedicated Secret Service detail for life.
Leading the world – financially
Other world leaders might be green with envy about the president's salary:
European Union president Jean-Claude Juncker earns roughly $357,000 USD; Canada's Justin Trudeau makes about $267,000 and Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto brings in $165,000.
A financial filing published in 2017 shows Trump made $7 million in book royalties and more than $300 million from golf courses around the world, including the Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Membership fees at that resort doubled when he took office.
How much he's really worth is unclear because he's declined to release his income tax filings, unlike previous presidents.
His debts are slightly more traceable:There are several outstanding loans ranging from less than $1 million to more than $50 million, putting his estimated liabilities in excess of $350 million.
Every Hour and Dollar Counts
The mean per capita income in America was $46,500 in 2016, based on 2017 tax records — hat works out to $26.39 per hour or $909.71 per week.
By comparison, the President makes $192.31 per hour, or $7,692.31 per week.
Stage Lights to Politics
Trump might be the first reality star-turned-president, but he's not the first celebrity.
Ronald Reagan made $5,000 per year as an actor before he was elected to office in California.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was worth between $200 million and $400 million while he served as governor of California after his wildly successful film career.
Trump made $213.6 million over the 13 years he worked with NBC on "The Apprentice."
He might not be making the same money as a real estate developer and reality TV star, but Donald Trump shouldn't be moving from the White House to the poor house either.
After all, once he's left Washington, like his predecessor, he'll likely have book deals and speaking engagements to help fill those coffers.
Infographic: Where Trump Gets His Money
The highest position in U.S. government, arguably one of the most important jobs in the world, comes with an impressive salary and even better perks.
The salary of the US President is a non-negotiable $400,000 per year. That pay alone puts him in the top 1% of US earners.
- $100,000 non-taxed travel account
- $19,000 for entertainment (separate from the in-house movie theater, bowling alley, etc)
- $50,000 expense account
Perks of the job:
- Free transportation in Air Force One, The Beast Presidential limo and Marine One
- Free housing
- All their housekeeping is done for them
- $200,000 pension
- Healthcare paid-in-full
- Paid office space
- Free official travel (state funerals, etc)
- Secret Service protection for life
Lifetime benefits are no joke:
Historic Presidential Pay
- 1789 – 1872: $25,000 per year
- 1873 – 1908: $50,000 per year
- 1909 – 1948: $75,000 per year
- 1949 – 1968: $100,000 per year
- 1969 – 2000: $200,000 per year
- 2001 – present: $400,000 per year
VPs do well too : Salary of $230,700, plus $10,000 taxable expense allowance
By comparison, the US President is among the highest paid government leaders internationally:
- Jean-Claude Juncker (European Commission) $357,037 USD
- Justin Trudeau (Canada) $267,415 USD
- Angela Merkel (Germany) $262,946 USD
- Emmanuel Macron (France) $211,530 USD
- Theresa May (UK) $198,509 USD
- Moon Jae-in (South Korea) $180,000 USD
- Enrique Pena Nieto (Mexico) $165,000 USD
- Vladimir Putin (Russia) $151,032 USD
- Xi Jinping (China) $20,593 USD
- Pope Francis (Catholic church) $0.00
In the Trump bank account
- Estimated worth of $3.1 billion
- Assets worth $1.4 billion
Income Sources In 2016:
- $288 million overall
- $19.8 million from golf course in New Jersey
- $37.2 million from Mar-a-Lago
- $19.7 million from Washington, D.C. hotel: $19.7 million
- $7 million in book royalties
- $11 million from the Miss Universe pageant
- $84,000 pension from the Screen Actors Guild (from The Apprentice)
- His golf course in Scotland is worth "more than $50 million"
Income Sources In 2017 (outside of presidency):
|NYC real estate||$1,600M|
|Non-NYC real estate||$500M|
|Golf clubs and resorts||$570M|
|Cash and personal assets||$290M|
Income On Tax Filing
(released in 2016, covering Jan. 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015)
- Salary: $14,222
- Speaking engagements: $250,000 each
- Screen Actors Guild pension: $110,000
- Golf courses and resorts: $200 million
- Condo sales: $66 million
- Rental properties: $41 million
- Investments (stocks, bonds, etc): $78 million
- Branded properties: $9.5 million
Not the full picture:
Trump refused to sell his business holdings, instead transferring them to a trust. Interest and profits accrue while he's in office but the total is unknown.
- A loan from UBS Real Estate Investments for $5-25 million
- 5 @ $50 million each
- 1 @ $25 million - $50 million
- 7 @ $5 million - $25 million
- 3 @ $1 million
Average American Incomes Compared To The President:
|Occupation||Average hourly wage in 2017|
|Average private sector worker||$26.39|
|Public school teacher||$31.47|
|Trump as President||$192.31|
The presidential pay scale might be beneath that of a real estate tycoon, but once Trump leaves Washington, he'll be rolling in the cash, thanks to book deals and speaking engagements, if his predecessors are any indication.
Infographic: A Look at Obama's Income
We've previously done the same breakdown of Obama's paycheck - take a look below!