Earning a paycheck is great. It's even better when that paycheck is enough to pay all of the bills. The average American worker, earning just under $43,000 per year (according to the SSA), makes this income from one full-time job. Those who work two or three part-time jobs earn about the same. You work, pay taxes, and find ways to spend the rest. But what about the Commander in Chief?
President Obama’s income in 2011 was $789,674. That’s $746,674 more than the average American’s income. In 2012, this amount was $608,611, as reported on his federal income tax return. That means he doesn’t have to worry about his mortgage (if he had one), credit report or grocery budget. Of course the job is much harder, there is more stress, and everyone is constantly looking over your shoulder…
So where does his income come from? The annual salary for U.S. President is only 46% of President Obama’s salary. Investment income, including interest on Treasury notes and bills, accounts for 1% of his income. The rest? Yep, book royalties!
The Presidents salary might only be 46% of his total earnings, but it is still a healthy $400,000 per year. If the President was paid hourly, he would earn $223.84 per hour for a forty hour work week. And although the First Lady works almost as hard as (or even harder than) the President, she only earns $10,000 a year.
In addition to his annual salary, the President has many perks for being in office. These perks, which include a $19,000 entertainment budget, add up to $1,169,000 annually. For most Americans, perks such as these would be expenses coming out of their paychecks. And talk about a Christmas bonus! When the First Family celebrated Christmas in their home state of Hawaii, taxpayers alone spent over $7 million dollars.
Having a high income is good, but the number that really counts is the net worth. If a person has a negative net worth, even if they earn millions of dollars, they are still in debt. However, the President does not have to worry about that. His net worth is estimated to be $14 million when he leaves office.
How do former presidents earn a living? Speaking engagements and public appearances provide some income for former presidents. The higher income often comes through writing autobiographies of their time in office. Former President George W. Bush received a $7 million dollar advance for his story, and Former President Bill Clinton received $15 million advance. What about Obama? He is predicted to receive a $10 million advance. Sounds easy? Maybe, but the chances of become president are 1 in 10 million. Maybe that job isn’t so bad after all.