Obama takes pay cut as ‘gesture of solidarity’

President Barack Obama  Credit: Getty Images
President Barack Obama has taken a 5 percent pay cut, commensurate with the impact on non-defense government agencies.
Credit: Getty Images

President Barack Obama will take a pay cut in a show of solidarity with workers who must take unpaid leave as a result of deep spending cuts that went into effect last month.

The president’s self-imposed pay cut would be effective from March 1, when the spending cuts began, and would last through the end of December, an administration official said Wednesday.

Obama earns $400,000 a year. The official said the president decided on the 5-percent reduction, which would total $20,000, because it would be similar to the level of cuts to non-defense government agencies.

Defense and non-defense discretionary spending has shrunk across the board as a result of reductions under a process known as sequestration. To maintain critical functions, many agencies are making workers take unpaid leave, or furloughs.

“The President has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government who are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling with the president in Colorado and California.

The president’s gesture comes after the top Defense Department official said he would return part of his salary in an amount equal to pay lost by civilian employees.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will give back the equivalent of 14 days’ worth of pay to the government, about $10,750, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

Sequestration was originally designed as an outcome so harsh that budget negotiators would find another way to narrow trillion-dollar deficits.

However, Obama would not back away from his insistence that any spending cuts be paid for in part by higher tax revenues, while Republicans, who had conceded higher tax rates on the rich in a budget deal in January, refused to agree to any tax hikes.

The $85 billion in overall cuts went into effect after the two sides reached an impasse.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.