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Man-On-The-Street @ Loyola: President’s Salary, Fair?

Photo By: Pablo Martinez Monsivais - Associated Press

Photo By: Pablo Martinez Monsivais –  Associated Press

Imagine working seven days a week for four or eight years. Imagine you are the leader of the free world. You make tough decisions that affect millions of people. That’s what the president of the United States does every day. What do your efforts and commitment amount to? A salary of 400 thousand a year.

Top CEOs gross considerably more than that, and arguably work less. Presidents, however, can actually see a substantial raise after leaving office. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have made millions from book deals and speaking engagements since leaving office. Clinton has grossed over 76 million dollars since leaving office, and Bush earned seven million dollars for the first 1.5 million copies of Decision Points.

Ten Loyola University of Chicago students were asked, A recent CNN article, Being Ex-President Can Be a Lucrative Gig, published the earnings and earning opportunities of past presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. There are differing opinions on what the salary of a president should be. Some think the salary should increase to be in line with top CEOs, while others think it should be lowered because of their future earnings, and the current economic situation. What is your opinion?”

Most people thought that there was no problem with the President’s salary.

One person cited the president’s motivations.

“I do not think it should be raised to the level of CEO because I do not think compensation should be someone’s motivation to be president,” said Dane Knight, Political Science Major at Loyola University Chicago.

The economy was cited by another student as a reason for the salary to not increase.

Given the economic status right now, it would be hypocritical of him to make more money if he is advocating that we try to fix the economy, especially since he knows he is going to make several million after leaving office,” said To-uyen Vo, Sophomore AD/PR major.

Another person cited the economy as reason to decrease the salary.

“Given the circumstances of the economy, I think the president’s salary should be decreased,” said Iiana Alvarenga, RA and LUC Sophomore.

Some considered the future earnings of the president as justification for the current salary.

“It shouldn’t be raised because he can make more money after on book deals and speaking engagements,” stated Kirsten Gamble, Communications and Broadcasting Major.

Others do not think that the future earnings should be considered.

“Just because you can make money on something else, should not justify a decrease in someone’s salary,” stated Nick Janis, Freshman student.

Future earnings were used as justification for a decrease in salary.

“He should get a decrease now, and make up for it later,” says Alex Klein, international business major.

One student cited perks of the job for a decrease in the President’s salary.

“He is already making enough, and he gets free s*** all the time,” said Julia Park, Sophomore and Economics major.

The minority opinion was an increase in salary.  This was only given by one of the ten interviewed students.

For a number of reasons, I actually think the president is underpaid,” remarked Andrew Reidenbach of Loyola University Chicago. “I understand that the presidency is a public office. It should be someone’s civic duty, but at the same time, it is an enormous responsibility and deserves to be compensated.”

Video by CNN:

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.