Obama plays to media, donates chump change

President Obama, in an effort to show “solidarity with federal workers” who are being forced to take unpaid leave due to sequester cuts, has announced that he will return 5 percent of his salary back to the Treasury Department, according to the Washington Post.

The cut will amount to reducing his $400,000 a year salary by about $16,667 over the next ten months, retroactively to March 1 when the sequester kicked in. However the Washington Post is reporting he will give back $20,000, covering the entire year.

It appears the president can afford the pay cut, according to a Huffington Post report:

The president and first lady Michelle Obama reported almost $790,000 in adjusted gross income in 2011, the most recent year for which their tax returns have been made public. That figure was down from the $1.7 million they brought in the year before and the $5.5 million they reported in 2009. About half of the family’s income in 2011 came from Obama’s salary, with the rest coming from book sales. The Obamas reported more than $172,000 in charitable donations.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced earlier in the week that he would be cutting his pay by an amount equal to 14 days’ pay, that required of Defense Department civilian employees.

While Congress has not taken a pay raise since 2009, several lawmakers have already volunteered pay cuts. An aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told the Huffington Post that McConnell returns a substantial part of his office budget to the Treasury every year, but it is unknown if he, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, or Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., will be trimming their salaries. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is the only top leader that has voiced opposition to congressional pay cuts.



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