VOLUME 28 NO. 6 | JANUARY 31 - FEBRUARY 6, 2009

Leaders of the free world need to get paid, too
The salaries of leaders throughout history and today

Last updated 1-29-09 at 12:54 p.m.

By Samantha Pak
Northwest Asian Weekly


President George Washington: $25,000
Vice President John Adams: $5,000
$25,000 in 1789 is equal to about $566,000 in 2008.


President Ulysses S. Grant: $50,000
Vice President Henry Wilson: $10,000
$50,000 in 1873 is equal to about $865,000 in 2008.


President Theodore Roosevelt: $50,000
Vice President Charles Fairbanks: $12,000
Roosevelt distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved 40 monopolistic corporations as a “trust buster.” He was clear, however, to show he was against corrupt, illegal practices, not capitalism.


President William Howard Taft: $75,000
Vice President James S. Sherman: $12,000
$75,000 in 1909 is equal to about $1,714,000 in 2008.


President Harry Truman: $75,000
Vice President Vacant: $20,000
Did you know that on Jan. 17, 1946, President Truman proposed a 182-cent per hour wage increase for the United Steel Workers union to settle a dispute between the union and U.S. Steel?


President Dwight D. Eisenhower: $100,000
Vice President Richard Nixon: $35,000
There were three recessions during Eisenhower’s administration — July 1953–May 1954, Aug. 1957–April 1958, and April 1960–Feb. 1961. Eisenhower provided no bailout in order to wring out the inflation of wartime.


President Jimmy Carter: $200,000
Vice President Walter Mondale: $62,500
After his presidency, President Carter returned to his peanut farm in Georgia, which he had placed into a blind trust during his term as president. Unfortunately, trustees had mismanaged the trust and he was more than a million dollars in debt as a result.


President Bill Clinton: $200,000
Vice President Al Gore: $171,000
Since his presidency ended, Clinton has given dozens of paid speeches each year, earning $100,000 to $300,000 per speech. In 2007, it is estimated he earned $40 million from speaking engagements.


President George W. Bush: $400,000
Vice President Dick Cheney: $198,600
Bush held town hall-style public meetings across the United States in 2001 to increase public support for his $1.35 trillion tax cut program — one of the largest tax cuts in U.S. history.


President Barack Obama: $420,198.
Vice President Joe Biden: $227,300
In December 2007, Money magazine estimated the Obama family’s net worth at $1.3 million. The Obama’s 2007 tax return showed a household income of $4.2 million — up from about $1 million in 2006 and $1.6 million in 2005—mostly from sales of his books.

World leaders’ salaries

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: $2.1 million USD.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang: $530,000 USD.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso: $300,000 USD.

Former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian (2000-2008): $167,000 USD.

Former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun (2003–2008): $217,000 USD.

Information from China Post and www.oanda.com was obtained for this report.

Samantha Pak can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.


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