Presidential pay: paltry next to the private sector

Released: 
January 15, 2013

U.S. presidential pay is $400,000 a year. That’s low compared to private sector CEOs, but more than many world leaders get.

It’s pretty clear that no one runs for president for the money. President Obama makes $400,000 a year. Sounds good compared to the average worker, but it’s very low compared to private sector pay for many CEOs.

Take Ford Motor Company president Alan Mulally. He received nearly $29.5 million in salary, bonuses and other perks in 2011. Walmart CEO Michael Duke’s total compensation topped $18 million in 2012.

But next to some other heads of state, President Obama does pretty well. British Prime Minister David Cameron makes about half as much, roughly $225,000 a year.

Check out our infographic for more on presidential pay, here and around the world. See “What Do Others Say?” for more perspective. Then add to the discussion below. What do you think of the president’s salary? Too low? Too high?