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The Salaries Of Top U.S. Politicians

/ May 31, 2014

The top politicians in the U.S. are generally well paid. These are positions of great importance and therefore, they are very valued. The top politicians in the U.S. include the President, Vice President, Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Minority, members of Congress and Governors.

There is no position in the U.S. that is held in higher esteem than the President. As such, he or she receives a large yearly salary. On average, a United States President earns $141,252 every year he or she is in office. Skills that the President of the United States is expected to have includes leadership, team strategies and business strategies.

The President – $400,000

Over the years the salary of a United States President has grown. Back in 1789, the President of the United States made an average of $25,000 per year. By 1873 the average salary for a U.S. President had increased to $50,000. In 1909 that salary was increased to $75,000 and in 1949 it was increased to $100,000. By 1969 the President of the United States was earning a reported $200,000 every year. In 2001 the salary increased once again, this time to $400,000 per year. However, at the time the President of the United States also received an expense allowance of $50,000. As of 2014 President Obama is still earning a $400,000 salary each year. As the leader of the free world, President Obama gave back 5% of the salary he was making in 2013 in order to lessen the blow that government workers were experiencing to their own salaries. The 5% salary that President Obama gave back was put into the U.S. Treasury to show the country’s government workers that he was concerned about their financial struggles due to cuts to their salary. This 5% translated to an extra $20,000 put back into the U.S. Treasury.


Back in 2011 President Obama and Michelle Obama, First Lady of the U.S. had close to $790,000 when it came to their adjusted gross income. In 2010 the couple’s adjusted gross income was reportedly $1.7 million. In 2009 the couple reported an adjusted gross income of $5.5 million. It has been reported that half of the income of the Obama family is made up of President Obama’s salary while the other half of their income comes from sales of books.

Former Presidents – $199,700

The Former Presidents Act states that everyone who has ever served as President of the United States will still receive his or her presidential pay for the rest of their lives. This comes in the form of a pension that is taxable and equals the annual rate that determined the pay that the head of an executive federal department would receive. In 2013 this amount was $199,700. There are also funds provided by Congress that former Presidents of the United States are allowed to dip into in order to make the transition from life in the public eye to the private life everyday people live. The Congress provided funds can be used to allow a former President to afford their office space and compensation of their office staff. When he left office George H.W. Bush was granted access to $1.5 million for himself and his Vice President, Dan Quayle, in order to make the switch out of the public lifestyle.

George H.W. Bush Retirement Salary

Vice President – $181,400

As the right hand man to the United States President, the Vice President of the United States makes an average of $230,700 per year, though in 2000 the U.S. Vice President earned a mere $181,400 every year.


 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives – $223,500

In 2011 the Speaker of the House in the U.S. was earning a reported $223,500 per year. John Boehner served as the Republican Speaker Of The House from 2011 to 2013 and his average income in 2011 was $255,658. At any given time the Speaker Of The House has a long list of assets that add to their worth. While in 2000 the Speaker Of The House was earning $181,400 per year in salary, in 2014 he is still make a $223,500 yearly salary.


 The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders – $193,400

The Senate Majority Leader currently makes an average of $193,400 per year. This is what Harry Reid makes as the Democratic Senate Majority Leader and is the salary he likely will continue to earn up to the end of 2016.


The Senate Minority Leader also earns a yearly salary of $193,400. An increase in pay for this position and similar positions is made on a yearly basis as the cost of living continues to rise yearly. House Minority Leaders also make the same salary and are entitled to the same raises in terms of the cost of living.


U.S. Members of Congress – $174,000

Members of Congress are paid very well now but centuries ago things were different. Between 1789 and 1855 Congress members were only paid $6 per day during sessions. An exception was made between December of 1815 and March 1817 when each member of Congress received a yearly salary of $1,500. In 1855 Congress members were getting paid a yearly salary of $3,000. At this point the salary of members of Congress was last increased in 2009. Representatives of the U.S. Congress were making $141,300 in 2010 while in 2014 they are making $174,000.

 U.S. Governors – $126, 575

Over the last 75 years the salaries of most U.S. Governors have remained stable, as their salaries were only increased over the years as inflation is taken into account. Back in 1937 in 48 states Governors were paid an average of $7,823. With inflation adjustments this $7,823 would be $126, 575, which is very close to what the average salary of a U.S. Governor was in 2013. The salary a Governor makes does vary by state, with the Governor of NY making the highest salary at $179,000 and the Governor of smaller states such as South Dakota and Maine. The Governor of Maine is making $70,000 which is the lowest.


Each of these U.S. political positions is a well- paid position that requires a serious commitment from the people who are lucky enough to hold these positions. The U.S. needs all of them in order to operate effectively as a country.