The spending cuts have affected every federal agency and the White House said that it would also affect most facets of the economy including commercial flights and classrooms. The 5% cut from President Obama’s $400,000 annual salary will give back $20,000. Jay Carney, Obama’s spokesman, explained that the president’s salary is determined lawfully and cannot be changed. He said that Obama has decided to make a sacrifice in solidarity with the sacrifice public servants have to make.
President Obama is not the only government agent who has decided to take a pay cut. Chuck Hagel, the defense secretary also committed to a 14-day salary cut, similar to what civilian workers in the defense department have been forced to take. Obama’s charitable act is not a first in the history of U.S presidency. An archivist at the John F Kennedy’s Presidential Library, Stacey Chandler, said that Kennedy was also known to donate his salary to charities. George Washington is also remembered for trying to refuse the presidential salary which was at that time set at $25,000.