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snopes 23 September 2008 07:07 PM

Presidents who refused salary
 
Comment: i was told that there were two presdients who refused a salary
and that they were washington and kennedy is that true?

covel 23 September 2008 07:15 PM

Washington refused, Kennedy gave his to charity.
http://edition.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/s.../24/pay.raise/

Silas Sparkhammer 23 September 2008 07:17 PM

Given George Washington's fiscal behavior during the Revolutionary War -- exaggerating expenses, etc. -- it seems a big reversal of character for him then to serve the country gratis.

Also, given the way so much of what he did became ironbound tradition, it would seem likely that many of the presidents directly following him would have felt required to do the same.

Silas

snopes 23 September 2008 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer (Post 749252)
Given George Washington's fiscal behavior during the Revolutionary War -- exaggerating expenses, etc. -- it seems a big reversal of character for him then to serve the country gratis.

Given George Washington's fiscal behavior during the Revolutionary War -- sacrificing his personal fortune for the sake of the war effort, etc. -- it doesn't seem a big reversal of character for him then to serve the country gratis.

- snopes

Embra 24 September 2008 10:12 AM

I thought payment for elected representatives was a step forward - it stops posts being open only to those who can afford to live off their riches for the duration of their term (I realise the rich have other head starts in this respect).

Presumably Kennedy could easily afford to give away his presidential pay. I mean, it's a nice gesture but it is only a gesture.

RealityChuck 24 September 2008 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 749274)
Given George Washington's fiscal behavior during the Revolutionary War -- sacrificing his personal fortune for the sake of the war effort, etc. -- it doesn't seem a big reversal of character for him then to serve the country gratis.

Not entirely. Washington as a general took no salary, but was paid for his expenses, and he had no qualms about padding his expense account. According to colonial records, he submitted a bill for $449,000, a pretty heavy sum in those days. That works out to over $50,000 per year.

When elected president, he again offered to work for expenses only, but Congress wised up and set a regular salary of $25,000.

TB Tabby 24 September 2008 02:51 PM

Didn't Herbert Hoover turn his salary over to charity too?

Tarquin Farquart 24 September 2008 02:52 PM

One for the UK contigent here: there was an MP who only took as his wage the average salary. I can't remember his name, but I think he hailed from Coventry...

BringTheNoise 24 September 2008 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart (Post 750086)
One for the UK contigent here: there was an MP who only took as his wage the average salary. I can't remember his name, but I think he hailed from Coventry...

Tommy Sheridan and the rest of the SSP did the same thing in the Scottish Parliament. Can't remember what they did with the rest of the money - I think it went into their party funds, but I'm not certain.

Tantei Kid 24 September 2008 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TB Tabby (Post 750081)
Didn't Herbert Hoover turn his salary over to charity too?

I thought so too. According to his presidential library some of it went to charity and some of it supplemented salaries of underlings he thought were underpaid.

Tarquin Farquart 24 September 2008 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BringTheNoise (Post 750095)
Tommy Sheridan and the rest of the SSP did the same thing in the Scottish Parliament.

Sounds plausible. I'll have to find a way of looking this guy up...

candy from strangers 24 September 2008 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tantei Kid (Post 750557)
I thought so too. According to his presidential library some of it went to charity and some of it supplemented salaries of underlings he thought were underpaid.


That's really cool.


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