A Modest Proposal: Limit Ex-Pres. Obama to $500K, Too

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Feb 04, 2009 5:33 PM
John blogs below on the ridiculousness of the government trying to micromanage what corporate leaders are paid, if their companies have received "exceptional assistance" from the government.  If nothing else, such restrictions are a great way to make sure that the most capable economic minds go to, say, hedge funds rather than running troubled major companies that are responsible for employing lots of people, etc.

But here's a modest proposal.  Just set aside the "exceptional assistance" President Obama himself is now receiving courtesy of the taxpayers --  housing, transportation and security.  After he leaves office, President Obama will be able to make a fortune through speechmaking, bookwriting, and the rest. 

But that's only as a result of the taxpayer-subsidized jobs he has held.  After all, without his federal government jobs, he is -- what, exactly?  An Illinois state senator, part-time law professor, former community organizer and little-known author.  Nice, but hardly of the stature that rakes in millions.  

It is only the fact of his federal government employment now that launches Obama into the celebrity stratosphere and will, one day, make him a very, very rich man.  And in total, the direct personal benefits Obama will reap from the federal government dwarfs the direct personal benefit accruing to the leaders of the companies whose salaries Obama wants to limit.

Apparently, the Obama administration believes that $500,000 is as much as anyone should be reasonably entitled to expect in pay -- when, that is, their pay is attributable, in some part, to "exceptional assistance" from the government. 

So how 'bout it?  Is President Obama willing to limit his lifetime annual income to $500,000 per year?