Posts Tagged ‘pay of President’

Real World Graduation #51: Politics and Pay

RealWorldGraduation_Question_51_Politics_And_Pay   <– PDF

The political parties in America can be summarized as follows.  The Federalists were members of the Founding generation who believed in a strong central government.  The Republican-Democrat party was established in the late 1790’s, and supported a weaker federal government and stronger state governments.  In the 1820’s, the Republican-Democrat Party split into the Democratic and Whig parties.  The Whig party was the conservative party that favored and aided the western expansion, including many public works such as canals, railroads, and improvement of navigation on the rivers.  It became extinct after the election of 1858 and was replaced by the Republican Party.  There have been many minor parties in U. S. politics, but none of their candidates have ever become President.  The two main parties today are the Democrats, who claim to favor the working people, unions, civil rights, and equality.  They are especially critical of the large salaries paid to high-ranking corporate executives.  Democrats claim to be altruistic in their motives.  The Republicans claim to favor business interests, working people, civil rights, and equal opportunity.  Republicans are not bothered by high salaries of top corporate executives, and believe generally that people should be paid what they are entitled to either under the law or by contract.

The Federalists are considered to be a unique party that was short-lived and had no successor. The modern Democratic Party is considered to be the successor to the Republican-Democratic party that split in 1828.  The modern Republican Party is considered to be the successor of the Whig party that was disbanded in 1858.

The Presidents belonged to Parties as follows, and the number after their names indicates their order in the line of Presidents. Of all the Presidents, only Washington was not a member of any political party.

None: Washington (1)

Federalist: J. Adams (2)

Republican-Democrat: Jefferson (3), Madison (4), Monroe (5), J. Q. Adams (6)

Democrat: Jackson (7), Van Buren (8), Polk (11), Pierce (14), Buchanan (15), A. Johnson (17), Cleveland (22 & 24), Wilson (28), F. D. Roosevelt (32), Truman (33), Kennedy (35), L. B. Johnson (36), Carter (39), Clinton (42), Obama (44)

Whig: W. H. Harrison (9), Tyler (10), Taylor (12), Fillmore (13)

Republican: Lincoln (16), Grant (18), Hayes (19), Garfield (20), Arthur (21), B. Harrison (23), McKinley (25), T. Roosevelt (26), Taft (27), Harding (29), Coolidge (30), Hoover (31), Eisenhower (34), Nixon (37), Ford (38), Reagan (40), G. H. W. Bush (41), G. W. Bush (43), D. J. Trump (45)

Three Presidents served either for a symbolic salary of $1 per year, at no salary at all, or donated his entire salary to charity. Keep in mind that the President is the nominal leader of his Party, and the most effective leaders lead by example.  Based on the above information on party affiliation, and the claimed objectives of each political party, which three Presidents served essentially for free?  The letter following their name indicates their political party affiliation.

a) Van Buren (D), Buchanan (D), and F. D. Roosevelt (D)

b) Polk (D), Pierce (D), and L. B. Johnson (D)

c) Wilson (D), Carter (D), and Clinton (D)

d) Adams (F), Nixon (R), and Reagan (R)

e) It is either a), b), or c).

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The Penalty For Failing To Produce A Federal Budget  <== PDF version

On 1 Apr 2011, the U. S. House of Representatives passed a bill specifying penalties for the failure of Congress and the President to pass, and sign into law, a budget for the U. S. government.  The penalty is that the President and all members of Congress shall be deprived of their paychecks should a federal budget not be passed and agreed-to before the commencement of the fiscal year.

On the floor of the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) ridiculed the bill as an April Fool’s joke, claiming, in so many words, that this was just another rhetorical trick led by the Republicans.

I must agree with Rep. Hoyer on this one.

First of all, this bill will never pass in the Senate.  Even if it did, the President would never sign it.  The Congress would never override the President’s veto.  Secondly, it is unconstitutional.  Article 2, Section1 of the U. S. Constitution states: “The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.”   Therefore, the pay of the President cannot be altered, and the schedule of his compensation probably cannot be altered either.  If the President is going to be paid, you can be sure that the members of Congress will ensure that they also get paid, even if late.  It is exactly like the so-called “government shutdown” in the late 1990’s.  Every federal worker eventually got all their back pay.  In the end, the federal workforce got a paid 5-week vacation at taxpayer expense.

But the whole thing really is a joke.  What rational person believes that either the President or any member of Congress would be inconvenienced by a temporary (or even a real) loss of their paycheck?  The vast majority of members of Congress are independently wealthy.  So, this bill, even if enacted, would accomplish nothing.

If the members of Congress really were interested in imposing a penalty upon themselves and the President for their dereliction of duty, perhaps they could impose a penalty that matters.  Here are a few ideas for them to consider.

Resolved, If Congress and the President fail to agree to a budget in a timely fashion:

a)  All Political Action Committees for which any member of Congress or the President is associated shall be abolished, and all contributions unspent are to be returned to the donors.

b)  All Congressional and Presidential re-election campaign funds shall be liquidated, and contributions unspent shall be returned to the donors.

c)  Every member of the Budget Committee in both Houses shall be fired from those positions, and replaced by members chosen by the leadership of their respective parties.

There is, of course, no chance that any of these could ever be voted on, since these penalties would strike at their power.  So, you may be sure, my friends, that there will never be any true penalty for failure by the President or Congress.

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