White House won't say if Obama kept promise to return 5% of his salary in solidarity with budget sequester 'furloughs' | BUSTED! ANOTHER LIE EXPOSED! - Liar Liar!
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White House won't say if Obama kept promise to return 5% of his salary in solidarity with budget sequester 'furloughs' | BUSTED! ANOTHER LIE EXPOSED!

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In 2013 the president said he would rebate $20,000 of his annual pay to the Treasury between March and September in order to share the pain of federal workers who were expected to lose two weeks' salary because of automatic budget cuts

  • The president pledged a year ago to send $20,000 of his 2013 salary back to the treasury as a symbolic gesture to furloughed employees 
  • Most of the furloughs never materialized, and Obama's promised salary give-back may also have dissolved with the passage of time
  • The joint tax return he filed with the first lady shows no indication of a rebate to the Treasury – something he would logically have deducted from his taxable income
  • Federal law sets the president's salary at $400,000, making it impossible for the president to reduce his pay without writing a check for the balance

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor


President Barack Obama pledged in the spring of 2013 to give back 5 per cent of his $400,000 salary in solidarity with federal government workers who were expected to lose an average of two weeks' pay because of automatic budget cuts – known in Washington parlance as a 'sequester.'

A year later, however, it's not clear that he made good on his $20,000 promise.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama's 2013 tax return, which the White House published last month, shows an adjusted gross income of $481,098. The couple claimed $147,769 in itemized deductions, but no line-item for a $20,000 give-back to the United States Treasury is anywhere to be found.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reported on April 11 that the first family made $59,251 in deductible donations, and said that the largest such gift was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation, a network of 'comfort homes' where family members of wounded warriors can stay while their loved ones are receiving medical treatment.

They also deducted $42,383 in interest on their Illinois home mortgage and another $29,176 in personal property taxes. But the Obamas' Schedule A, where they would likely deduct a salary rebate from their income for tax purposes, is silent on the matter.


The New York Times reported on April 3, 2013 that Obama made his intentions known at the height of the national debate over the budget sequester.

'The president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,' the Times quoted an Obama administration official saying.

Since the salary of a U.S. president is set by law and can't be altered, the official said, Obama planned to pay $20,000 to the Treasury in equal installments beginning retroactively in March, and ending at the close of the fiscal year in September.

Those seven checks, then, would have been for $2,857.14 each.

But there's no evidence ink ever hit paper.

 

The Washington Free Beacon first reported on the apparent conflict between what Obama said in 2013 and what he may have failed to do.

Neither that outlet nor MailOnline has been able to get the White House to comment: Emails from MailOnline were not returned, and a phone message went unanswered.

It's possible that Obama ultimately decided to wait until the furloughs actually materialized before putting his money where his surrogate's mouth was. Ultimately, the fears of career disruptions because of temporary layoffs were overblown.

The online magazine Government Executive reported in August that nearly every major federal agency reduced or eliminated its furlough plans, choosing to cut elsewhere in order to save those jobs.

GoxExec noted that many cabinet-level departments 'told Congress they would have to furlough employees, but ended up backtracking.'

 
Solidarity: As Obama was pledging to give up part of his salary in common cause with ordinary federal workers, the National Treasury Employees Union was protesting threatened furloughs that never came

Solidarity: As Obama was pledging to give up part of his salary in common cause with ordinary federal workers, the National Treasury Employees Union was protesting threatened furloughs that never came

 

'The Education and Justice departments fall into this category,' according to that report.

'The Agriculture, Transportation and Homeland Security departments all received authority to transfer funds between agency accounts, and were therefore able to cancel planned furloughs. The Commerce Department projected furloughs at its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, only to cancel them in May.'

The Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Department, Interior and Labor Departments all reported drastically cutting the number of furlough days as well.

The net impact of furloughs on typical government employees, then, was far less than what was predicted when the president made his promise.

It appears that so, too, was his symbolic financial contribution.

.... Read More

 
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