Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
Can you guess what George Washington was paid to run the country back in 1789? It’s more than you think. I’m Kristin Arnold with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.
IN 1789, George Washington originally declined the salary Congress offered him but later agreed to a paycheck. Though he wanted to be a true public servant without a salary, he didn’t want to set a precedent that only wealthy men could ascend to the presidency. So, it was determined that 25-thousand dollar a year would be paid to the Commander-in-Chief.
Washington’s vice president, John Adams, was paid $5,000 per year. Today, President Barack Obama gets a salary of $400,000 per year, in addition to other perks, such as expense accounts for travel and entertainment.
Our first President also had also had the largest personal fortune, according to a 2004 ranking by Forbes.com. In terms of personal money, Kennedy ranks second, and both Roosevelt and Bush place in the top 10, according to Forbes.
On the flip side … Thomas Jefferson, our nation’s third president died broke. After his death, his home, Monticello, and all of his possessions were sold to pay his debts.
Want to know more financial tidbits about our nation’s presidents? Just visit Bankrate.com. I’m Kristin Arnold.