Obama's Absurd 5% Pay Cut

A blog about business and economics.
April 4 2013 1:33 PM

Obama's Five Percent Pay Cut Is Absurd

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US President Barack Obama walks to his car as he arrives at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, on April 3, 2013.

Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

This business of President Obama giving himself a five percent pay cut in solidarity with sequester-ravaged federal agencies seems totally absurd to me. Who is better off thanks to this? It doesn't seem to free up any budgetary funds for anything.

Here's my advice. If you feel like you've got too much money on your hands, don't cut your own pay. Take the money, walk down the street, and give it to a homeless person. Or put cash in envelops and mail it to random families. Or get fancy about it and use GiveDirectly to fight poverty in Kenya. But do something! Money is valuable, if not to you then to someone else. Use it wisely.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.