Here's How Much The President Of The United States Really Gets Paid

It's not the cherriest of gigs, running the free world. Half of the media is going to hate you, half of America will blame you for whatever ills befall them, and, inevitably, someone will print novelty toilet paper with your face on it. Still, the office is nice, and you get your own bowling alley. Maybe that's why children across the United States dream of the day when they'll grow up to be president.

But like all childhood dreams, it's important that we reexamine this aspiration through a cold, objective lens. After all, a job's a job, but what are the bennies? How's the work/home life balance? Most importantly, what kind of paycheck can you expect to pull in every year, after taxes? Lots of kids want to grow up to walk on the moon, too, but astronauts make less than your average optometrist.

Historically, the President of the United States hasn't raked in the big bucks. According to NBC, it was a $25,000 a year job back in 1789. That's the better part of a million bucks when adjusted for inflation, but it's not the kind of paycheck that intuitively goes hand in hand with responsibilities like "being the boss of the whole military." What's more, when you take inflation into account, it's significantly more than what a U.S. President makes today.

Money doesn't grow on the executive branches of trees

Per Cornell Law School, the President makes $400,000 a year, doled out in monthly increments. Yet another downside to the job: you don't even get paid biweekly.

Still, it's the bennies that make the job worth doing. In addition to the $400k paycheck, the President also receives "an expense allowance of $50,000 to assist in defraying expenses relating to or resulting from the discharge of his official duties." An extra bonus laid out in 3 U.S. Code § 102: "the use of the furniture and other effects belonging to the United States and kept in the Executive Residence at the White House." That's right. Free chairs. Score.

Additionally, Business Insider reports that the President gets a $100,000 travel account, as well as $19,000 "for entertainment." Most importantly, sitting U.S. Presidents have been granted total legal immunity from incidents in which they are forced to throw terrorists out of the cargo hatch on Air Force One, as detailed in the landmark 1997 case of Ford v Oldman.