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Volunteer President – Works for Voters

August 26, 2012

So my idea is perhaps a little bit radical, but I’ve been kicking it around for a couple of months now, and the more I think about it, the more I like it.  Here it is for your perusal.

I think our President should volunteer his (or her) services in the White House

In fact, I think he should have a certain budget for “business expenses” that he would have to work with.  I have several reasons for thinking this, but let me divide them into two groups –

Why a volunteer President would benefit voters

  • A volunteer President should be more likely to be fiscally responsible.  He should have his his finances budgeted carefully enough to be financially independent before being elected, and therefore should know how to spend less than he makes.  This would make him an exception from what we have had for the last 20 years or so.
  • A volunteer might be less swayed by bribes and offers of money.  We need a man with principles and guts in the White House.  A volunteer has less to lose than the man who is highly paid.
  • A volunteer should be more likely to some connection with reality.  The views of our current President do not reflect the majority of Americans, or even those of a large minority.  It is my understanding that elected representatives are supposed to represent the values and concerns of their constituents.

Why volunteering should work for a President

  • It would not in any way be a financial burden.  Our Presidents have use of the finest technology and comfort at no cost for their time in office.  In fact, if there is something they want that isn’t provided by the government, it is often donated by a local business for the publicity they gain.
  • It wouldn’t impose unreasonable restrictions on their life after Presidency.  As of 2011, the presidential pension is $196,700 per year. Former presidents also receive Secret Service protection for ten years after leaving office and are reimbursed for staff, office, travel and mail expenses.  Also, former presidents are among the highest paid speakers in the world.  Former President William Clinton, for example, nets between $100,000 and $300,000 per speech.  It doesn’t take many at that rate to make a very comfortable living.
  • It should provide a greater ability to empathize with the average American.  Our current First Family has a habit of taking $400,000 vacations.  If this was not so common, perhaps they would understand common Americans better.

Why a volunteer President would be good for America

  • The most obvious reason, and the only one I am going to list here, is that a “volunteer” President would save America $400,000 annually.  This is not a huge sum when compared to our 5 trillion dollar debt, but it would make a difference much larger than many Americans can ever expect to make in eliminating the national debt.

I realize that there are other reasons not listed here which would support (or perhaps oppose) my thinking.  This is a short listing, and is not intended to be exhaustive.  I welcome other ideas (for or against).

Thanks for taking the time to examine my thoughts,


George Washington, first voter elected President of the United States

All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity. ~ George Washington


From → Politics

  1. mejoyh2006 permalink

    It is a radical idea, but a good one. Especially considering the growing schism that’s becoming a serious issue: not the Democratic-Republican divide, but the one between the rich and the poor in this country. We’re fast approaching the end of a democracy, if the historical signs are right (and they usually are).

    • Thank you for reading and for your support. I can’t say that my idea would bridge the gap between rich and poor, but I think it could help the President to empathize with a larger portion of America.


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