Humanities › History & Culture Presidential Salaries Through the Years Only Five Pay Raises Since George Washington Was in the White House Share Flipboard Email Print History & Culture American History U.S. Presidents Basics Important Historical Figures Key Events Native American History American Revolution America Moves Westward The Gilded Age Crimes & Disasters The Most Important Inventions of the Industrial Revolution African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Tom Murse Tom Murse is a former political reporter and current Managing Editor of daily paper "LNP," and weekly political paper "The Caucus," both published by LNP Media in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. our editorial process Tom Murse Updated October 16, 2019 The president of the United States is now paid $400,000 a year. Unlike members of Congress, the president does not get an automatic pay raise or cost-of-living adjustment every year. The president's salary is set by Congress, and lawmakers have seen fit to raise the pay for the most powerful position in the world precisely five times since George Washington became the nation's first president in 1789. The most recent salary hike was effective in 2001 when President George W. Bush became the first commander-in-chief to make the $400,000 salary—double the amount his predecessor, President Bill Clinton, was paid a year. Presidents don't have the power to raise their own salaries. In fact, this point is specifically covered in the U.S. Constitution which states that: "The President shall, at stated times receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected ..." Washington tried to decline his presidential salary, but since it is required by the Constitution he accepted it. Likewise, President Donald Trump pledged to work without a salary, but since he was legally required to accept it has instead given the quarterly pay back to various government agencies since he has been in office. Here's a look at presidential salaries through the years, a list of which presidents were paid how much, starting with the current rate of pay. $400,000 President George W. Bush delivers the 2007 State of the Union address. Pool / Getty Images News President George W. Bush, who took office in January of 2001, became the first president to earn the current pay rate of $400,000. The president's $400,000 salary took effect in 2001 and remains the current pay rate for president. The current president also gets: $50,000 for expenses$100,000 for a nontaxable travel account$19,000 for entertainment Receiving the $400,000 salary were: George W. BushBarack ObamaDonald Trump $200,000 President Richard Nixon. undefined President Richard Nixon, who took office in January of 1969, was the first president to be paid $200,000 a year for his service in the White House. The salary of $200,000 for president went into effect in 1969 and continued through 2000. That would be $1.4 million in 2019 dollars the first year the pay went into effect. Earning $200,000 a year were: Richard NixonGerald FordJimmy CarterRonald ReaganGeorge H.W. BushBill Clinton $100,000 Underwood Archives / Contributor President Harry Truman began his second term in 1949 by getting a 33 percent pay raise. He was the first president to earn six figures, going from the $75,000 that presidents had been paid since 1909 to $100,000. The salary of $100,000 went into effect in 1949 and continued through 1969. The 1949 pay would be $1.08 million in 2019 dollars. Earning $100,000 a year were: Harry TrumanDwight EisenhowerJohn F. KennedyLyndon Johnson $75,000 Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York. (1906). Franklin D. Roosevelt Library American presidents were paid $75,000 beginning in 1909 with the term of William Howard Taft and continuing through Truman's first term. The 1909 pay would be $2.1 million in 2019 dollars. Earning $75,000 were: William Howard TaftWoodrow WilsonWarren HardingCalvin CoolidgeHerbert HooverFranklin D. RooseveltHarry S. Truman $50,000 President Theodore Roosevelt. Hulton Archive American presidents were paid $50,000 beginning in 1873 with the second term of Ulysses S. Grant and continuing through Theodore Roosevelt. The 1873 pay would be $1.07 million in 2019 dollars. Earning $50,000 were: Ulysses S. Grant Rutherford B. HayesJames GarfieldChester ArthurGrover ClevelandBenjamin HarrisonGrover ClevelandWilliam McKinleyTheodore Roosevelt $25,000 Portrait of James Buchanan, who served as the nation's 15th president from 1857-1861. National Archives/Getty Images News The first American presidents earned $25,000. Adjusting for 2019 dollars, Washington's salary would be $729,429. Those earning $25,000 were: George WashingtonJohn AdamsThomas JeffersonJames MadisonJames MonroeJohn Quincy AdamsAndrew JacksonMartin Van BurenWilliam Henry HarrisonJohn TylerJames K. PolkZachary TaylorMillard FillmoreFranklin PierceJames BuchananAbraham LincolnAndrew JohnsonUlysses S. Grant What Presidents Really Make It should be noted that the salaries above include only the official payment for the job of president. Most presidents, in fact, earned far more than that when outside sources of income were factored in.