Subscriber Special: Breaking: Trump's Leaner White House Payroll 24_leaner_whitehouse

July 2, 2018 09:00 AM
"Trump’s White House payroll has been a leading indicator of his
commitment to 'do more, with less.'"
Yesterday, the Trump administration released its annual report to Congress on the White House Office Personnel.
This year, not only did the president maintain a lean staff, he cut the total payroll budget from $35.7 million (2017) to $35.2 million and further honed the books.
Leading by example, Trump has already saved taxpayers over $11 million and projected four-year savings could easily top $22 million. The payroll discounts come from Trump’s refusal to take a salary, as well as big reductions in other areas including the absence of czars, expensive "fellows," and spending on First Lady of The United States (FLOTUS) staff.
Here are some key findings:
  • There are 95 fewer employees on the White House staff under Trump than under Obama at this point in their respective presidencies. (In 2010, Obama had 469 employees for $38.8 million – adjusting for inflation, the payroll cost more than $43 million.)
  • $5.7 million in annual payroll savings compared to the Obama 2015 payroll. In 2018, the Trump payroll amounts to $35.2 million for 374 employees. In 2015, the Obama payroll amounted to $40.9 million for 476 employees, not adjusting for inflation.
  • Ten staffers are dedicated to the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS). In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama paid her 24 staffers $1.6 million collectively.
  • Overall, 148 employees from Trump’s 2017 payroll of 377 employees no longer work at the White House. The employee turnover rate was 39-percent year-over-year.
  • The most highly compensated White House employees under Trump are 23 assistants to the president who earn salaries of $179,700.
Search the recent Trump administration (2017 and 2018) and Obama administration (2012 through 2016) payroll data posted at
Although the White House personnel budget is an infinitesimal part of the $3.9 trillion federal budget, it is an important forecasting indicator showing Trump’s deep commitment to cut the size, scope and power of the federal government and reign in waste.
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Jessie Fox
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Deputy Director at Large
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