Save The Tea, Dump The Leaders!
By Lisa Richards
February 16, 2009
“All I dare hope, is, that, if in executing this task I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendence proof, of the confidence of my fellow citizens; and have thence too little consulted my capacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me; my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me, a d its consequences be judged by my Country…”
First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789
George Washington understood the great job granted him by the American people, he knew he must uphold his duty honorably, he was obligated to “…renounce every pecuniary compensation [financial rewards] …and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station [of President of the United States]…be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require.” Washington became president to serve the people, work for the people, to be held accountable to and for everything he did. His pay, he believed, was to go toward his public service, not personal whims.
That philosophy is now considered whimsical.
Washington wanted to serve, not dictate or control. He had no desire for a life term befitting monarchs like today’s leaders. Washington saw his role as one bestowed upon him with honor he must uphold or leave office in disgrace.
That attitude today is considered old-fashioned.
On May 8, 1798, Washington told the House of Representatives that he viewed his “…past endeavors in Service of Country” as being “far overpaid by its [America’s] goodness…” He further declared he did not feel the presidency deserved such high pay since he could not guarantee perfection in his leadership. He told the House he would “rely” on their “wisdom” in deciding what he deserved financially. read more »