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Dutchess_III's avatar

Does anyone remember that one story about Michelle Obama that started circulating about how she made $130,000 a year at a hospital, then got a raise up to $315,000 for no reason?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43056points) October 12th, 2010

(Numbers are estimates) Also, in this same rumor was the phrase “apparently she’s irreplaceable.” It was supposedly in the January 20 something 2009 New York Post, page 17, yadda yadda yadda. I first saw it in early 2009, and now it’s it’s came back around to me from my favorite Obama basher, only he’s finally thought to ask me if it’s been debunked or verified. :) Anyway, can’t find anything on Snopes, but I remember seeing it addressed somewhere.

Can you help me?

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar


“On Jan. 9, 2009, the University of Chicago Medical Center officially announced that Michelle Obama had resigned from her post as vice president for community and external affairs to join her husband, then-President-elect Barack Obama, in the White House as the new first lady of the United States.

Michelle Obama had been promoted in 2005 to vice president for community and external affairs after three years as the executive director for community affairs. It’s true, as the e-mail (and National Review column) says, that she received a sizable pay raise that year. She went from earning $121,910 in 2004 as an executive director at the hospital to making $316,962 in 2005 as a vice president, according to tax returns filed by the Obamas for those years. But the suggestion made by the email’s author – and not made by the National Review – that she was being paid more than $300,000 for a “20 hour a week job” is not true.

University of Chicago Medical Center spokesman John Easton said Mrs. Obama didn’t reduce her work schedule from full time to part time until 2007 when it became clear that her husband would run for president. “As she reduced her hours, beginning early in 2007, her salary decreased proportionately,” Easton told us in an e-mail. “She switched to half time shortly before her husband formally announced his campaign, then to 20% later that year and to 0% in 2008.”

In fact, Mrs. Obama’s income in 2006, a year after her promotion, had decreased to $273,618. And for 2007 (the year she actually started working part-time), her income was $103,633, according to the couple’s tax return for that year. She took an “unpaid leave of absence to work on her husband’s presidential campaign” in 2008, but still received $62,709 from the hospital. However, Easton noted that her final reported salary “consists of accumulated but unused vacation time plus the final payout from a supplemental executive retirement plan.””

BarnacleBill's avatar

In case anyone cares to do the math, she’s an Ivy League JD and earned $158 an hour working full-time (based on a 2,000 hour work year). Working part-time and earning $103,633 a year, she would have been working about 655 hours a year, or roughly 13 hours a week.

Here are comparable Chicago salaries. The head of the Latin School of Chicago earns $275,000.

ETpro's avatar

~As a good Republican I am utterly outraged by this story. How dare she take such a raise? Real raises are at least $5 million. True raises of $30 to $50 million should only go to CEOs and only when they are able to offshore enough jobs to wreck their company and hit the golden parachute for another $10 million.~

NaturallyMe's avatar

@ETpro – message from Dutchess: she demands a raise…NOW!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@NaturallyMe You read my mind! Thenk you!

Waiting @ETpro!

ETpro's avatar

@NaturallyMe I wasn’t aware @Dutchess_III was a CEO outsourcing jobs. :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Uh….why, yes. Yes I am one of those what ever you said @ETpro!

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