He told the Americans that this is a tough battle. He needs money, and more money. And he has to fight Congress for it. No, he is not fighting for his own pay. If he does, I would recommend him the Singapore formula and the Singapore system. Just tell Congress that there is this wonderful model that works, and it pays the head of govt a basic of $3m with 27.5 months of variable bonuses as backup in case he performs well in his job.
He can then submit it to Congress to do all the cuts Congress wants. A 50% or 70% cut will still find him richer than the miserable $600k he is getting now. Unfortunately the American Congress is not so easy to deal with. There are opposition camps, there are also many checks and balances, above which, no one is allowed to write his own pay check or approve them.
My apologies, I digressed. Obama is fighting for more money for the American soldiers to conduct wars everywhere. As an American President, the top responsibility and the most important job is to conduct wars to feed the war industry and the soldiers. Nothing is more important than this. Not even fighting for his own pay rise. Anyway, his pay will only be decided by Congress and even if he admired the Singapore system and wanted it, he would not be able to do so.
It is a different culture. Asian culture is such that everyone is presumed to be corrupt. To be corrupt is in their blood. The only way to protect a guy from being corrupt is to legalise his payouts at whatever amount he thinks it will be needed to prevent him from being corrupt.
Can’t imagine Obama or any American President go in front of Congress or the American people and demand to be paid in millions to keep him from being corrupt. The Americans will laugh themselves to death before they could even put it to a vote. That is how strange their culture is. They don’t believe in corruption and will not pay for corruption.