Mitt Romney declined to say Tuesday whether he would waive his salary as president as he did in Massachusetts as governor, but he did offer up hints at another tweak to the chief executive's pay: performance bonuses. Isn't this just the most Romneyesque idea ever? The Republican candidate told radio host Neil Boortz Tuesday (via Politico's Mackenzie Weinger):
"I do believe in linking my incentives and my commitment to the accomplishments of specific goals and I think that's true," Romney added. "I wish we had that throughout government, where people recognize that they are not going to get rewarded in substantial ways unless they are able to achieve the objectives they were elected to carry out."
That sounds an awful lot like a performance-based bonus. You know, the kind you see a lot among CEOs and Wall Street execs who take (very relatively) small salaries paired with huge bonuses that (at least theoretically) fluctuate based on their successes and failures? Apple's Tim Cook, for instance, got a $900,000 salary and $376.2 million (!) in Apple stock.
Romney is known for his presidency-as-CEO metaphor, but this is a particularly funny one because, well, can you imagine the news cycle when Romney rewarded (or, we guess, punished) himself for his past year's performance? President Romney would have to give himself a big bonus, because presidents can't admit they didn't do a very good job. But if we give bankers a hard time for their bonuses, imagine what we'd say to the president? We're betting that if he changes the salary rules at all, he'll waive the $400,000-a-year the president gets. Somehow, we think he'd get by without it for a few years.