We all know the gender wage gap in America is bad — women earn 80 percent of what men earn on average — but it’s way worse in the White House. US presidents have earned $400,000 per year since 2001, but First Ladies earn nothing. Yes, Melania Trump‘s salary is $0 per year.

Typically, First Ladies do a ton of work while their husbands lead the free world. They advance the goals of the administration, champion social causes, appear at state functions, and manage White House staff members. And they do all of this work — which is worth an estimated salary of $173,500 — totally unpaid.

“You know, with the First Lady, the government gets an employee free,” former US President Ronald Reagan said a 1982 interview, according to Metro.co.uk. “They have her just about as busy as they have me.” And often, First Ladies give up prestigious, high-paying jobs to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Hillary Clinton, for example, was a partner at Rose Law Firm in Arkansas, and Michelle Obama was earning $273,618 per year as an executive at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

Luckily, the First Lady position does come with a few perks, as Money pointed out — lifelong pension, free accommodations, free travel around the world, and a personal security detail. And the only job requirement is a marriage to a US President.

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

That said, current President Donald Trump isn’t making money off his White House gig either. Yes, the job of Commander in Chief comes with a $400k salary (and a $50k expense account), but Trump vowed not to take a salary during his presidency. (It’s probably less about solidarity with Melania than it is about the optics of a billionaire taking a taxpayer-funded salary.) As we previously reported, the President donated his first-quarter salary to the National Park Service, his second-quarter salary to the Department of Education, his third-quarter salary to the Department of Health and Human Services, and his fourth-quarter salary to the Department of Transportation.


(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

But we shouldn’t assume Melania’s not getting money elsewhere. According to a recent lawsuit, she expected to develop “multi-million dollar business relationships” connected to her White House role. “The Trumps are using the White House like the Kardashians used reality TV, to build and vastly expand their overall business enterprises,” Norman Eisen, President Barack Obama’s former chief ethics counselor, told the Associated Press.