Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel – following a path blazed by his deputy, Ash Carter – will kick back up to 14 days’ pay to the U.S. Treasury to replicate the pecuniary pain sequestration will inflict on fellow Pentagon civilians. “He will voluntarily subject part of his salary to furlough levels even though he’s not required,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said Tuesday.
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Pentagon has to slice about $40 billion from its budget by the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30. Part of the trimming will be in the form of unpaid furloughs for most of the Defense Department’s 800,000 civilians, now set at up to 14 days each, sprinkled throughout the rest of the fiscal year.
Hagel makes $199,700 annually, one-fifth of what he earned last year. He was worth between $3 million and $6 million when he filed financial disclosure statements with the Senate before his confirmation hearing in January. Hagel became a multi-millionaire after co-founding Vanguard Cellular in the 1980s, between his gigs as a U.S. Army sergeant in Vietnam and defense secretary.