First ladies put in a lot of work with no compensation. Who knew? Granted the duties of the First Lady can be viewed as volunteer work by adopting, promoting, and advancing a cause but even many volunteers are able to write off their contributions in taxes. That is because there is value placed on volunteer work. I'm sure I'm making something out of nothing but it doesn't seem like nothing to me. A Google search will show you that other people have wondered the same thing. Sure it's also questionable that I didn't notice this before Michelle Obama became First Lady but it's not a matter of when you or I notice, just that we notice. After watching FLOTUS (try to) keep up with them young'uns, I confess, I got winded just watching. I will add that Laura Bush pushing literacy should have drawn a salary. She was (knowingly or unknowingly) trying to help millions of Americans not end up with a spouse or partner like hers. That definitely deserves some wages.
During the Clinton administration, President Clinton and congress approved to double the President's salary yet nothing was included for the First Ladies. To many, being a First Lady probably looks to be the "good life" with tons of perks but in my opinion, work is work. If there was a way for homemakers to draw a salary I would support it. According to Wiki the First Lady is a hostess, the premiere "homemaker" if you will. She is a homemaker who also works, and for that work she too should be paid a salary. I suppose they won't really address this until there is a First Gentleman.