The White House staff is producing such spectacular achievements for the nation that the president gave his top people an average salary raise of 50 percent. Some nearly have doubled their pay.
The average new White House salary was $81,765; more than twice the $34,000 the average Joe or Jane makes if fortunate enough even to have a job in our depressingly uncertain economic environment.
Anyone qualified to work in any White House must have some ability. But the generous compensation is taken from “suffering American taxpayers,” as the NewAmerican.com put it in a July 12 story. The raises were for the 2010-2011 year.
The 82 percent raise to $130,500 for the special assistant to the president for economic policy, Matthew Vogel, must be universally applauded. Any aide involved with economic policy surely is worthy of generous monetary recognition. Who could possibly question whatever sound economic counsel Vogel must be providing to the president. He has helped hold the current interest on the national debt to a mere $386 billion for fiscal 2011. He must be one of Obama’s real belt-tighteners.
He couldn’t be as cold-hearted as, say, Jeffrey Immelt, head of the President’s Jobs Council, who laughed heartily with Obama when Obama admitted recently that there apparently weren’t as many shovel-ready jobs available as he once thought. If that isn’t good for a guffaw, what is?
When Obama first came into office, he froze the pay of his senior staff at $100,000. Maybe that amount of pay seemed frugal to him, even though millions of Americans had no pay at all.
Now when there is so much money in the federal Treasury and a national debt of only $14.3 trillion, Obama must feel he can spread the money around even at the White House, harking back to the time in his early campaigning when he told Joe the Plumber how he wanted to “spread the wealth around.”
And there’s the director of African media. Kevin Lewis, among the pay-hike recipients. His 86 percent salary boost to $78,000 certainly shows that although Obama billed himself as a “post-racial” president it may surprise some that there is even a need for a director of African American media. All races in the news media get the same twisted spin from the White House. But the black vote is essential for re-election. So, the African American media certainly can’t be denied a “director” in the White House.