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View Full Version : U.S. Issues White House Staffers Got a Raise Last Year, And You Did Not


petegz28
07-06-2011, 08:59 PM
The White House released its annual salary report last week, and as usual, it's nice to work for Barack Obama: Most staffers who were there for more than a year got a salary bump. A bigger one than you did.

The last time we checked in on White House salaries, we found that an astonishing 75% of continuing staffers got raises from 2009 to 2010—a huge number given the fact that, according to compensation experts, most companies had skipped routine raises that year in reaction to the economic crisis that the White House was busy failing to solve. This time around—from 2010 to 2011—the ratio is a little less dramatic. Of the 270 White House staffers who have been there for more than a year, 146—or 54%—received raises. The average salary increase was 8%. If you look at only staffers who got raises, the average increase was twice that.

That's a much bigger raise than the average white-collar worker got. According to a survey conducted last year by the human resources consulting firm Mercer, most firms were projecting a 3% increase in base pay for executives. White House workers did nearly three times as well. Overall, it should be noted, the White House's salary budget contracted slightly, from $38.8 million to $37.1 million, largely because the number of staffers fell. The average salary also dropped from $82,721, or 65% above the median household income, to $81,765—or 65% above the median household income.

But high turnover left plenty of room for White House staffers climb up the ladder and snag huge pay boosts. One of Obama's first acts as president was to freeze the salaries of all White House officials earning more than $100,000 because "during this period of economic emergency, families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington." Two years later, he extended that policy to all federal workers, using the same logic: "Small businesses and families are tightening their belts. Their government should too." But the across-the-board freeze didn't take effect until January 1, 2011, so the most recent report (which goes back to July 2010) features some eye-opening raises, like special assistant to the president for economic policy Matthew Vogel's $59,000, 82% raise to an annual salary of $130,500, or director of African American media Kevin Lewis' $36,000, 86% pay hike.

Both of those were accompanied by title changes indicating that the bigger paychecks came along with new duties. But almost half of the raises doled out by the White House in the last year—59, or 40% of all raises—weren't accompanied by new job descriptions. One of them—special assistant and associate counsel to the president Michael Gottlieb's 14% pay bump from $114,000 to $130,500—was a clear violation of Obama's freeze on salaries over $100,000. UPDATE: A White House spokesman says that, because Gottlieb left his job in 2010 only to return in 2011 at precisely the same title but with a higher salary, his raise didn't violate the freeze.

The White House says that many of those positions are considered nonpolitical jobs that come with their own pay schedules, and that what matters is that the total budget and average salary are decreasing slightly. But that doesn't change the fact that White House staffers who stick it out are being rewarded, on average, for their continued service at a rate that far outstrips how the average white-collar worker is doing. The rhetoric behind the White House salary freeze was about making sure that the people engaged in leading the nation out of its economic mess share a sense of what American workers are experiencing. Unless roughly half of American workers saw their paychecks go up by an average of 8% last year (hint—they didn't), that's not the case.

Here's the statement White House spokesman Eric Schultz released in response to our inquiries:


President Obama is committed to continuing to reduce costs in government, and that is why over the past year, the average salary of a White House employee went down, the total number of White House staffers went down, and the total amount spent on White House salaries went down. Pay increases were given for a variety of reasons, ranging from promotions to additional work responsibilities.

http://gawker.com/5818310

chiefzilla1501
07-06-2011, 09:04 PM
I'm not a big fan of Obama or poo-pooing federal workers, but it sounds to me like these guys got payraises because they cut staff and gave workers more responsibility. I don't see a problem with that.

petegz28
07-06-2011, 09:12 PM
I'm not a big fan of Obama or poo-pooing federal workers, but it sounds to me like these guys got payraises because they cut staff and gave workers more responsibility. I don't see a problem with that.

I do. Do you know how many millions of people were saddled with more work, more hours and didn't get a raise for shit because their company had to let people go?

Millions have been told to be happy they just still have a job. Not too many people right now bithcing about working more or longer and not getting a raise. Some have had their pay cut even. Many have seen things like their 401k matches go away among other benefits.

I know people who haven't had a raise for the last 4 years and are working more than they ever have.

|Zach|
07-06-2011, 09:28 PM
I didn't?

tmax63
07-06-2011, 09:31 PM
A guy I know in the private sector now earns 15% less than he started 3-4 years ago and has a bigger service area now since the company cut a few positions.

ROYC75
07-06-2011, 10:16 PM
A guy I know in the private sector now earns 15% less than he started 3-4 years ago and has a bigger service area now since the company cut a few positions.

I have fired nobody, laid off nobody in over 2 + years, doing more work and earning less money doing it. It's that bad, yet Obama seems to think that the economy is improving?

Here's a little secret folks, this economy is at least 3 years away ( min. ) from a full recovery!

Chiefshrink
07-06-2011, 11:05 PM
But it's ok because we evil white racist conservative capitalistic God fearing citizens have been cheating for at least 235yrs and more like 400+ yrs so now the Liberal truly righteous get their turn so in their minds and especially Obama's mind he say's "F" ya'll!!!:thumb:

Jaric
07-07-2011, 08:42 AM
Good for them?

Peyton Manning will be getting a raise this year, and I'm not pissed at him.

:shrug:

petegz28
07-07-2011, 08:43 AM
Good for them?

Peyton Manning will be getting a raise this year, and I'm not pissed at him.

:shrug:

Manning is not paid with tax $'s....

Jaric
07-07-2011, 08:46 AM
Manning is not paid with tax $'s....

The Stadium he plays in was.

petegz28
07-07-2011, 08:47 AM
The Stadium he plays in was.

The stadium got a pay raise?

Jaric
07-07-2011, 08:48 AM
The stadium got a pay raise?

Don't be obtuse.

No stadium, no games. No games, no check. It's fairly simple.

chiefzilla1501
07-07-2011, 10:41 PM
I do. Do you know how many millions of people were saddled with more work, more hours and didn't get a raise for shit because their company had to let people go?

Millions have been told to be happy they just still have a job. Not too many people right now bithcing about working more or longer and not getting a raise. Some have had their pay cut even. Many have seen things like their 401k matches go away among other benefits.

I know people who haven't had a raise for the last 4 years and are working more than they ever have.

There were quite a few people in the private sector that took on increased responsibility because of short-staffing and ended up with a positional bump or a raise. Just because you know lots of people that took on more responsibility and stayed at the same salary doesn't mean it's true everywhere.

The idea that "you're lucky to still have a job" isn't the same for upper-level workers because they're still demanded in the workplace. If Obama gives these guys the same pay for a lot more work, they have the power to pack their bags and take another job. That's how it works in the private sector too. And guys at that paygrade aren't easy to replace.

Again, the goal was to slash overall payroll and they did. I have other things about Obama to bitch about than this.

petegz28
07-08-2011, 08:12 AM
There were quite a few people in the private sector that took on increased responsibility because of short-staffing and ended up with a positional bump or a raise. Just because you know lots of people that took on more responsibility and stayed at the same salary doesn't mean it's true everywhere.

The idea that "you're lucky to still have a job" isn't the same for upper-level workers because they're still demanded in the workplace. If Obama gives these guys the same pay for a lot more work, they have the power to pack their bags and take another job. That's how it works in the private sector too. And guys at that paygrade aren't easy to replace.

Again, the goal was to slash overall payroll and they did. I have other things about Obama to bitch about than this.

They can walk for all I give a fuck.

philfree
07-08-2011, 08:52 AM
My income has gone down pobably more then 50% in the last 4-5 years and I do business directly with schools. The schools are losing funding but that's O.K. the Big O's lacky's need a raise.

King_Chief_Fan
07-08-2011, 09:45 AM
. I have other things about Obama to bitch about than this.

one thing is for certain, Obama provides more than enough reasons

Direckshun
07-08-2011, 09:48 AM
President Obama is committed to continuing to reduce costs in government, and that is why over the past year, the average salary of a White House employee went down, the total number of White House staffers went down, and the total amount spent on White House salaries went down. Pay increases were given for a variety of reasons, ranging from promotions to additional work responsibilities.

http://gawker.com/5818310

I love how this little nugget, which completely diffuses the Drudge Headline you posted at the top of the thread, is hidden at the end of the article.

This is a nonstory.

loochy
07-08-2011, 10:51 AM
I got 3 raises last year...

Bob Dole
07-08-2011, 10:58 AM
I'm not a big fan of Obama or poo-pooing federal workers, but it sounds to me like these guys got payraises because they cut staff and gave workers more responsibility. I don't see a problem with that.

Bob Dole just lost another employee to a reduction in force, and has been running one staff member short for the better part of 3 years. We've all received net pay CUTS over that same period of time. (No salary increases along with significant increases in insurance expense.)

Cave Johnson
07-08-2011, 11:13 AM
So, it's ok to be jealous of government officials for getting pay raises, but class warfare when you attempt to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans?

Gotcha.

The_Doctor10
07-08-2011, 10:52 PM
So no previous president ever gave his staffers raises?

Okay. Got it.

listopencil
07-09-2011, 12:02 AM
I got a raise last year. I got one this year too. I get one every year.

The Mad Crapper
07-09-2011, 10:23 PM
I think it's cute the way Zachy Poo always pretends he has his own business.

|Zach|
07-10-2011, 01:34 AM
I think it's cute the way Zachy Poo always pretends he has his own business.

Some people make their own success instead of blaming the government for their own ineptitude.