In bidding a sort-of farewell to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, he noted the "relatively modest pay" for which Gibbs has labored. In fact, he earns $172,200 in a nation where the average family income hovers around $55,000, unemployment is high, record foreclosures persist and wages for most folks are at best stagnant. The Atlantic MonthlyPeople who were once willing to work for the wages of political public servants, leave their elected or appointed positions behind and go off to demand $50,000 to $75,000 for a one-hour appearance regaling Americans with the anecdotes of what they had learned on the taxpayers' dime.
During the Clinton administration, Hillary's loyal friend Lanny Davis was brought in as an official aide to the President. From that so-called modest salary of three to four times what the average American family earns, Lanny Davis was able to enhance his family's income with gigs assisting unseemly clients like third-world strongmen, bringing in another $100,000-a-month. Another Clinton appointee, Rahm Emanuel, was rewarded with a $16 million fortune in just one year after trading his government service position for "helping" the private market.
We need to be reminded now that we have a new crop of Tea Party legislators arriving in Washington of the following truism.
So it's natural to labor hard in government, see what goes on a few blocks away and feel entitled to same. People who came to town to change the world, and fight for the working guy, wind up thinking that a salary that would be a king's ransom to most of their constituents is chicken feed. It's partly because they inevitably contrast themselves not with others in government, or cushier locales in the nonprofit world, but with the mightiest denizens of corporate America. The Atlantic Monthly