This week the Daily Show reported on the new Republican Governors in our country. The report was basically Stewart going after Governors for their constant attack on public employees. It was pretty funny. You can see it at comedycentral.com. None of this is news but Stewart cited some clips from cable news about Ohio Gov. John Kasich. It seems that while the Governor has been taking benefits from public employees and trying to reduce salaries, he’s actually paying his staff quite well. For instance his Chief of Staff apparently has a salary of around $170,000 a year. He explained that salaries had to be that high because it is difficult to lure people from the private sector. WHAT??? First he’s saying that school teachers and police officers have it too good. Their benefits are great, they are paid well and they shouldn’t complain. At the same time he has to pay his Chief of Staff top dollar. This is so that she can execute his attack on the “lesser” public employees.
Now you may be thinking it is unfair to attack Kasich’s staff. Just because they are paid well doesn’t mean that isn’t the going rate for that kind of work. A little nugget of info in my brain popped up when I had the thought. So, I meandered over to the 2010 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff. This report details all the staffers in the White House, their positions and pay. So guess who makes $170,000 a year. The answer is virtually no one. The Vice-President has a salary of $200,000 a year. The President’s is only $400,000. People who make roughly $170,000 a year include the White House Chief of Staff (often refered to as the second most powerful man in Washington), the national security advisor, deputy chiefs of staff, the head of the Council of Economic Advisors, etc. In other words, Gov. Kasich’s Chief of Staff makes more money a year than anyone in the federal government except the President, the Vice-President, and is equal to Members of Congress and the most senior White House staff.
How can anyone believe that cutting benefits to police officers, firefighters, and teachers is a great idea when you’re paying state government staffers what they would make if they were running this country. Especially when you’re saying their salary has to be that high to attract the best talent. You don’t think you might attract better teachers if you gave them better pay and benefits? I don’t think the Ohio Govs. Chief of Staff should have the same market value as the National Security Advisor. This situation is just like the Wall Street collapse. Executives at banks were paid top dollar as they destroyed the financial system and the retirement savings of millions. Now, we’re paying state politicians top dollar for their government service as they dismantle the system of government service.
The continued attack on public employees is doing nothing to help this country. It is discouraging government service, and that will do nothing but cause us harm in the end. The continued Republican philosophy that private business will always provide better results is misguided at best. I’m surprised that White House Staff salaries aren’t plastered all over FOXNews to show the indulgence of the federal government. We’ve already gone after state employees. At least, we talked about the one’s who will probably vote for the Democrats. We wouldn’t want to talk about Gov. Kasich though. He’s a Republican, and they need to be paid well. We need the most talented people to serve now. This way we make sure that when the Democrats get elected the most talented people have no reason to serve at all.