Politics
Visitors walk on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House on April 10, 2009, as tourist flock to the nation Visitors walk on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House on April 10, 2009, as tourist flock to the nation's capitol during Spring Break. (AP File)  

White House salaries slide up

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The 2011 White House salary report is out, and it shows that 141 people are paid more than $100,000 a year in President Barack Obama’s White House. Another 201 people on the staff of 454 are paid more than between $100,000 and $50,000.

That’s a jump from the last year of President George W. Bush’s tenure, when 130 people were paid more than $100,000, and 137 people were paid between $50,000 and $100,000.

The pay is good, especially when those staffers help govern a country with a stalled economy,  at least 9.1 percent unemployment, extreme deficit spending and a debt of at least $14 trillion.

But it is far less than what most of the employees graduate to when they move to a civil-service job – complete with a bump-up for local cost-of-living – or to a lobbying firm on K Street. (Uncle Sam shelling out big bucks for government jobs, GOP says time to cut)

Also, their salaries are relatively small compared to the influence they have on federal spending and on citizens’ lives. If Obama’s 2010 budget was divided equally among his 454 White House staffers, they’d have $7,832,788,550 each to spend. That’s $7.8 billion per staffer, from the first employee on the list, Adam Abrams, all the way down to No. 454, Mark Zuckerman.

Neither Obama nor Vice-President Joe Biden are part of the payroll.

The salaries range from $172,200 all the way down to a bizarre $0 a year, the salary of three White House employees. Not counting the president, 21 people share the title of top earner, among them: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, advisors John Brennan, David Plouffe, and Valerie Jarrett speechwriter Jon Favreau, and the president’s chief of staff, Bill Daley.

In Bush’s 2008 White House salary report, the lowest-paid of 447 staffers struggled home with S33,400 per year. There were two of them, but there was also another 100 people paid less than $40,000, out of total payroll of $33,193,021.

Obama’s White House is more generous with the taxpayer’s money. Not counting three unpaid employees, no-one in Obama’s house is paid less than $40,000. The two lowest-paid staffers take home $41,000, and 110 people take home salaries of up to $50,000.