The White House has put this year’s edition of its annual report to Congress online. It lists every person the White House employs, including job title and salary, as well as employees of the Office of Policy Development, including the Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council. There’s plenty to pore over in this searchable database. The director of Hispanic media, for example, makes $78,000 a year. The new media analyst—perhaps someone who spends her day on Facebook and Twitter?—collects $89,033. I imagine that position differs from the director of online programs, who makes just $71,400. Some titles give little indication as to what the employee does. There are three presidential support specialists, for example, who earn $46,745, $72,876, and $84,855 each.
Other information is more interesting. You can learn, for example, that President Obama has four ethics advisors, who make the larger sums of $94,969, $102,829, $144,868, and $148,510. That totals nearly half a million dollars–yet it doesn’t seem as if these advisors have given such good advice.
I can imagine how I’d feel, if I worked with a large group of people, to discover the salaries of my co-workers. Comparisons would be inevitable. Seven speechwriters are listed, for instance. The lowest-paid makes $42,000; one makes $60,000; two make $75,000; and two make $100,000. Director of speechwriting Jon Favreau, named D.C.’s most eligible bachelor after the inauguration, makes a cool $172,200. So taxpayers are footing a big bill for a 29-year-old to help craft the president’s lies.
It’s not just his fellow speechwriters who might be envious, though. There are 22 other White House workers making $172,200—including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and press secretary Robert Gibbs. In fact, Obama’s right-hand man makes the same salary as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, Susan Sher.