It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
President Obama, who is in the middle of making final decisions on the first major reorganization of his administration, said in a brief telephone interview on Wednesday that Mr. Gibbs would remain a close adviser and “will continue to shape the dialogue politically for many years to come.”
“We’ve been on this ride together since I won my Senate primary in 2004,” Mr. Obama said. “He’s had a six-year stretch now where basically he’s been going 24/7 with relatively modest pay. I think it’s natural for someone like Robert to want to step back for a second to reflect, retool and that, as a consequence, brings about both challenges and opportunities for the White House.”
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. ....
It's a world in which a one-hour appearance can bring more than many Americans earn in a year, with the elite in the roughly $50,000 to $75,000 range. You offer a few benign inside anecdotes, take some questions and then get taken back by limo to the airport and a seat in first-class (assuming your deal doesn't include a private jet, as is the case for some journalists I know).
The comment has drawn fire from both sides of the aisle. The Atlantic’s James Warren wonders if the president is suffering from “tone deafness.” Gibbs, Warren points out, “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.” And by exiting the White House and entering the lucrative speaking circuit, Gibbs is joining a “world in which a one-hour appearance can bring more than many Americans earn in a year, with the elite in the roughly $50,000 to $75,000 range.”
Even by West Wing standards, Gibbs is highly paid: Junior White House staffers earn between $40,000 and $60,000, and Obama, conscious of austerity, froze West Wing salaries early in his administration.
Rank and file federal workers earned an average $67,691 in 2008 -- about $7,600 more than private sector employees, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When pay and benefits are calculated together, feds earned an average $123,049 in 2009 -- topping non-government workers by at least $60,000, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Federal union leaders prefer "apples to apples" comparisons of workers performing the same job in the public or private sectors. But here again feds come out on top: According to BLS, federal "public relations managers" (the position description closest to Gibbs's press secretary work) earned an average $132,410 in 2008 -- about 44,000 more than private-sector PR bosses. (In fairness, top-earning outliers working as spokespeople for Fortune 500 companies or major non-profits surely earn more than Gibbs.)
Of course, the pay of the typical American is probably not the benchmark Mr. Obama (and indeed Mr. Gibbs himself) would use to determine whether Mr. Gibbs’s pay is modest, or im-. They would have to consider the opportunity cost of working for the White House — that is, what Mr. Gibbs could be earning if employed elsewhere.
Take, for example, Peter Orszag, who was the president’s first director of the Office of Management and Budget. In that role, he earned an annual salary of $199,700 in 2010. Mr. Orszag recently took a position at Citigroup, with an estimated salary of $2 million to $3 million. Certainly by comparison, his White House pay looks modest. Probably Mr. Gibbs’s does, too.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
That means relative to something.
I think he was probably saying relative to how much Gibbs could make in the private sector
So. RELATIVE TO $2-3 Million, $172K is quite modest.
Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Would Gibbs make that much in the private sector?
He has a BA in political science.