Tuesday, May 02, 2006

No small salary.

Gregg Easterbrook:

Jacqueline Trescott of the Washington Post recently reported that Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small is paying himself $813,000 per year. The Smithsonian's secretary has virtually no responsibilities, other than deciding what to order for lunch, since the location and use of Smithsonian facilities is determined by Congress. The Smithsonian boss experiences none of the business risk that may justify high pay to public-company CEOs, since the Smithsonian holds a government-granted monopoly and exists on federal subsidies. Here is the Smithsonian's fiscal 2007 budget request to Congress; in it the Smithsonian asks federal taxpayers for $644 million in subsidies, including $537 million for salaries. So federal taxpayers with a median family income of $53,692 are having their pockets picked to give Lawrence Small $813,000 a year, 15 times the median income of the taxpayers. Why isn't this viewed as white-collar crime?
As the cool bloggers say, indeed.

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