Could you live on $850,000 per year?

Each of us dreams about making a huge salary, having everything we want, a nice nest egg and never again having to worry about the future. However, few of us completely achieve that goal. How much salary would it take to give us that peace of mind? I don’t know, but I do believe that a salary of $850,000 a year would clearly help me along that road. That’s how much the Post Master General makes. Is it justifiable for him to make that much money?

As the U.S. Postal Service considers cutting delivery service (highlight added) in the face of dwindling mail volume and rising costs, the postmaster general received a big pay raise and a performance bonus last year, all authorized by Congress. Postmaster General John Potter’s base salary climbed to $265,000 last year from $186,000 in 2007. He also received a performance bonus of $135,000. In all his total compensation — salary, bonuses, retirement benefits and other perks — topped $850,000, a spokesman with the U.S. Postal Service told on Wednesday.

Having worked in business for many years, I know that most/all employees receive the dreaded ‘Performance Review’ periodically and that much of it is perception, though it is theoretically ‘performance based’. So, I thought the Post Master General should have a Performance Review and I found that based on that he wouldn’t be working there anymore. However, he got a huge raise. It has been said that was because government must be ‘competative’ in these big dollar positions or there will be a ‘brain drain’. Whoa… not a brain drain! Does that mean we wouldn’t continue having the huge losses in the Post Office that we now have? In this economy, where would all of these huge ‘brains’ go to get a new job. Tell us! I’m sure there are other ‘brains’ among us that would be willing to take on such huge ‘challenges’ for that meager salary. No, I am not at all worried about a pampered, over paid ‘brainy’ Post Master General finding another pampered position and draining the Post Office of his abilities. Me worry? Not me. His performance is pitiful. In fact, I’d vote to replace him.

In January, Postmaster General John Potter told Congress that he might be forced to cut back on mail deliveries to five days per week. “I am forced to consider every option due to the severity of the challenge at hand,” Potter said in testimony last month in front of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee. “If current trends continue, we could experience a net loss of $6 billion or more this fiscal year.”

The timing of the postmaster’s raise strikes many as strange, since the post office lost $2.8 billion last year. Potter has said there were “serious concerns” that the losses this year could be twice as high.

“I don’t mind paying for performance, but the performance has been going the wrong direction,” Chaffetz said. “So, there is a mismatch here.”

Now, I decided to look for another ‘executive’ for salary comparisons. The ‘word’ on the street has been that the Post Master’s position is ‘so unique’ that there are no comparisons. So, I decided that if I wanted to be fair to him, I’d compare him to the President who is also ‘unique’. Here’s what I found.

According to Wikipedia,

(highlight added) The President of the United States earns $400,000 a year. The vice president’s annual salary is $221,100.

What the Post Master General makes twice as much as the President of the United States! So, I thought about it and decided he may have ‘more responsibility’ or a ‘more unique position’. Then, I read the President’s job description.

The President of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in the United States by influence and recognition. The President leads the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and is one of only two elected members of the Executive Branch [1] (the other being the Vice President of the United States).

The role of the President is to execute the law as created by the Congress, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States. Article II of the Constitution establishes the President as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and enumerates powers specifically granted to the President, including the power to sign into law or veto bills passed by both houses of the Congress.
The President also has the power to create a Cabinet of advisers and to grant pardons or reprieves. Finally, with the “advice and consent” of the Senate, the President is empowered to make treaties and appoint Federal officers, ambassadors, and Federal judges, including Justices of the Supreme Court. As with officials in the other branches of the United States government, the Constitution restrains the President with a set of checks and balances designed to prevent any individual or group from taking absolute power.

After reading all of that I decided that I really don’t think the Post Master General has a leg to stand on when it comes to justifying his $850,000 annual salary. The country gets BOTH the President AND the Vice President for $621,000. So, for the amount the Post Master General is paid we get both and have almost $200,000 left. (I’d happily take the left overs.) Also, it seemed to me that the President (or the Vice President) had much more responsibility than the Post Master General. Some things are just absolutely ridiculous and his $800,000. salary is one of those things.


~ by citizenjournalistreview on March 2, 2009.

2 Responses to “Could you live on $850,000 per year?”

  1. I feel our economic situation will worsen, before getting better, but right now there’s a “Street Fight” going on, where the winner must be decided first before solutions can be found and implemented.

  2. The difference in this ‘street fight’ though is that it is over our country and who wins is very important to all of us.

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