Saturday, July 28, 2007

Not Doing It for the Money

For those who wonder if public service would attract better people if it paid more, there is sobering news from the economic journal TV Guide.

Last year Oprah Winfrey earned $260 million, more than twice as much as Bush, Cheney, Congress, the Supreme Court and governors of all 50 states combined. As public servants struggle along on their six-figure pittances, voters might give a thought to how poorly they are paid.

During the Presidential campaign, we learned that John Edwards earned $479,512 from his part-time job with a hedge fund, and yet here he is working so hard to get a position that pays less than that for long hours and much more stress.

Policy wonks who study the latest figures should look for an explanation for the fact that Simon Cowell ($45 million), Judge Judy ($30 million) and Katie Couric ($15 million) earn more than the headliners of all three Federal branches combined.

Meanwhile, taxpayers can take comfort in knowing that they are getting such good government at bargain prices.

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