For Some WH Aides, Public Service Has Its (Six-Figure) Rewards
By Michael D. Shear
The magic number in the Obama White House appears to be 172,000.
Dollars, that is. Per year.
Twenty-two of the president's top aides -- most with the title "assistant to the president" -- make exactly that much in exchange for their service to the country, the White House reported to Congress today. The Obama administration also published the information on the White House blog.
Those making the magic number include 28-year-old Jonathan Favreau, the president's wordsmith (director of speechwriting), and 66-year-old James L. Jones, the national security adviser.
One person in the White House -- other than the president himself ($400,000) -- is listed as making more than $172,000: David E. Marcozzi, the president's director of public health policy, is described as a "detailee" from the Department of Health and Human Services and receives $192,934 for his work. (Vice President Biden and his staff are not included in the White House report.)
On the other end of the scale are Michael J. Warren, a senior adviser for the department of personnel, and Patricia G. McGinnis, who is listed simply as "adviser" to the president. Both make nothing, according to the official salary list.
In between are 462 other employees who make from a low of $36,000 to a high of $163,940. For the utterly curious, the report -- which has been provided to Congress every year since 1995 -- is searchable and sortable on the White House Web site.
There are a few gems in there. Deputy Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer makes a bit more ($150,000) than his wife, Sarah Feinberg, who earns $120,000 as the top staffer to Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
But the gender tables are turned in the case of assistant press secretary Tommy Vietor, who recently proposed to Michelle Obama's press secretary, Katie Lelyveld. At $84,000 a year, she makes significantly more than her soon-to-be-husband ($57,500).
The vast bulk of the employees appear to earn between $40,000 and $55,000 per year, making the White House quite a modestly paid enterprise for most of the workaholics who spend time there.
The list of the $172,000-a-year men and women of the White House:
David Axelrod, Melody Barnes, John Brennan, Elizabeth Brown, Carol Browner, Gregory Craig, Thomas Donilon, Anita Dunn, Rahm Emanuel, Jonathan Favreau, Patrick Gaspard, Robert Gibbs, Valerie Jarrett, James Jones, Christopher Lu, Alyssa Mastromonaco, James Messina, Peter Rouse, Philip Schiliro, Susan her, Lawrence Summers and Mona Sutphen.
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