Who wants to be President of the United States when the payoff is better being head of a multi-billion dollar corporation. The President is paid peanuts compared to CEOs and his job comes with more headaches and responsibilities. A CEO only has to answer to the board and stockholders while the President's every move is analyzed and dissected by media and public. The pressures lessen down the government official ladder but those at the top continually face scrutiny and little job security. And these jobs come with no executive bonuses and stock options.
The top ten base salary rankings and statistics of government officials were sourced from 247wallst.com, GovSpot.com, infoplease.com, about.com, legistorm,com and Office of Personnel Management. They disagree on some salary figures.
1. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America $400,000
That seems to be low compensation for the highest profile job on earth but there are plenty of perks. Free room and board at the White House. All transportation gratis. All expense paid vacations. Security provided. Invites to all the right places. Free swag. Who pays for cable?
2. Patrick R. Donahoe, United States Postmaster General $245,000
The top mailman is a surprising second in what is a fairly anonymous position. He is the only government official running an actual business literally touching citizens six days a week.
3. Joseph Biden, Vice-President of the United States $221,000 to $230,700 range.
The VP continues getting no respect. The postman makes more money but Biden did receive a bump in pay from being senator.
4. John Boehner, Speaker of the House $208,100 to $223,000 range.
The top Republican got a pay raise following last November's elections. Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was demoted to House Minority Leader but her pay level remains the same.
5. Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff $220.734.36
Mullen is the highest paid serviceman and answers only to the President.
6. John G. Roberts, Supreme Court Chief Justice
This is the only guaranteed for life paycheck. Roberts is a vocal advocate in seeking salary increases for the Supreme Court judges.
7. Benjamin Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve $199,700
Is the former Princeton professor overpaid? He definitely sits on a hot seat during the current economic climate.
8. Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader $193,400
Reid is independently wealthy like so many politicians. The Senate Minority Leaders earns the same rate.
9. Timothy Geithner, Secretary of Treasury $191,300
The controversial Geithner has constantly been under fire since being appointed so asking for a pay raise would not be advisable.
10. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State $186,600
This is the most underpaid position in the top ten considering the Secretary constantly travels (she may stay in four-star hotels but is away from home all the time), deals with difficult international situations and bears the brunt of hostilities for the President.
All of these positions enjoy varying degrees of substantial perks. Health and pension benefits are superior. Most of these officials possess higher earning power in the private sector, so why do they seek public office? A price cannot be placed on power.