Diary

About the Pay-Grade Thing

Never make a joke that undermines the premises of what you’re trying to sell. That one’s not actually in the rule book (at least I’ve never seen it there), but you know it’s true if you’ve ever had to kick a cocky young sales guy under the table.

Knowing where one stands on challenging, controversial questions is above Obama’s pay grade. We know this because he told us so. Exactly what pay grade is higher than the one he wants us to hire him into?

The President makes $400,000/year, plus all the board memberships, book deals, speaking engagements and other easy money he can eat after he leaves the office. Who makes more money than that?

Not the Fed Chairman, who is the most powerful man in the global economy. He only makes about $180K. Higher salaries than the President’s go to a few thousand CEOs; a few hundred hedge-fund operators and bond traders; and a few dozen athletes, entertainers and movie actors. But those people don’t have a pay-grade. Their pay is strictly meritocratic.

So what Obama ended up inadvertently telling us, is that he thinks it’s not the President’s job to make the tough decisions. That’s a little too convenient for a guy with a long history of avoiding tough decisions.

-Francis Cianfrocca