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Thread: President Obama freezes salaries of top White House aides

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    Elite Member Belinda's Avatar
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    Default President Obama freezes salaries of top White House aides

    President Barack Obama's first public act in office Wednesday was to institute new limits on lobbyists in his White House and to freeze the salaries of high-paid aides, in a nod to the country's economic turmoil.

    Announcing the moves while attending a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to swear in his staff, Obama said the steps "represent a clean break from business as usual."

    The pay freeze, first reported by The Associated Press, would hold salaries at their current levels for the roughly 100 White House employees who make over $100,000 a year. "Families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington," said the new president, taking office amid startlingly bad economic times that many fear will grow worse.

    Those affected by the freeze include the high-profile jobs of White House chief of staff, national security adviser and press secretary. Other aides who work in relative anonymity also would fit into that cap if Obama follows a structure similar to the one George W. Bush set up.

    Obama's new lobbying rules will not only ban aides from trying to influence the administration when they leave his staff. Those already hired will be banned from working on matters they have previously lobbied on, or to approach agencies that they once targeted.

    The rules also ban lobbyists from giving gifts of any size to any member of his administration. It wasn't immediately clear whether the ban would include the traditional "previous relationships" clause, allowing gifts from friends or associates with which an employee comes in with strong ties.
    The new rules also require that anyone who leaves his administration is not allowed to try to influence former friends and colleagues for at least two years. Obama is requiring all staff to attend to an ethics briefing like one he said he attended last week.

    Obama called the rules tighter "than under any other administration in history." They followed pledges during his campaign to be strict about the influence of lobbyist in his White House.

    "The new rules on lobbying alone, no matter how tough, are not enough to fix a broken system in Washington," he said. "That's why I'm also setting rules that govern not just lobbyists but all those who have been selected to serve in my administration."

    In an attempt to deliver on pledges of a transparent government, Obama said he would change the way the federal government interprets the Freedom of Information Act. He said he was directing agencies that vet requests for information to err on the side of making information public _ not to look for reasons to legally withhold it _ an alteration to the traditional standard of evaluation.

    Just because a government agency has the legal power to keep information private does not mean that it should, Obama said. Reporters and public-interest groups often make use of the law to explore how and why government decisions were made; they are often stymied as agencies claim legal exemptions to the law.

    "For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city," Obama said.

    He said the orders he was issuing Wednesday will not "make government as honest and transparent as it needs to be" nor go as far as he would like. "But these historic measures do mark the beginning of a new era of openness in our country," Obama said. "And I will, I hope, do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people, in the days and weeks, months and years to come."

    Obama Freezes Salaries Of Top White House Aides (VIDEO, TRANSCRIPT)


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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    why not drop their salaries down to what 'real' people make? but E for effort!
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    What do real people make? I think it's great that he's doing it and I don't know that 100 grand is all that much for working in the government.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i didnt say it wasnt great, i admire him for doing this. BUT there are people that work just as hard in other areas and make 30K a year. just sayin....
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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    ^^Especially for jobs like the press secretary...

    Obama did more the first day than Georgie boy did the first month.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louiswinthorpe111 View Post
    ^^Especially for jobs like the press secretary...

    Obama did more the first day than Georgie boy did the first month.
    Six months..


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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louiswinthorpe111 View Post
    ^^Especially for jobs like the press secretary...

    Obama did more the first day than Georgie boy did the first month.
    First term.



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    Good for him for dealing with the lobbyists too. They have way too much influence and use all kinds of "inducements" to get their agenda endorsed. I'm also glad his Administration is not going to hide behind the public information legislation any more.

    I bet there are a few people really sweating now in DC and we are going to see some huge skeletons fall out of the closets once he really starts opening them up.
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    If you don't put the ethics and integrity in first, you're doomed to have an administration similar to Shrub's. And NOBODY wants that.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    they really get paid little when they work for the white house. There's a salary cap, they get small raises annually issued by congress, and way more make under 50k a year than over 100. The scale as Bush left it has the top salary in the 160's, so that's where this freeze will hold it.

    That's not a high salary for the amount of work some of the aides do. It's a 24-7 job for some, and they could earn way more in the private sector.



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    Gold Member Glitter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louiswinthorpe111 View Post
    ^^Especially for jobs like the press secretary...

    Obama did more the first day than Georgie boy did the first month.
    Ya he did! Go Barack!
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    While you're busy making other plans ~ John Lennon

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    Elite Member Daphne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    they really get paid little when they work for the white house. There's a salary cap, they get small raises annually issued by congress, and way more make under 50k a year than over 100. The scale as Bush left it has the top salary in the 160's, so that's where this freeze will hold it.

    That's not a high salary for the amount of work some of the aides do. It's a 24-7 job for some, and they could earn way more in the private sector.
    You're exactly right. Plus the cost of living is very high in DC.

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    Sorry, but we in the western world (or the "north") have no perspective when it comes to money. These people make PLENTY.

    In any case, kudos to Obama. Let's hope he can keep this kind of stuff up!

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Oohh... this is not going to go over well with the Bush appointees that were profiting off of his stupidity.

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    First term.
    Two terms. Oh hell, his entire flipping life.
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