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The Illinois Governor’s Office’s ‘Shared Sacrifice’: They Share, You Sacrifice

By Doug Powers  •  July 8, 2010 01:12 PM

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

A few days ago, Michelle wrote about the fiscal basket case that is the state of Illinois, but that isn’t stopping the governor from rewarding his staff for a nosedive well done:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has handed out raises—some of more than 20 percent—to his staff while proclaiming a message of “shared sacrifice” and planning spending cuts of $1.4 billion because the state is awash in debt.

The Democrat has given 43 salary increases averaging 11.4 percent to 35 staffers in the past 15 months, according to an Associated Press analysis of records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

They include a $24,000-a-year bump for the man promoted to shepherd the state through the fiscal storm. Budget Director David Vaught got a 20 percent raise to bring his pay to $144,000 in October when he moved to his new position from Quinn’s staff, where he was a senior adviser.

“Shared sacrifice.” That sounds familiar. The liberal dictionary defines “shared sacrifice” as “everybody gives up something so my buddies and me can have more.”

The governor justified the salary increases as promotions or more money due to added responsibilities:

“We have fewer people doing more, and that’s what the public wants,” Quinn said.

As far as the bloated government goes, the public wants far fewer people doing much less.

Now that Chicago politics has gone national, the same thing is happening in the White House. Hope & Change promised to save taxpayers from a lot of wasteful spending, but as it turns out, that kind of fiscal responsibility doesn’t come cheap:

The White House released its staff salary data today as has been required of all administrations annually since 1995. The list goes from the top, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, all the way down to the lowest-level employee. The Office of Vice President and Office of Management are not included. The staggering sum for the Obama administration staff comes to $38,796,307.00.

In comparison, the White House staff salaries for President Bush’s last year in office, 2008, came to $33,193,021.00. That’s a difference of $5,603,286.00, or an increase of 16.9% from the Bush administration to the current Obama administration.

“Families are tightening their belts, so should Washington” said Obama on his first day in office. He left out the part that the government would indeed be tightening their belts — around taxpayers necks.

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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