Bureaucrat Gets $813,000 Taxpayer Salary

Senators Trent Lott and Charles Grassley are leading the review of Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small, the chief of the Smithsonian museums, who earns over $813,000 a year in salary and benefits.

According to today’s National Journal CongressDaily AM, which reported the story:

Smithsonian officials also have defended their executive salaries by maintaining that the institution must offer competitive salaries to recruit the best people in the field. According to the institution’s 2004 IRS filing, Small earned salary and benefits worth $813,065.

OK, but what about the competitiveness of the small businesses and workers paying his salary? The whole thing is ridiculous. Rather than lead to "competitive" management, this level of largess leads to corruption. Indeed, Small is currently under scrutiny for a 30 year closed deal with Showtime TV, and other mismanagement. Surely the Smithsonian can find talented managers for $400,000, which is the President’s salary. And where are the Democrats, who go crazy over private sector CEO pay? Stay tuned…and if you’re a fan of the Smithsonian, you’d better stay tuned to pay-channel Showtime for the next three decades.