I've written before that low-level government employees are paid far too much, and executive-level government employees are paid far too little, and now there's more proof: 77,000 federal employees are paid less than the governors of their states.

More than 77,000 federal government employees throughout the country — including computer operators, more than 5,000 air traffic controllers, 22 librarians and one interior designer — earned more than the governors of the states in which they work. ...

But Beth Moten, legislative and political director for the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents 625,000 federal employees, said the bigger problem is the amount of money that contractors can collect. She said contractors can be reimbursed up to $693,000 toward salaries for their top five executives, and even more for other employees doing government work.

“So the government’s paying $700,000 and more for contractor salaries, and Sen. Coburn worries about the pay of physicians who care for wounded soldiers?” Ms. Moten said. “If those governors want to make more money, they should either become contractors or try applying to medical school.”

Wrong. Obviously doctors need to be paid competitive salaries... but so do governors and other government executives. I'm sure there are compensation experts who could come up with better numbers, but here was my idea:

As a starting point, lets bump the President up to $20 million per year. Cabinet secretaries, Congressmen, Senators, Supreme Court Justices, Joint Chiefs: $10 million. Top generals, department heads: $5 million. Work down from there. Low-level employees should match their private sector counterparts (in pay and pension) and should be easier to promote and fire.

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