For months, members of Congress and the administrations of both President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush expressed outrage at the gigantic pay and "perks" packages provided to executives of some private companies. There was even talk of ordering recipients of federal bailout money to limit executives' compensation to $500,000 a year.
Why not start in government? A $500,000 limit would require Postmaster General John E. Potter to take a $300,000 cut in pay.
That's right: It was revealed this week that Potter - who just days ago was suggesting that the Postal Service cannot make ends meet without eliminating mail delivery one day a week - receives $800,000 a year in pay and benefits. He raked in a $135,000 bonus last year - at a time when the Postal Service was swimming in red ink. The money was a "pay-for-performance" bonus.
Potter isn't alone in making the big bucks, according to a published report. At least four other Postal Service officials received more than $250,000 each last year. Deputy Postmaster Patrick Donahoe received $600,000 in total compensation for the year.
Some members of Congress already are vowing to "investigate." We hope that isn't bureaucratese for "file and forget." If federal officials are going to clamp down on executive salaries, they need to start at home in Washington, D.C.