Wealthy GOP Gov. Whines State Workers ‘Overpaid,’ Wife Hires $100K PERSONAL Chief Of Staff

In November 2014, Illinois did something that few thought they would ever do again: They elected a Republican governor (despite keeping a Democratic supermajority in the general assembly). Wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner took over from former Governor Pat Quinn at the beginning of this month, and then loudly complained that the state’s workers are overpaid.

While he was doing that, he let his wife hire a “chief of staff” for herself, at a cost of $100,000 per year.

According to the Peoria Journal-Star, that kind of salary is not out of line for a chief of staff. One assumes, however, that a chief of staff will have a staff to manage, thus commanding that kind of salary for the job. Diana Rauner is considering initiatives on child advocacy, and restoring the governor’s mansion in Springfield. As of right now, she does not have a staff, nor does she have any official duties requiring a staff.

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Considering Rauner thinks that the state’s workers are overpaid, and wants to trim the state’s workforce to help Illinois’ ongoing financial woes, this seems a bit excessive. Someone who was a true fiscal conservative would be more likely to tell his wife to wait on hiring a chief of staff until she knew whether she’d even need someone in that position. The simple lesson is (or should be) this: Chiefs of staff are expensive, so it’s a good idea to be sure you’ll actually need one before you hire one.

According to a story on NWITimes.com, Illinois public sector workers have the third highest pay in the country. Rauner thinks that means something fishy is going on. But a study conducted by the University of Illinois has found that the state’s public sector workers are underpaid by as much as 40 percent, when compared to private sector workers with similar educational backgrounds.

That study also found that Illinois public sector workers make up 13 percent of the state’s total workforce, but account for at least 16 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. Therefore, reducing the workforce further, and possibly bringing their wages down, could slow Illinois’ economy considerably.

We can’t expect Rauner to understand that, or to understand how hiring a $100,000 per year chief of staff for his wife’s as-yet non-existent staff looks to workers whose livelihoods may be threatened under this Republican administration. Republicans think punishing government workers is one of the paths to prosperity, and they won’t listen to pesky things, like facts, that contradict them.


Featured image via ChicagoNow.com

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  • danielistical says:

    Corporate America has
    been taking advantage of the American people for at least 20 years,,ever since
    Ronald Reagan decided he would break the unions back because the American
    worker makes too much money????,,Right now Republicans still think our wages
    are still too High? , and in a way they are right. we are 16th in the world of
    wages for the average worker BUT FOR THE C E O now that is a different story,,,
    Country – Ratio of Pay CEO : compared to the Average worker–Japan – 11:1–Germany – 12:1–France –
    15:1–Italy – 20:1–Canada – 20:1–South Africa – 21:1–Britain – 22:1–Mexico
    – 47:1–Venezuela – 50:1 and now… UNITED STATES – 475:1…In 1980 USA execs
    made less than 30 times. A 15 fold plus increase. Still think UNIONS are the
    problem?????? Corporate America wants a smaller government for the same reason
    that bank robbers want a smaller police dept.

    • ccaffrey says:

      Thank you danielistical! I’d really like to use these stats in some materials I’m working on as handouts for a meeting. Could you possibly give me a source link? Thanks!

    • Michael Cumbee says:

      I’m not sure where you got your numbers… but that’s not true… CCaffrey, don’t use those stats because they aren’t real. Yes, America does have one of the highest CEO to average worker pay. We also have the largest economy in real dollars that is twice the size of the next closest economy. So our real dollar salaries will reflect that. Further, even according to the AFLCIO, American CEO pay is 354:1 and Canada, our nearest neighbor is 206:1, not 20:1 like the OP would mislead you to believe. Further yet, AFLCIO took companies 327 companies form the S&P 500 and compared them to 60 companies from the S&P TSX 60. If you know anything about markets and investing, the s&p500 represents companies worth about $15 trillion dollars or $30 billion average value. And I can guarantee that the AFLCIO left out some of the smaller companies when they hand picked their 327 companies. Meanwhile, the average value (market cap) of a TSX60 (which represents over 73% of all publicly traded stock in Canada) is only $18.625 billion. American CEOs are dealing with companies that are worth nearly double what Canadian CEOs are dealing with. Further yet still, the AFLCIO took out all supervisors out of their equation, bringing that average American pay to $34,000 which is BS. So now middle and upper management aren’t counted as employees either? That’s a good deal of the middle class that is middle management or upper management (non c-suite). American CEO’s were paid on average $12 million per year, roughly 50% more than the average Canadian CEO. Their companies, on average, are also worth roughly 50% more on the market, reflective of their pay.

      • danielistical says:

        with all the garbage you just drug out ,,guess what C E O ARE STILL OVERPAID COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE WORLD ARNT THEY?

        • Michael Cumbee says:

          Well actually, statistically speaking, for the value of their companies, they are compensated right on head with the rest of the industrialized world.. I believe we should stop golden parachutes, limit bonuses, and limit tax deductible expenses, but they are right on with pay. You mean the most economically successful country has the most economically successful business leaders? Gasp!
          Heck even Switzerland, who’s socialist party suggested a 12:1 cap (overwhelmingly rejected), are closer to 148:1 pay gap. And again, you choose what you want to see, make up numbers, and lie to people. Unless you can site your sources, I’m going to assume you pulled everything you said off of some blog or yahoo site without once validating anything you were typing. And again, with the AFLCIO, they discluded all middle and upper management.. That IS the middle class… Middle management, floor supervisors, shift supervisors, anybody with supervisory capacity was redacted from the BLS data that the AFLCIO released.. Neither the median nor the mean wage in america is $35,000, but the AFLCIO would have you believing that because they cherry pick statistics to suit them. So you take all non-ceos of other countries (including middle and upper management) and compare it CEOs in America against non supervisory employees in America.. It’s called cooking the books and statisticians do it all the time. Do some research for yourself.

          • danielistical says:

            The post is NOT about numbers the will vary from source to source,,,the acuracy of those numbers that you are babbling about is irelevent to the fact that ceo are obceanly paid,,,,

          • M* says:

            WELL YOU CAN KEEP YELLING AND TYPING IN CAPS ALL YOU WANT LIKE A LITTLE CHILD OR you can talk like an adult. You can accept the fact that you can’t spell the word obscenely, and you can address the fact that you’re jealous of other people’s relative success. The post is about the numbers, because you’re saying the ratio behind the numbers is too great of a number. You can’t say “THESE NUMBERS ARE TOO GREAT!!” and then in the very next breath say “THE NUMBERS DON’T MATTER AT ALL!” because now you aren’t even holding a discussion or an argument. You’re just yelling contradicting ideas to yourself.

        • Michael Cumbee says:

          Germany is 147:1 pay ratio… Where do you get these lies about 12:1 that you spew so cavalierly.. Sad thing is, people like CCaffrey actually believe what you type.. You’re influencing people with lies and partisanship. She asked for your sources and you haven’t addressed her.. I wonder why?

  • EverTheGreen says:

    Don’t look at me, I voted for Pat Quinn.

  • John Cross says:

    $100,000? Is that all? Obviously she got a lightweight because any “chief of staff” worth his salt would require at least $400,000 just to start.

  • Bess Moore says:

    This is what YOU voted for!! Good luck!!!

  • ACL_JR says:

    Let me tell you something.
    I am a life long resident of the city of Chicago in the state of Illinois.
    The Democrat party has run this state into the ground financially. Only California has a more bleak financial outlook.
    The taxpayers here face a $9 BILLION budget deficit next year and we are HUNDREDS of BILLIONS in debt. So if you REALLY want to look closely at who is sticking in in the a**es of the taxpayers of Illinois, do your home work and point your poison pen at the people who really deserve it. Michael Madigan, Rich Daley, and the other Democrats here in this state.
    Not some petty annie BS issue like $100,000.

    • Librarian42 says:

      Mmmmm – “petty annie”? I think you mean “penny ante” issue.

    • Vanessa Mitchell says:

      Illinois has a Gov that is anti LGBT. Your Gov. Rauner came under attack during his campaign over his stance on gay marriage. He said the issue should be decided by voters through an advisory referendum on the ballot, later saying he would veto the same-sex marriage bill passed by lawmakers and subsequently signed by former Gov. Pat Quinn. He’s too busy peeping in folks windows.. More GOP overreach. It’s the Law… Move the Fkk on!!!!

    • Terrylf1 says:

      I think you need to check your sources in regards to California, if you are citing any sources other than you’re own opinion because California is doing very well right now.

    • GaryKleppe says:

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. Illinois’ financial problems date back to decades ago when Republicans called the shots. They put a flat tax limitation into the state constitution. So we are stuck with regressive taxes that hit working people, not the one percent who’ve gotten the lion’s share of the economic growth in the past 20-30 years. Callyforny has no such limitation; it recently raised taxes on rich people and is now doing fine. If you want to see someplace with a bleak outlook, go to Kansas, which has been a Frankenstein laboratory for right wing policies.

      • ACL_JR says:

        Illinois financial problems do go back a while Gary. But the BIGGEST financial debacle we face is unfunded pension liabilities. And yes, those go back a while also, but most financial and civic leaders agree that it was under Rod Blagojevich (D) and his SUPER majority DEMOCRAT House and Senate that they exploded into the catastrophic problem they are today. About $111 BILLION DOLLARS! (2nd only to California)
        The state faces up to a $9 BILLION DEFICIT in next years budget.
        The City of Chicago also has to find a way to come up with a $600 Million payment for its Police and Firemen’s pension payment in 6 months. (that they don’t have!
        Illinois is a disaster Gary any way you try and spin it so don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. Kansas’ financial problems are chump change in comparison.

        • GaryKleppe says:

          It’s amazing how you think this is makes a convincing argument. “Everyone, or at least everyone *I* would ever listen to, agrees with me, so I must be right. Har har!” Back here in the real world, Blagojevich didn’t do anything different than his Republican predecessors. Quinn’s was the only administration that tried to deal seriously with the budget, but given the flat tax and other realities of the situation he didn’t get very far. With the political consequences he suffered for it, it’s unlikely that anyone will seriously try again for a long time.

          • ACL_JR says:

            Forgive the vagueness of my statement Gary.
            My sources in regards to the debt and pension crisis exploding under Blago are:
            Lawrence Msall – Pres. Civic Federation of Chicago
            ( A non-partisan govt. research organization)
            Sandor Goldstein- An Actuary who has worked on the states finances and pension programs since 1979
            Allen Grosboll – Who is a lawyer with the states Environmental Policy Institute, and a financial policy adviser to former Gov Edgar.
            Blagojevich shorted the pensions a record $2.3 billion dollars. Shortly thereafter the economy went south and the world wide recession hit. It was a perfect storm.
            As for your insistence that the reason we are in this mess is because of the Flat Tax, nothing could be further from the truth.
            While its true that in robust times a Progressive Tax does generate more cash for the state, it also means that in a down financial period, those same revenues dry up.
            The non-partisan Commission on Govt. Finance and Accountability commissioned a study on both forms and found that a Flat Tax gives the state a stable and reliable source of income with far less volatility than a Progressive Tax does.
            Poor management of the states finances is the reason for our dismal financial outlook.

          • GaryKleppe says:

            Thank you for the specifics, but appeal to authority is still a weak argument. Illinois’ financial problems date back decades. States used to get substantial aid from the federal government, until the Reagan administration convinced Congress to spend the money on Pentagon pork instead. In Illinois, Governor Thompson did the politically expedient thing and set up plans where pension payments would be deferred to future years. Blagojevich happened to be there when the bills started coming due. You can say that he should’ve done something to solve the problems and didn’t, and I wouldn’t argue, but the problems were definitely not of his making.

            No, the flat tax is not more stable. True, if nobody at all in the state is making any money, then the graduated tax won’t get you anything, nor will anything else. But the graduated tax is much more stable in another kind of situation, where a few people are making money hand over fist and everybody else is struggling. This is the direction in which Illinois (and the rest of the country, and most of the rest of the world) has been moving for the past thirty years or so.

          • ACL_JR says:

            Thank you for a calm and reasonable discussion
            Be well.

          • GaryKleppe says:

            Thank you for sharing your views and listening to mine.

  • Harter Maryann says:

    For $100,000 she could go to cooking school and learn to DO IT HERSELF! !! After all, how many people does she have to feed anyway?

  • GaryKleppe says:

    I take it this $100,000 is to be paid out of public money? If Ms. billionaire’s wife wants to hire a butler then perhaps she could do it with her own money?

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