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Postmaster Got $800K In Pay And Perks

Some brilliant investigative journalism from the Washington Times:

Postmaster got $800,000 in pay, perks

Jim McElhatton

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Postmaster General John E. Potter recently warned that economic times are so dire that the U.S. Postal Service may end mail delivery one day a week and freeze executive salaries. But his personal fortunes are nonetheless rising thanks to 40 percent in pay raises since 2006, a $135,000 bonus last year and several perks usually reserved for corporate CEOs.

The changes, approved by the Postal Board of Governors and contained in a little-noticed regulatory filing in December, brought Mr. Potter’s total compensation and retirement benefits to more than $800,000 in 2008. That is more than double the salary for President Obama.

The new compensation package, much of it deferred to later years, goes beyond a newly beefed-up salary, now $263,575, that Congress arranged for him as part of a 2006 law to make top postal salaries more competitive with those in the private sector

Lawmakers, already trying to limit compensation of Wall Street executives, have taken notice of Mr. Potter’s good fortune when the Postal Service is posting nearly $3 billion a year in losses and now wants to raise the price of a stamp by 2 cents

Outside analysts also said Mr. Potter’s recent vow to freeze postal executive salaries at 2008 levels means little when several got such generous compensation packages…

In informing the Postal Regulatory Commission of its change, the Postal Board of Governors said it added deferred compensation because federal law made it difficult to pay Mr. Potter "even close to a level of comparability with similarly situated individuals in the private sector." …

Gerald J. McKiernan, a spokesman for the Postal Service, said the board of governors has the authority to award extra money through deferred compensation and that key congressional offices were advised of the changes.

Under federal rules, top postal officials can earn up to 120 percent the salary of the vice president of the United States, which was $221,100 in 2008. The deferred compensation – such as bonuses, perks and substantial retirement fund contributions – are designed to augment that pay, according to postal records.

Mr. Potter isn’t the only Postal Service official to benefit. Deputy Postmaster Patrick Donahoe got $600,026 in total compensation in 2008; Anthony J. Vegliante, chief of human resources, received $482,820; and at least two other postal executives got over a quarter-million dollars each, according to Postal Service records

Mr. Potter’s compensation also included perks usually reserved for corporate executives, like $69,253 in security. He and other top postal officers are eligible for perks such as life insurance premiums, parking, spousal travel and airline club membership, the records show.

The board of governors also disclosed that it awarded Mr. Potter $135,041 in "pay-for-performance" and incentive payments for his "effective leadership during the difficult economic challenges of 2008."

Details about Mr. Potter’s compensation, as well as pay packages for other top postal executives, were disclosed in a Dec. 10 filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission by the board of governors. The filing came about six weeks before Mr. Potter told Congress that the Postal Service reported a net loss of $2.8 billion during fiscal 2008…

The Postal Service is an independent government agency subject to congressional oversight, but it doesn’t get its funding from taxpayers. It’s also subject to a host of government rules, including mandates that it pay billions of dollars to fund health care benefits for retirees and deliver mail six days per week.

Based on Mr. Potter’s employment agreement, the Postal Service paid him a performance incentive award of $116,741 for fiscal 2008, as well another award of $18,300, according to filings. In a report, the board of governors cited Mr. Potter’s "effective leadership during the difficult economic challenges of 2008." …

As the article notes, the Post Office doesn’t get direct funding by the US taxpayer. But it is a government sponsored monopoly. And Congress does control its officials and their wages and bonuses.

So maybe their attacks on the big salaries, bonuses and perks should start a little closer to home.

And come to think of it, wouldn’t it be interesting to see the total compensation for all of the top government officials and bureaucrats?

Would that add to the government transparency we have been hearing so much about?


From just a short two months ago, via the Associated Press:

Postal Service investigates boss’s VIP mortgage

Posted 11/17/2008

By Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service is investigating whether the nation’s postmaster general improperly received a sweetheart deal on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial Corp., the chairman of the service’s governing board said.

Postmaster General John E. Potter is one of several prominent current and former U.S. officials who received discounts and other benefits from the mortgage giant. The Postal Service has hired an outside investigator to review the deal, which reportedly included one shaved point and waived fees for Potter’s $322,700 loan

Details of Potter’s deal with Countrywide was first reported by Conde Nast Portfolio magazine earlier this summer. The disclosure touched off calls for a Capitol Hill investigation into how prominent lawmakers and others received VIP loans…

Well, you can see how Mr. Potter would have needed a break, being so underpaid.

(Thanks to Canary for the heads up on the sweetheart Countrywide loan.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Postmaster Got $800K In Pay And Perks”

  1. U NO HOO says:

    The boss’ son does well.

    I call him “Harry” Jackpot Potter.

    FYI, a part time substitute rural carrier makes ~$18.00/hour without benefits.

  2. proreason says:

    I don’t have a big problem with the Post Office.

    They only lose a few pieces of my mail a month, and we’ve learned to look out for the important ones.

    They provide lots of waiting room in many of their outlets. And I’ve learned to take plenty of reading material.

    Their front desk people have been trained recently to be much less surly than a few years ago.

    The stamp machines sometimes work ok. I don’t lose much money in them nowadays.

    And it’s been so long since an employee killed anybody that the term going postal is becoming passe.

    All in all, it seems to be a model government agency. I don’t expect that The Moron’s 600,000 new federal employees will be able to hold to those standards.

  3. catie says:

    Why can’t I get a job like that?????

  4. marinetbryant says:

    I don’t know for a fact but I heard the USPS cannot own the buildings in which they do the work, they must rent. Anyone know for sure?


  5. U NO HOO says:

    “Why can’t I get a job like that?????”

    Your father isn’t/wasn’t a boss in the post office like Harry Jackpot Potter’s father?

  6. canary says:

    Federal workers/Postal managers leading owe billions in back tax

    PMG Potter being investigated for sweetheart mortgage deal

    Chief PI retires amid gambling scandle

    • canary says:

      The success of the Obama administration in addressing the economic malaise besetting our nation and the world is the key to the future of the Postal Service. While many voters did not apply this standard in selecting the candidate of their choice, all jobs will be affected by his success or failure. Guns, religion, abortion, sexual preference and the other wedge issues that often dominate our political discourse will fade in their importance as the very source of our lifestyle — our jobs — are challenged.

      William Burrus: President of American Postal Workers Union

    • proreason says:

      Wow. This is amazing. Over 6% of federal workers didn’t pay their taxes for 2007.

      Let me see if I got it straight.

      Many federal jobs are boondoggles.
      Those that aren’t are are mostly sit on your ass and wait for Friday jobs.
      Federal jobs have the best benefits in the world, including INFLATION ADJUSTED pensions.
      The work rules are developed for morons.
      It’s almost impossible to get laid off.

      And 6% of federal workers don’t even bother to pay their taxes.

      Why on earth would anyone in this day and age consider it a duty to be honest about taxes. Every message possible coming from Obamy’s government says you are a fool to do so.

    • Steve says:

      Great links, Canary! Real eye-openers.

      (Though if my eyes get any more open they might fall out of their sockets.

  7. yellarcan says:

    “That is more than double the salary for President H.O.”.
    Is this article not going to include the $787,000,000,000.00 perk that mr.h.o. received just yesterday? Wonder how much of that he slid into his personal account? My bad folks. I shouldn’t be questioning mr. h.o.’s integrity and honesty. I’m sure that the whole sum will be for us Americans! Anyone interested in some seaside property hear in the Pandhandle of Texas? How about a sticker covered half dollar for $19.95? Anyone?

  8. Confucius says:

    No wonder the fat cat looks fat and happy.

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