That’s according to the White House’s latest salary list, which reports a nearly $39 million annual payroll. This year, the White House has made the report, which it files with Congress every year, available online for the first time. The list itemizes the salary and title of every employee of the White House, except for the vice president’s office, which is technically an arm of the Senate. The pay sheet also doesn’t include Obama, whose $400,000 annual salary is regulated by Congress. According to the latest study, the White House currently employs 469 people — down 17 positions from 2009.
There are few changes in the report from last year, in part because Obama capped the salaries of any employee making more than $100,000 a year. According to the White House, employee salaries range from $21,000 to nearly $180,000 a year.
Twenty-three top aides, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, press secretary Robert Gibbs, speechwriter Jon Favreau, White House counsel Bob Bauer and senior advisers David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, make the top full-time staff salary of $172,200. (Two health-care policy “detailees” — Michael Hash and Timothy Love — make $179,700.) By comparison, Vice President Joe Biden makes roughly $230,000 a year, according to Senate records.
White House social director Juliana Smoot makes $150,000. That’s $37,000 more than her predecessor, Desiree Rogers, who left the administration not long after a scandal involving party-crashers at a state dinner in December. Former Duke basketball star Reggie Love still makes just over $100,000 as President Obama’s body man. Not on the list: actor Kal Penn, who left his job in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement on June 1 to film the third sequel in the "Harold & Kumar" film series.
Most so-called rank-and-file members of the White House staff pull in an average income between $40,000 and $60,000 — including dozens of “staff assistants,” press aides, analysts and researchers. Three people are listed as working for free.
- Valerie Jarrett
- President Obama
- press secretary Robert Gibbs
- state dinner
- White House counsel
- Rahm Emanuel
- David Axelrod
- the White House
- Kal Penn
- Jon Favreau