Clinton won't make as much as Rice

December 11, 2008 1:07:55 PM PST
More than 45 million Americans have no health care, in what may be one of the biggest of many huge problems facing the incoming Obama Administration. Today, the President-elect announced his (already-leaked) pick for the next Secretary of Health and Human Services, on whose shoulders it will fall to fashion a national policy that will guarantee health care to every American.

It should have been a big deal, the official nomination of former Sen. Tom Daschle.

It wasn't.

And not just because his formal appointment was a bit anti-climactic.

Thank you Gov. Rod Oy-vey-the-witch.

I'm sure that's how Barack Obama pronounces Blagojevich, and wouldn't you like to have just a minute or two inside the President-elect's brain, or see the invisible bubble above his head, to find out what he really thinks of the Governor of Illinois? (CLICK HERE for more)

Talk about XXX-rated.

There are those who will try to link Obama to the dirty politics of Chicago, and there are certain number of connections: So many Democrats, such a corrupt history, in the Windy City.

But a William Ayers-type relationship doesn't a scandal make. If there's dirt there, then let's sweep it out in the open, not under the rug. If there's not, then let's get on with the business of trying to deal with the avalanche of problems facing the country.

Which is what makes the Daschle nomination today kind of pathetic. Millions need to hear how Obama, with Daschle, plan to make health care affordable and accessible. And we all need to hear how they plan to pay for it, in an economy that is hemorrhaging money and racking up debt faster than the Yankees and Mets are buying pitchers.

And we're adding to the debt every week, thanks to the never-empty trough that seems available to all the giant businesses that have been mismanaged and misdirected, but not to the average Joe and Jane who are picking up the tab and paying the price.

We'll have the latest on the transition, the scandal, the economy and the bailout vote by Congress, tonight at 11.

Oh, and here's an item that will help offset the billions given to corporations: We're going to save $4,700 next year, because Hillary Clinton is going to be paid less than the woman she's replacing as Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. (CLICK HERE for more)

Clinton is going to get the salary paid to the Secretary of State at the beginning of 2007, which was the beginning of Clinton's second term as U.S. Senator from New York. Under an obscure clause in the Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to a government job if it includes a pay increase (for the new job) during the elected official's current term. (Hey, I didn't write the Constitution!)

Rice was making $186,600 a year when Clinton began her second term; she makes $191,300 right now. Clinton will make the lower salary, which is still about $17,000 more than she's making as Senator.

Of course, she doesn't really have to worry, what with all the millions she and her husband have made from books and speeches.

And one more thought about the salary of the woman who will be the nation's chief diplomat: In New York City, that annual income still qualifies someone to live in rent stabilized housing.

With apologies to Cindy Adams, only in New York. Only in New York.

And speaking of New York, the battle over the budget continues. Mayor Bloomberg wants to cut another 7% or so from the budget, after revenues last month fell short of expectations. $1.4 billion short. Talk about tough times.

Might have been nice to pocket some of that surplus we had during the good times; instead the Mayor chose to send some of it back in the form of property tax rebates. If we ran our personal finances like this.......

We'll have the latest on the budget cuts, and the war that has emerged over them, at 11.

We're also with police as they look for Laura Garza, the young woman who disappeared last week after leaving a nightclub in Chelsea with a convicted sex offender. He's in custody on an unrelated matter. Last night we interviewed Garza's two brothers, who came here from Texas to help look for her. It's hard to imagine any good ending to this story. And I know I've harped on this issue in this space before - but it's something I'm talking about to my daughter. I'm sure she thinks it obnoxious, her over-protective father. But, I'm sorry, what good comes out of meeting some guy in a bar? There, I've said it. Call me a nutso, old-fashioned Ward Cleaver.

We'll have the latest on the search for Ms. Garza, tonight at 11.

Winter weather is also making news, and Lee Goldberg is tracking the severe rain and icy conditions in our area tonight. We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Scott Clark with sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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