As you have probably read in many news outlets at this point, Gov McCrory has taken the somewhat surprising step of bestowing significant pay raises on his cabinet secretaries – as large as $13,200. While some are complaining about the fiscal impact of the decision in such tough economic times, it seems that the more apt criticism involves the message it sends to the large mass of North Carolina workers (both public and private) who, if they’ve even been able to keep a job at all, have been eking by on flat salaries for years that average far, far less than what the cabinet secretaries make.
Moreover, McCrory’s statement in defense of his action — “I’m trying to make it at least where they can afford to live while running multibillion-dollar departments,” simply doesn’t wash. Any North Carolinian who can’t “live” in Raleigh on $121,807 per year — the salaries of the outgoing secretaries in the Perdue administration — has some serious issues that bespeak a significant disconnect from the lives lived by their fellow citizens. This seems especially true for the people in question — all of whom appear to come from comfortable upper middle class and upper class existences already.
The bottom line: This is another surprisingly tin-eared step for a new Guv who has spent so much time talking about the tough economic times that grip our state.