Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

The Perks of Pork by maliab
July 26, 2011, 6:17 pm
Filed under: Economy, Hawaii Sunshine | Tags: , , , ,

What exactly does an East-West Center do anyway?  Wait . . . please don’t answer that.  Or don’t tell me what it says it does anyway.  I can read a mission statement as well as the next person.  I don’t need any boilerplate answers about “promoting understanding” and “increasing education.”  Show me one lavishly government funded organization that doesn’t “do” those things.  But let’s leave the realm of rhetoric and deal with some cold, hard numbers (as reported by Hawaii Reporter’s Jim Dooley):

  • It maintains a Washington, DC office at the cost of over $1.5 million per year ($863,000 in salaries, $210,000 in rent and administrative costs–hey, an L Street address isn’t cheap, and $563,000 in program expenses).
  • Congressional Republicans are seeking to eliminate federal funding for it (at a cost of approximately $20 million per year), and even President Obama once suggested cutting its funding down to $12 million.
  • Senator Inouye fought to restore full funding in the Obama plan and is a longtime supporter of the Center.
  • It recently decided that its President’s salary ($281,158 last year, including deferred salary and other benefits) was just too low and awarded him a new 5-year compensation package that includes a raise and a $2 million “golden parachute” provision should his contract be prematurely terminated.

Yeah, times are really tough out there.  Under threat of defunding–or major federal budget cuts–and East West Center decides to give its President a raise?  Now I’m not so sure that I want these folks to be promoting anything on my behalf.  I’d be a bit afraid that they’d be promoting the understanding that we’re elitist, socially tone-deaf, and economically irresponsible.


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