It apparently pays to be a coach or surgeon, at least for a public university or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Two coaches top a list of “insanely overpaid” public employees recently compiled by The Fiscal Times. Each earns at least three times as much as anyone else on the list.
Surgeons dominate the list, however. The highest-paid employee in Nevada is a plastic surgeon who teaches at the University of Nevada, and at least two VA surgeons earn slightly more than U.S. President Barack Obama, whose salary is $400,000.
As with the president’s salary, taxpayers cover the compensation of these employees, who work for public institutions:
- Nick Saban, head football coach, University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa: $7.1 million annual earnings. (And he lives in a multimillion-dollar mansion paid for by the school.)
- Rick Pitino, head basketball coach, University of Louisville in Kentucky: $5.75 million
- Carey Lykins, president and chief executive, Citizens Energy Group (in Indianapolis): $1.9 million
- Dr. William Zamboni, professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery and chief of the division of plastic surgery, University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas: $1.3 million
- Dr. Walter Lowe, professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Texas Medical School in Houston: $1.27 million
- Tom Wander, chief executive, BETA Healthcare Group (insurance company with three locations in California): $1.18 million
- Ronald Schmitz, chief investment officer, Virginia Retirement System in Richmond: $786,596
- Robert Caret, chancellor, University System of Maryland in Adelphi: $600,000
- Dr. Thomas Burdon, surgeon, VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California: $402,462
- Dr. Thomas Cacciarelli, surgeon, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System: $401,589
If you want to learn more, do a search to see whether your state has a publicly accessible database of public employee compensation. Here are a few examples:
- California: Transparent California, a service of the California Policy Center and Nevada Policy Research Institute
- Florida: Florida Has A Right To Know, provided by the governor’s office
- Indiana: Gateway, provided by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance
- Nevada: Transparent Nevada, a service of the Nevada Policy Research Institute
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