Poor Tony Snow- the divide grows.

Most Americans, and I’m talking at least 97%, make less than $168,000 a year. A great number of them don’t have health insurance.

White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, who is battling cancer- and could have easily used that as a reason to step down from his high-pressure position, instead said he was stepping down because he couldn’t live on $168,000.

White House Press Secretary Snow Resigns
Snow, 52, battling cancer, said he was stepping down because he needed to earn more than his $168,000 White House salary — an amount far less than he made as host of the “Tony Snow Show” on Fox News Radio and “Weekend Live with Tony Snow” on the Fox News Channel. “I ran out of money,” said Snow, the father of three.

For a press secretary, he could have also added- that I’m stepping down because I’m incompetent, and don’t realize when I’m insulting the 97% of Americans who could easily live on $168,000 a year, plus a great health care plan.

Somehow, this class divide is going to come and bite us in the butt sooner than later.

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D. GreeneJeffreySethAndy Bgene Recent comment authors
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I found Tony Show’s reason for stepping down to be honest and legitimate. I’m, in no way or shape, insulted by his need to earn more than 168k. Your statistic, of 97% is highly suspect.
Do you hate John Edwards for being rich?

J.R. Locke

With you Mr. Esrati. Could he be more smug? You have other public officials or state employees making a 6th of his salary…not to mention teachers. But same old same old, can you feel the disconnect from the average Joe?

Wouldn’t you think Tony Snow would have known how to invest, save or exploit all previous monies made so this wouldn’t be a problem.

David Esrati
David Esrati

Matt, Does 95% make you happier?
It really doesn’t matter-
$168K is more than most of us make. His health care is paid. He has a pension- that isn’t going away.
The man made a poor choice from a PR standpoint on how to exit gracefully.
He’d do better saying- I’m sick of lying for an idiot president- than complain about his finances.


He wants to make more money, and he was honest about it – get off his back. You and your Super Liberals want to make a lot of money too, by taking it from the rich and giving it to yourself. He has every right to leave and go make more money, this is America.

Andy B
Andy B

I gotta go with David on this one.

Matt and Gene are right, Snow can do as he wishes and if he wants to make more and can, good for him. I think what David is saying, and I happen to agree, is it looks pretty bad when you work for an administration that has been known and continues to reinforce the image of disconnect with average people, and you choose to quit your job because $168K, nearly 4 times the average wage in the US, is just not enough.

Was he honest about his reasons, perhaps, but I find it interesting that he’s able to spin just about anything the White House does, twisting and turning words till they have very little meaning left, but can’t find a way to explain his “financial woes” than this? I believe it’s not just honesty, but an intentional message to people that money comes first in the oval office. It’s like all the pro athletes saying they have to feed their family so brining in the extra dough is a must. It just shows that he’s so far outside the norm that his huge salary seems like chump change.


Oh, Mr. J.R. Locke, I could be more smug but I won’t :) BTW, I am the average Joe.

School teachers and state employees both earn fantastic benefits, benefits the average Joe does not receive in the private sector. School teachers only work 9-10 months out of the year. Regarding teachers, when their time-off and benefits are all factored in, they make as much as engineers and RN’s.

I really feel bad for you “Progressive” thinkers. You are always upset and unhappy about everything. I have friends in Mexico who don’t have a fraction of the money and resources that the less-than-average American enjoys on daily biases, yet they are blessed with an abundance of contentment. You all need to get out of this filthy rich country, for a while, and observe what a real hard-life is all about. You just might come back with a sense of appreciation and thankfulness.

Kind Regards,

David Esrati
David Esrati

Obviously you’ve never date a Dayton Public Schools teacher- it’s a lot more than an 8 hour day- and they have to take continuing education- have a Masters degree, and they still aren’t paid what they could make in the regular workplace.
The issue here is Mr. Snow’s PR skills are lacking.
Spin your leaving a little better- than blaming the low wages. That’s all.


$168k in Dayton is a lot of money, but in DC it is more middle of the road. And $168k is a lot different than millions an athlete makes…… His PR skills are lacking, and he should have been slightly more in tune with his words, but at the end of the day it is not such a big deal, and David Esrati is trying to make more of this than is really here. He wants more money – just about every other person does as well – including David Esrati.

And getting off of Snow, DPS teachers or any other teacher should understand what they are getting into before they sign up for such a program. I do believe teachers need to be paid more, but they have to be slightly smarter than a drunk elf to realize that these position pay what they pay, and when they get that job it is not going to change. – And big whoop on 8 hours plus, that is a drop in the bucket compared to most people I know.


I would not dare to cast doubt on Mr. Snow’s professional abilities. Considering his past position on Fox News and working as the White House Press Secretary, his resume trumps mine.

As side a note, my earnings are just a tad more than that of a schoolteacher. Yours truly works many more hours than a schoolteacher. What I wouldn’t give to work only 9-10 months out of the year. I’d settle for eleven! I am open to career suggestions, with the exception of being the village idiot. : > )



Hurray for Ignoratio elenchi and sweeping generalizations… If the Super Conservatives truly believe in personal responsibility, then there would be no argument here – instead it’s putting words in people’s mouths…

Anyone with a spare 30 minutes a month and a spreadsheet can figure out their monthly expenses, then plan & budget accordingly. If you have a McJob or a “real job”, it doesn’t matter.

True, $168k in Dayton is a tiny bit more than $168k in DC.

Yes, this is America, and Tony Snow can want more money, kick a puppy, or wear purple shorts on his head if the mood strikes him. No one is debating that.

The issue David raises is that getting a frowny face about making “only” $168k/y is like a slap in the face with a brick-filled glove to those of us existing with no health care at ~$30k/year.

The short version is that Snow’s words were less than tactful given the health care situation in this country. This doesn’t make him a horrible person, he just made a very big verbal boo-boo to those of us paying attention.


I think studys have shown peoples lifestyles and consumption ratchet up to their discretionary income. What seems like a lot to us might not seem like enough to someone like Snow, who is a member of the the political/media elite and would expect to share the lifestyle of his peers.

People like Snow make a lot, or can make a lot, becuase they are smart, aggressive, and very good at what they do. And, sure, there is some luck there, too.

J.R. Locke

I find it funny that somehow this became a “liberal” “progressive” “conservative” debate yet again. Really had nothing to do with any of that. Like Mr. Esrati said this is a PR guy making a comment that is basically laughing at the face of millions of people across the world who will not see close to that annual salary (while being the voice of their government).

In reference to this broader issue recently at a class on “Third World Countries” we went around the class defining “quality of life” and the first response was of course wealth. Haven’t we learned through all the movies, books, films and every other conceivable exchange of stories that money can’t buy love or happiness? Or is that just another “progressive” “super liberal” dream?

Just for context I am perfectly happy making about $20,000 a year thank you. I have everything I could ever want, and especially need.


Why do we bash people who want to make money? (Take Tony Snow out of the equation.) In general, the American Public and Press do this – even the Press with a lot of money. One can be happy with a certain amount of money, others may feel they “need” more bc they might have kids, want kids to go to college, they may have higher living standards or they might just be a bit more ambitious (or greedy.) At least you have a choice – go for it or not? A far better system than no choice.

Snow is a PR Nightmare – and according to him he needs to make more money. Most people actually feel this way, he was just was dumb enough to say it.

D. Greene

Well, considering old Tony loses at least 30% of his income to the federal government in taxes (roughly 50 grand right there), along with whatever taxes he pays in D.C., which I assume are very high, along with putting kids through college and medical expenses not covered by his fabulous health care, sure, maybe he feels like he needs more money.

Or maybe he has a smack habit he just can’t hold down and it’s all the about the green, get the money, dolla dolla bill y’all.