Skip to comments.Chief White House Calligrapher Gets Paid $96,725 Per Year
Posted on 03/06/2013 6:24:55 AM PST by reegs
With the White House closing its doors to public tour groups in order to save money for the sequester, it's worth remembering some of the other costs the White House incurs annually.
Like the "Chief Calligrapher," Patricia A. Blair, who has an annual salary of $96,725, and her two deputies, Debra S. Brown, who gets paid $85,953 per year, and Richard T. Muffler, who gets paid $94,372 every year.
In all, the White House appears to employ 3 calligraphers for a yearly total of $277,050.
Despite sequestration, there's been no announcement of the White House scaling back on calligraphers.
What does the “White House Calligrapher” do?
Wastes a lot of taxpayer money and adds to our $1 trillion + per year deficits.
Probably not a lot more than the city farrier in Detroit.
Duh, they study Caligula.
The art of fine handwriting.
The White House calligraphers man the official top secret calligrograph - which as stated is top secret.
Add in another $100,000 per year, at least, for their benefits, and they probably have some VERY FINE office space. Another bargain for the US taxpayers!
The “Calligrapher” operates the InScribe Calligraphy system that WE make. It’s a modified Plotter that uses real Chiselwick pens and runs off our software.
$100,000 a year for benefits, $400,000+ a year for retirements of previous calligraphers, and knowing this administration, likely another $400,000 for office supplies. Can’t let the script of a hand written invitation be artistically scribed with anything less than a gold plated tip, can we?
But vacuuming up the footprints of the unwashed is certainly a bill which could be avoided, therefore tours are axed, while The One enjoys his glass of fresh blood orange and papaya with his awakening meal.
By Washington standards, these salaries are not really high. A fairly common working level grade GS-13 starts around $90K and can be paid up to around $115K. The next two grade levels typically get paid around $120K and $140K, respectively. And then there are those great benefits....
Feds have been on the gravy train for a long time.
I know what calligraphy is, but just wondered what its function was in the White House.
Wikipedia says the WH calligrapher is in charge of writing the place cards for State Dinners and official pronouncements. Well worth $100K, I’m sure.
I’m sorry. I just noticed their account marked as “inactive”. We also had systems at the Vice President’s Office, The Department of Energy, Fannie Mae, NASA, Pentagon Building Op-004a and the SCOTUS. So all of them, instead of using the best, most efficient and HIGH QUALITY calligraphy system there is. Went back to hand held pens. We also have a Perfect Print return Policy. Just in case the system makes a mistake....
On FOX last night they said that the White House tours are/were conducted by volunteers.
I think one of the people was Kirsten Powers who said she used to work in the White House and had first hand knowledge.
So the cancellation of tours is just an attempt to make a highly visible political move pushing the false notion that it was caused by Sequestration cuts.
So, the “Calligrapher” isn’t even a skilled in the art of calligraphy? I can understand an expert in their craft, the best of the best, demanding a higher salary ($96,725 is still ridiculous), but if this person is simply running software, it seems like a complete waste.
They will only cut those expenses that are highly visible and hurt the most people,
with the twin goals of hiding the waste
and causing public outcry against any cuts.
“What does the White House Calligrapher do?”
I would imagine they do the fancy writing on invitations, awards, and those things with your name on them that show where you’re supposed to sit at a table. I could see how that would keep three people busy. If you’re going to do it, and protocol pretty much requires it, then it’s a position of some responsibility. The salaries sound like they’re in the GS-12 to -13 range with DC locality pay.
They are probably several of the small number of Federal employees who actually perform a useful function and do it well.
Another Federal employee could do it in his spare time with a computer.
The Federales never computerize anything that will eliminate jobs. There are at least 500,000 Federal jobs that could be rationalized and eliminated by computerization same as has been done in the private sector
I’m surprised that Bambi hasn’t replaced this “oil’ white man’s writing style” with some def down home rappin’ graffiti artists. Spray painted, misspelled name cards would be all the rage. Yo.
Our early Calligraphy customers were skilled. However, Arthritis and Repetitive Stress caught up to them. I doubt many of them ever made this kind of money even with our software.
I can understand how protocol requires elegant entries on awards, placards and menus, but protocol doesn't insist that all calligraphy be performed by hand, and therefore, it seems like these jobs could be performed for far less, and probably by two people at the most.
Thomas Sowell wrote a column on this very thing just recently. He said, approximately and in reductio ad absurdum, assume there is a government agency in charge of 2 things: 1) Manufacturing lifesaving children's medicine and 2) Erecting statues of Benedict Arnold. Which service would be the first to get cut?
The answer, of course, is 1) The Children's Medicine.
Because, eliminating the manufacture of critical children's medicine is sure to cause an enormous public outcry, and is certain to be added back (immediately) in a later budget. Eliminating the Benedict Arnold statues would cause people to wonder why we were erecting statues of a man like that to begin with.
Mr Sowell, as usual, hit it out of the park. Getting rid of volunteer-led WH tours will cause a public outcry. Getting rid of the "Calligrapher's office" (and likely a million+ per year in expenses to run it) causes people ask "Tell me again why we need this?".
That’s exactly where I got the example,
but I changed the statue to Cat in the Hat as an illustration for my kids.
maybe they write / sign all of the checks?
In my opinion, protocol is about getting titles, official addresses, and behaviors correct. Crap like this is nothing but showmanship. We should be setting an example of economy for the world, not keeping up with the Joneses.
Lets not forget that this is the president who shoved the Israeli Prime Minister out the back door so the president could meet with his arab friends.
It was only about a month ago that we read about millions being spent on the finest crystal and silver dinnerware for embassies.
But it's not these odd gov't positions that have run up the debt. Getting distracted by individual trees causes us to neglect the entire forests (programs and departments) that need to be clear cut to bring runaway government under control.
our of the White House Calligraphy Office with Pat Blair...
Yes, I agree with you. The other stuff is fluff, and in a real effort to show seriousness in controlling spending, the WH would, and should be willing to cut the fluff.
When Calvin Coolidge was president, the White House chef walked out because Coolidge demanded such frugality.
“What in the Hell is a Prothonotary?”
If we can’t afford to keep criminals in jail then we certainly cannot afford $300,000+ for fancy placecards for state dinners. In fact, we probably can’t afford the state dinners and we certainly cannot afford to be paying for all of the royals vacations. Meanwhile, the TSA is spending $500 million on new uniforms. INSANE!
In the Chicago Metro Area federal employees on the GS Pay Scale get a 25% increase in their base pay due to cost of living (I just looked at a GS Pay Scale the other day). And the D.C. area has to be more expensive to live in than in the Chi area. But even if it's the same, tack on another $24,181, for an annual salary of .... ta-da! .... $120,906! -- at the least.
Pretty sweet gig for doing .... what exactly?
IMO, calligraphy is art. A good calligrapher is worth the same as a good artist. The WH calligrapher, if she is skilled at doing calligraphy by hand, is probably one of the most skilled people in the administration. I’d value that above any of Zippy’s advisers and bureaucrats.
Does the WH need one on staff? That is the real question. I don’t have any insight into what the legitimate needs are at the WH, but I suspect the answer is no. I think it’s likely the work could be contracted out as needed.
My wife said I was lazy for not looking it up.
prothonotary 1. a chief clerk in any of various law courts
She stills says I’m lazy or I would be cleaning out the garage.
Exactly. And that was my whole point. And Barry has three of them. For what? Do they write all of Moosehell's weekly W.H. Dance Night party invitations? Or is he having them forge a new Declaration of Independence or say a new U.S. Constitution? I wouldn't put it past that Commie mutt.
In any case, the WH doesn't need a Calligrapher let alone a 'Chief' with a fricken 'staff' of two.
THIS is "calligraphy":
إن شاء الله
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