by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I paid a lot of attention to the words of Dr. Anthony Fauci. He’s the federal government’s expert on infectious diseases, after all. But as time went on it became clear that Dr. Fauci was just one voice in a sea of experts. Turns out he’s an incredibly well-paid expert. I knew his salary topped the list of high-salaried federal bureaucrats, but I didn’t know this:
Fauci is currently the highest-paid federal employee in the country, drawing a salary of $417,608 per year. The U.S. President is paid less, with a salary of $400,000 per year.
If you believe that salary should reflect responsibility, then Dr. Fauci making more than the president of the United States seems quite out of whack. Go figure.
Even though the pandemic is – thankfully – winding down, Dr. Fauci’s public persona is not. This fall, his book will be published. It’s called “Expect the Unexpected: Ten Lessons on Truth, Service and the Way Forward.” And that’s not all, as National Review reports.
Meanwhile, a children’s picture book about Fauci titled “Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor” is due out later this month.
Fauci will also be the subject of a new “Disney-backed biopic” documentary that will be released on National Geographic later this year. Filmmakers reportedly followed Fauci throughout 2020 as he worked on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
It is unclear how much Fauci is being paid for the book and if he will profit from the film.
I don’t have a problem with Dr. Fauci earning a living and capitalizing on his public profile. But here’s the irony. Based on his salary and the presumption of additional earnings from these and other projects, Dr. Fauci could be in line for a hit by President Biden’s proposed tax hikes. After all, according to reporting on the president’s tax hike plans and his definition of the rich, Dr. Fauci could be one of those rich people who isn’t paying his fair share.
President Joe Biden aims to fund expanded education, child care, paid leave and other reforms by collecting more tax revenue from Americans who make more than $400,000 a year.
He would do so by raising the top income and capital gains tax rates, changing the taxation of wealthy estates, closing so-called tax loopholes and focusing audits of the rich to prevent tax evasion.