‘Two Americas’ reflected in White House pay.

The National Journal reports that Karl Rove and other senior Bush aides received a $2,800 cost-of-living wage hike in the past year to earn a top pay rate of $168,000. Meanwhile, the lower-income staffers have experienced a salary decline:

Those at the bottom of the White House staff pay scale — the young people answering phones and responding to the president’s mail, for example — are experiencing a pay cut for the same duties because of inflation as they remain stuck at a $30,000 pay floor, which has been the pay basement for at least the past three years.

The Economic Policy Institute writes, “Due to higher inflation and slightly slower wage growth, both the real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) hourly and weekly earnings of most workers have been falling for the past few months. … [H]ourly and weekly wages for the 80% of the workforce holding non-managerial jobs are trending down so far this year.”