Robert Gibbs isn’t “modestly paid,” Mr. President

In fact, he earns $172,200 in a nation where the average family income hovers around $55,000, unemployment is high, record foreclosures persist and wages for most folks are at best stagnant.

But implicit in Gibbs’ departure is the desire to slow down, recharge and earn a lot more money, especially after an arduous several years where he’s been on call 24/7. He’s hired an esteemed lawyer-agent, Robert Barnett, and is expected to hit the very lucrative speaking tour universe exploited by Washington insiders, including high-profile journalists.

It’s a world in which a one-hour appearance can bring more than many Americans earn in a year, with the elite in the roughly $50,000 to $75,000 range. You offer a few benign inside anecdotes, take some questions and then get taken back by limo to the airport and a seat in first-class (assuming your deal doesn’t include a private jet, as is the case for some journalists I know).