Tom Ridge can't put his kids through college on 175 thousand?

Huh? There are plently of reasons for Ridge to step down as Homeland Security director, but the “low pay” shouldn’t be one. I am quite sure than MANY Americans are putting their kids through college on a hell of a lot less than the $175,000 he makes each year as a cabinet secretary.

Perhaps he smells a future lobbying job?

I am quite sure President Kerry will nominate someone who will do a better job.

Huh, and to think, when I was working at McDonalds full time, I made too much money for assistance! No, wait, I did get $850 bucks. Nevermind. Smooth sailin’ for erl!

Poor guy. :frowning: We should organize a canned food drive for him.

With his connections, there’s no reason his kids can’t qualify for ROTC scholarships. Push-ups for dollars. My parents are both educators (that’s fancy-talk for public school teachers) and I went to a very expensive school this way. If you’re an American taxpayer, you footed the bill (thanks, btw). Never mind that $175k per annum puts him solidly in the “rich” category. Anyone, rich or poor, who can hack the physical and mental challenges of being in the military can pay for college, and get four years of guaranteed employment afterward at pretty nice pay rates. Possibly even somewhere exciting, where they can help contribute to Homeland Security!

Well, c’mon. I feel certain he’s got an offer on the table for some big bucks from someone. But he can’t say THAT to the press. So he needs a fiction. But at the same time it doesn’t have to stand up to long-term scruntiny because once he’s out of public office then SCREW the press and laugh all the way to the bank.

It sounds like he’s organizing his on easy kiss-off from government service. More power to him.

If I were one of his kids, I’d resent being used like that. Why bring his kids into it? He wants to make more money, fine. He’s tired of his job, fine. But saying he’s doing it for his kids, when so many other families are “doing it” on much much less? That’s just a lousy, no-good excuse.

…but a lot of his salary goes to maintaining that perpetually “pinched” look on his face. His kids will be going to state schools if he doesn’t pull a big jump in income. :smiley:

Given that the tuition for the PA State System of Higher Education is a (relatively) dirt-cheap six grand a year for PA residents, either Ridge is not telling the whole truth, or his confidence in his own state’s university system is pretty low.

Even Penn State is twenty grand per year at its most expensive. I can’t really see how Ridge could fail to find forty grand a year for his kids to go to school.

(Note: I realize that the Ridge kids have not been living in PA for quite a while. However, I think that either system would consider them to be in-state since their father was governor, and a pretty popular one at that.)


What’s the line about rodents and unseaworthy vessels?

At his age, he shouldn’t have that few assets. He’s overextended on his house (for his age and income). He has a nice nest egg in the market, but it isn’t huge - even at the high end - and is downright paltry at the low end for the people he hangs with. And I can see why he won’t be able to afford college, particularly since his kids are fairly likely to get accepted into someplace kind of expensive.

Public service is an expensive career choice. Its one of the reasons I’m offended by the thought that politicians are only out to get us. On the other hand, public service is a very nice calculated risk, Mr. Ridge should do just fine in the private sector and be able to make up for lost time in his college savings and portfolio very quickly.

Amazing, my girlfriend is putting herself though med school. Poor Ridge, $175,000 is a pittance. :rolleyes:

I’m sure Bush will replace him with a better puppet.

What Jonathan Chance said. I imagine that he’s looking to bail without it seeming like he’s bailing. And with the way that he’s been used, I can’t say that I blame him.

As to using his kids, well, he’s gotta use something. And children are the one thing that you can use to make any decision seem noble.

What is the meaning of this phrase “put your kids through college”?

I think my parents had about 75 cents to give me for college. It’s called financial aid, people. There are these miraculous things called student loans, and grants, and scholarships, and then there is also “working your way through school,” which is another education all by itself. These are what got me my sheepskin, along with a lot of work.

Seriously, who gets a free ride through college from Mommy and Daddy anymore?

raises hand

Well, mostly. But that was because mom told me she’d pay $XXXX per year towards college and if I could fit it within that budget the rest was mine to keep.

Frostburg State, there I went!

Who get financial aid anymore! His kids certainly won’t qualify for a penny if Dad pulls $175,000 a year.

His take home, after taxes etc, is probably around $9,000 a month. On a 15 year mortgage (he being 57 when he bought the home, I’d assume he has a 15 year mortgage) he pays $5800 - before insurance and property tax. That leaves him with about $3000 a month for all his additional expenses. Car payments, utilities, two teenagers, dressing a wife for GOP political events - these things aren’t cheap.

He also needs to do something about his retirement. At best, he has $787,000 in stocks - not nearly enough to fund retirement at his presumably current standard of living - he can’t make his house payments with that and still have enough left over when he is 80 to be able to gum Cream of Wheat. I’d assume he gets a fairly decent pension as a cabinet member, and one for being Governor - and that is what will keep him afloat.

He has, realistically, about 10 working years left.

No, I really don’t think he has a choice - unless he wants to be broke rather fast. He can’t even find $40,000 a year to put two kids through Penn State.

I was so lucky to have been a Georgia resident who attended a public university. The HOPE scholarship was the only thing that made me not totally dependent on my parents.

If your parent’s income is as high as Ridge’s, how easy is it to get financial aid? I honestly do not know.

Unfortunately, the whole “financial aid” thing is totally f-ed up. In a lot of cases, if you’re under 25 years old, whether or not you even live with Mom & Dad is completely irrelevant, and their income is taken into account even if you’ve been living on your own for three years. That in itself is enough to hose up any hope you had of financial aid.
Plus, the rules for FA don’t seem to be designed to actually dispense money to anyone anymore. I’ve a friend who applied for FA and was told she didn’t qualify. Evidently, $15,000 / year is waaaaayyyyy too much to be making and you should be able to afford all those college expenses with that. (On top of your day-to-day expenses, naturally!)

It might seem like a lot but considering his probable expenses I’m not surprised he’s feeling the pinch. This puts him in the 30% bracket, DC is I’d imagine an expensive place to live and he’s got to maintain a polished, groomed look… nice suits, etc. I’m sure he’s rtying to sock away as much as possible since he’s not all that far from retirement too.

He very well may have some other reason for wanting to leave his position but 175K doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on Easy Street.

Please. He is a politician. All the money is going to hookers and blow.

I bet he blew all his money on plastic sheeting and duct tape.

That’s true. And I’m sure he has nice houses and cars and clothes. But he’s making a six-figure salary, just like he did for years as Governor of Pennsylvania (while having many amenities paid for by Pennyslvanians, I imagine). Plus, as you note, he must have a pension. Did the money go up his nose? :confused:

A guy who has been making in excess of $100,000 a year for most of the last decade - I don’t know what he did before he was Governor or between 2001 and the Homeland Security post, but I bet he wasn’t flipping burgers - should probably not have to quit his job in order to take a seven-figure job just so he can put his kids through college.

I sure will miss his vague and useless warnings and 1984-style TV spots, though.