That must be what Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker told himself, before rewarding himself with a $50,000 a year pay raise.
Call it what you will, but Walker's announcement that if he is reelected on April 1 he will accept $50,000 more in salary than he currently does is a pay raise, pure and simple.
Does he deserve credit for giving back $60,000 a year in the past? Sure -- but he made that grand gesture purely for political gain back when he was running to succeed Tom Ament. Four years ago, he wasn't confident enough to change it. But he obviously thinks he's going to win another term in two weeks, so now's the time to grab the gold.
Is the county executive overpaid at his full salary of $129,000 a year? No, not if he/she is doing his/her job. It's a big job with a lot of responsibility.
The thing is, Walker hasn't been doing the job. He's been mismanaging county government, running it into the ground, all in the name of fiscal responsibility. In fact, it's fiscal irresponsibility, but he's hoping to get out of the courthouse before the chickens come home to roost.
After Walker, expect the deluge.
He's played a shell game with the taxpayers, taking credit for a "surplus" this year while the county's parks, bus system, and infrastructure deteriorate.
Deciding that his performance is worth a $50,000 raise is equivalent to the giving multi-million dollar bonuses to Wall Street and corporate execs when they leave a business they have run aground.
Whatever you call this raise Walker is about to give himself, we know one thing -- it's not merit pay.