Federal workers everywhere, from Vice President Dan Quayle to troops in the Persian Gulf, will pocket fatter paychecks in the new year.
There's one exception to the rule: President Bush.His salary stays frozen at $200,000, right where it has been for the last past years and five presidencies.
For several million rank-and-file workers, both military and civilian, the pay raise is a flat 4.1 percent.
But thousands of top federal executives are getting big raises, thanks to a 1989 law that lifted the lid on salaries.
Quayle's pay will rocket from $124,000 to $160,600. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Speaker Thomas Foley get the same 29 percent increase. Cabinet salaries swell from $107,300 to $138,900.
The Constitution precludes raising - or lowering - the president's pay during his term, so Bush has no immediate prospects for a salary hike.
Bush has "no complaints," says White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater.
"He thinks his pay is adequate. The presidency's still a pretty good job," quipped the press secretary.
No one disputes that, but a blue-ribbon panel that reviewed government salaries two years ago did recommend boosting the president's salary in 1993 to $350,000 plus a cost-of-living adjustment. Congress ignored the recommendation.
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader begs to differ.
Nader, who lobbied strenuously to block the pay hikes, believes Bush should revoke the 1991 raises and cut his own pay "as a gesture to the American people at a time of considerable sacrifice for them."
Experts agree that whatever the salary, the presidency is rich in perquisites, from a mansion staffed with servants to the limousines, helicopters and Boeing 747 jumbo jet at his beck and call.
"The president probably gets the equivalent of another $500,000 in perks," said lawyer Lloyd N. Cutler, who chaired the 1989 Quadrennial Pay Commission. "The perks make up for an awful lot of salary,"