Secretary of Homeland Security
Color-coded budget advice for Tom Ridge and his children Tom Jr. and Lesley:
Red 1.) Buy a cheaper house.
Tom Ridge and his wife Michele purchased a home in Bethesda, MD, for $873,000 in 2003 with a mortgage of $784,800. Tom Ridge privately owns upwards of $787,000 in stocks and funds with investment stocks in Disney Company, General Electric, Nike, Oracle Corp., and Microsoft Corp. And Tom Ridge says that in the private sector he could easily earn millions per year.
What would Tom Ridge do in the private sector? Which companies would hire a former governor and former head security guard for a salary of (even) $1,000,000 per year let alone multiples of millions?
During Tom Ridge's tenure as Secretary of Homeland Security -- a cabinet post appointed by President George W Bush in 2002 -- Tom Ridge has never secured a detailed warning of terrorist attacks. Tom Ridge's department has issued six vague warnings of pending terror strikes in the USA in the past two years; however, in Tom Ridge's own words, "we don't have details."
The annual budget given Tom Ridge to run The Homeland Security Department is $36.2 billion and the department employs 180,000.
On 30 July 2004, Tom Ridge, 58, told colleagues that he wishes to resign after the 2004 election to seek a private-sector job, whether or not George W Bush wins re-election. However, like Tom Ridge's vague remarks on pending terrorist strikes on US-soil, he also says he might change his mind should terrorists strike the USA a second time.
In other words, Tom Ridge's need for a higher salary is as negotiable as color-coding terror levels of yellow, orange, and red.
Tom Ridge was criticized in 2003 after he urged homeowners to stock up on duct tape and plastic sheeting to prevent exposure to possible chemical weapons attack, he failed to provide specifics, yet sent consumers scrambling to hermetically seal their dwellings.