MoneyThe PCAOB has a new budget for 2008, but not without a little controversy.

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved the $144.6 million budget on Dec. 18, but not before commissioner Paul Atkins complained about the high salaries of PCAOB members. The budget calls for a 3.3 percent increase in the PCAOB members’ salaries. According to this CFO.com article, that means PCAOB Chair Mark Olson will now make $654,406 per year and each of the other board members will make $531,995.

CFO.com’s Sarah Johnson outlined Atkins’ objections: “To back up his disfavor of these raises,” she wrote, “Atkins gave a short presentation showing that the board members’ salaries are much higher than those of top public-sector officials, including the president of the United States (who makes $400,000). ‘In case you were wondering, the [PCAOB] chairman makes more than all of us sitting up here earn combined,’ Atkins said of he and the three other commissioners, including SEC chairman Christopher Cox.”

What do you think: Are those salaries justified?

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