I think many Federal officials are paid quite well, especially when you consider the government fringe benefits. They outstrip comparable private sector jobs. We need to have people with a heart to serve the country as well as the intelligence and experience to do it well. They should have proved their mettle before entering politics and earned a decent living.
I agree that we don't need career politicians. They use their influence and directly or indirectly get other sources of income through its use. They often become corrupt to the detriment of the people governed.
Establishment media with disregard for the truth is a bigger problem today. The biggest problem may be undiscerning voters who without further research believe such media.