After presidents serve two terms, they receive funds as a thank you for their service and for protection.
Republican senators have noticed, however, that former President Barack Obama has become the most expensive ex-president to have ever served, according to The Washington Times. To combat this, GOP senators are pushing for a cap on the amount of pension and funds an ex-president can receive. This would be bad news for Obama.
The three expenses former presidents extract from taxpayers are for a security detail, pension, and office expenses. While the security detail is understandable, and some financial compensation for their service leading our country, regardless of actual performance, is also fine, frivolous expenses and demanding excessive funds is not.
It’s been revealed that Obama is the most expensive former president ever, raking in a total of $1,153,000–$236,000 for pension, $536,000 in rent for his office in Washington, DC, and other expenses.
This is why Republican senators, headed by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), have proposed a bill that will cap the amount of taxpayer dollars ex-presidents like Obama can qualify for. The cap would be $200,000 for an annual pension, with a $500,000 cap on office expenses that would drop every year for a decade until it reached a max of $250,000.
According to Ernst, the caps are more than fair considering former presidents have lucrative options for making money. “The reality is that post-presidential life already provides fruitful opportunities on its own, with former presidents raking in tens of millions of dollars from book deals, speaking engagements, and more,” Ernst said.
This certainly proved true for the Obamas. He signed a book deal, with his wife, earning them $65 million, according to Newsweek. Penguin Random House won the astounding bidding war to obtain the rights to publish the couple’s memoirs.
According to the CEO of Penguin Random House, Markus Dohle, the memoirs of the power couple were highly valuable considering the influence they had on the world as president and first lady.
The Blaze also reports that Obama is giving a single speech this month that will earn him $400,000. The speech will be given to Wall Street bankers attending a health care conference. This would make his speech worth twice what either Bill or Hillary Clinton make for a single speech.
An analysis by CNN shows Hillary and Bill Clinton earned more than $153 million for the 729 speeches they gave between 2001 and 2016. Their average payment for a speech was about $200,000, half of what Obama will make with his speech.
Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders commented on the money that established politicians like the Clintons can make on their own during one of the debates: “What being part of the establishment is, is in the last quarter, having a super PAC that raised $15 million from Wall Street, that throughout one’s life raised a whole lot of money from the drug companies and other special interests.”
GOP senators are pushing for a cap on the amount of pension and funds an ex-president can receive. Is this a good idea?
If both Barack and Michelle Obama maintain the trend of $400,000 per speech and do so consistently for the next 15 years, they could double what the Clintons made and earn about $300 million.
With staggering numbers like that, it’s no wonder Republican senators are wanting to cap the extra gravy Obama is collecting off taxpayers. His $65 million book deal more than proves he doesn’t need $1 million in assistance from taxpayers to cover his expenses.
While the service of former presidents is appreciated, regardless of what they accomplished in office, the amount of money they receive in appreciation should be limited. Otherwise, the more corrupt former presidents will seek to exploit the system.