Former Presidents Cost Taxpayers $3.7 Million Last Year
As taxpayers, we pay for pensions and office expenses for former Presidents Carter, Bush, Clinton and Bush. The bill was $3.7 million last year.
The expenses start with a pension of about $200,000 per year. Then come the office expenses, Bill Clinton rents 8,300-square-feet near the Apollo Theater in Harlem for $450,000 and George W. Bush spent $400,000 on his 8,000 square foot office in Dallas.
Perhaps someone should tell Mr. Bush about Vonage as his telephone bill for the year was $85,000 and he spent an addition $60,000 on travel. He topped the expense list for last year at $1.3 million.
Clinton came in second at just under $1 million last year, followed by President George H.W. Bush at nearly $850,000. Costs for Carter, the only other living former president, came in at about $500,000.
The cost totals for ex-presidents don't include what the Secret Service spends protecting them, their spouses and children. Those costs are part of a separate budget that isn't made public.
The Former Presidents Act passed in 1958 as a response to Harry Truman’s financial problems.
Some people are arguing that since our current batch of living former Presidents are all well-off and make huge money for speaking fees and publishing deals we should save a little money by cutting their allowances. I believe that the office President is one of the most under-paid jobs in America and we should be willing to provide them with some perks after retirement, or maybe just provide free rooms at the Old Former Presidents Retirement Home.