Hurry up! Someone call former President Obama and tell him the news. He might want to put a hold on that next taxpayer funded vacation until he reads what’s about to happen. His pretty presidential stipend is about to get slashed. There was a Senate committee who approved a bill to reduce the amount that a former president can earn. If by earn, they mean, do whatever they want and get paid on the taxpayer dime, then by all means – earn it is! Former presidents receive a lifetime salary of around $200,000 – it’s whatever the current cabinet is earning. It’s like the former president still has a job, but they’re just out living their life not giving a hoot what anyone does. Or maybe they campaign for someone in their party, but if Obama were to campaign, there’d be no one to campaign for since President Trump would defeat them all anyway.
The update that could be pending, is an update to the Former Presidents Act. It would reduce both the amount that a former POTUS receives and also reduces the amount that taxpayers shell out to the previous leaders.
According to Chron: Each former president receives the same salary as a current member of the Presidential Cabinet. For 2013, the amount was $199,700 per year. This number does not take into account the extras the former leader is entitled to including a $96,000 stipend for office staff payroll and free postage for life.
Sen. Joni Ernst is concerned with America having $20 trillion in debt. They also want taxpayers to no longer be responsible for paying for the salary of a former president. They justified this by suggesting that former presidents earn tons of money on book deals, speeches, and other former president type of business opportunities.
“Our national debt now exceeds $20 trillion; this bipartisan effort is another important step toward reigning in Washington’s out-of-control spending,” Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, sponsor of the Senate legislation, said in a statement.
“It is ridiculous to continue asking taxpayers to help foot the bill for former presidents’ perks at a time when they already rake in millions of dollars from book deals, speaking engagements, and more.”
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs unanimously approved the language of the bill, and it awaits a vote by the full Senate chamber. The House is set to consider a companion bill, proposed by Georgia Republican Rep. Jody Hice.
Former presidents receive a salary set at the highest level of federal pay that cabinet-level officials make during their service, currently about $207,000 annually. Ernst’s proposal would cap stipends at $200,000 per year, adjusted each year for cost of living increases.
In the grand scheme of things, we’re talking pennies on the dollar. If all they want is a $7,000 decrease, then that’s not really going to be noticeable to the taxpayers or the president. That’s about as effective as banning guns. If Obama, or any former president suffers on a $7k loss, then what is that really? One fancy trip less than usual? This part is not a huge loss to someone who has a bank account with a six figure checking account.
If they wanted to make a huge dent in the spending, they would drop $50k off that number right away. $150k to do nothing isn’t a bad salary.
Here’s where it does get interesting. The money made by former presidents doing random odd jobs will affect their annuity. Every dollar over $400k would reduce the annuity they have. Will this push people to work harder, or cut their jobs off at $400k? Time will tell. Would someone who earns that much money notice a difference?
Another provision of the bill would push former presidents who find an additional stream of income slowly off the taxpayer’s support. For every dollar a former president makes above $400,000 from speaking engagements or other post-presidential work, the annuity would be reduced by $1 in the Senate proposal. Obama made around $400,000 in one speech to a Wall Street private equity firm earlier this year, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
That makes sense. $400k in a year is wonderful money. That comes out to $7,692.30 per week ($1,098 per day) if you’re wondering. I already know what I’d spend that on for the first few days. I’d be sitting at the all-you-can-eat buffet waiting for them to drag me out by the back of my stretched out pants.
While Obama and some other former presidents might lose a few bucks if this literally goes through, at least the taxpayers can save cash. It won’t amount to much for us, but anything helps these days. Just keep in mind – if Trump passes this, then he’ll be affected by after his term/s.
It would be wise for Trump to keep the salary of former president’s as it is, but he will likely get pressured into signing off on it.
The true moral of the story is this – we should all run for President in hope’s that we get elected, work 4-8 years, then retired and collect the “former president salary” which should really just be called “welfare for old presidents.”