Congress Is About To Take Back Millions In Tax Dollars From Obama.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is leading the fight to cut back on the amount of money ex-presidents receive from taxpayers to provide for their pensions and office expenses. She introduced legislation on Tuesday that would help set a cap on the perks ex-presidents get,
President Obama and George W. Bush’s pensions and office equipment are expected to cost more than $1 million in 2018.
Ernst has said that she doesn’t want to cut down the taxpayer-funded security detail that the ex-presidents get, but that the cap for their annually pensions would be set at $200,000 per president and would impose a cap on how much their office can cost.
Initially the cap would be $500,000 a year, dropping over a decade to $250,000 per presidential office.
“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,” said Ernst.
Obama is poised to be the most expensive ex-president during his first full year out of office in 2018. Between his $236,000 pension and his rent for an office in Washington D.C. that rakes up to be $536,000, including other expensive, he will end up costing taxpayers some $1,153,000, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS):
“His Obama’s immediate predecessor, Mr. Bush, will get a $225,000 pension payment next year and his office in Dallas will cost $497,000, plus a higher communications and printing budget — bringing his total cost to just more than $1 million, the CRS said.”
The bill that allowed former presidents to receive payments came from the Former Presidents Act that became a law in 1958, after President Truman struggled to make a living after leaving the White House.
Ernst believes it is time to update that bill but that she would not change any of the legislation that provides lifetime security for the ex-presidents.
The cheapest of the five former presidents that are still alive is President Carter, who is slated to get less than $500,000 in taxpayer money and his expenses for his office are far lower than the others.