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All the Ex presidents expenses??

By accident, and while reading through the copious reports on the inauguration of Joe Biden I noticed that one of the punishments for the up-coming Impeachment was not only the inability to hold future Federal office but the loss of presidents travelling expenses, which occurred to me to be less than appropriate considering the mayhem wrought by this individual. This for some reason struck a chord leading me to examine further exactly what "perks" were involved after their term [s] of office.

What I found was quite enlightening and somewhat disturbing.

At this point I will make it clear that i have the utmost respect for the new incoming president and Mr Obama and I will tip my hat somewhat to George Bush Jnr and senior, Clinton and Reagan. Hard working men who, in my opinion, did their best for their country as they saw it. You can ask no more than that in this contentious world. As they say, hindsight is a wonderful facility to employ. I can't bear to mention the last incumbent by name but we know who is and may the wrath of Hades haunt him as none of the qualities of the recent presidents i mentioned was he imbued with. This isn't a particular finger pointing exercise but sets of facts to consider to see if they seem appropriate.

Firstly the basic salary while in office is $400,000 plus board and lodging [WH] and a large staff to do your bidding. Plus of course 24/7 protection from the Secret Service , air and land transport as required.

After your term [s] the pension is $221,400.00 per annum and Secret Service protection for the rest of their life including their families. All are guaranteed a full military funeral and the choice of being buried in Arlington cemetery.

This then gets interesting. They are allowed up to $1 million dollars a year in travel expenses and the first lady $500,000 .

Further, they are allowed without cost limit to set up an office and staff it anywhere in the US.

The expenses then go further and broken down under the headings of : Personal compensation, Pension, Travel, Office space, Communications, Printing, " Other un-specified services, Supplies and materials and "Equipment".

Okay, so the net result. In published Federal accounts is that in year 2017 the following expense payments were made to ex presidents.

Jimmy Carter $444,000.00

George W H Bush $868,000.00

William Clinton $1,045,000.00

George W Bush Jnr $1,138,000.00

Barack H Obama $370,000.00

All these payments were in excess of their stipend. In fact between 2000 and 2015 the total cost of ex presidents has been $62 million, plus the cost of Secret Service protection who's figures are classified.

The point of this is that all these men are multi-millionaires and the majority are proven to have assets in excess of $8 [ Jimmy Carter] / $100 million.[Bill Clinton]was and can demand small fortunes in after dinner speaking and giving talks to seats of learning and business forums.

No doubt its a demanding job running the country whether for four or eight years and needs to be well rewarded but you do ponder the need for such large emoluments when after their period of service they are able to more than keep the wolf from the door. The whole concept originated after President Truman fell on difficult financial times during his retirement as he wouldn't take money for extraneous projects during his service or after and had little reserves. But it has been extended over the years. Surely it is time, on a purely moral basis, that the American Senate review and contain this seemingly endless retainer who represent people who are unemployed, plain hungry or disadvantaged .

    David J Winter

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