Taxpayers will hand over $1,153,000 next year to Barack Obama to help cover his post-presidency expenses, according to the numbers from the Congressional Research Service. That will make him the most expensive ex-president to date.
The Washington Times explains what’s going on:
Every former president gets an office, expenses and, in some cases, an annual pension payment, thanks to a 1950s-era law enacted after former President Truman struggled for income when he left the White House in 1953.
While most ex-presidents since Truman have found ways to make their life beyond the Oval Office financially rewarding, the taxpayer-funded perks have remained — and Mr. Obama is the latest to take them.
The book deals alone should be more than enough to cover everything their hearts desire, but free money is free money.
Obama’s budget request for 2018 is over $100,000 higher than his predecessor, George W. Bush, The Times notes. It’s almost $200,000 more than what former President Clinton will get. President George H.W. Bush will get $942,000 and Jimmy Carter still gets a good piece of the pie at $456,000.
The Times report adds:
By far the biggest cost for ex-presidents is renting office space. Mr. Obama’s office — 8,198 square feet in D.C. — will cost taxpayers $536,000 next year, the most of any ex-president. Mr. Clinton’s New York office is bigger, at 8,300 square feet, but slightly cheaper at $518,000. The younger Mr. Bush’s office in Dallas is $497,000, while his father’s space in Houston is $286,000. Mr. Carter’s Atlanta office is just $115,000.
Obama also tops the pension payment category with $236,000. Clinton claims second place, getting $231,000 -- because Lord knows, the Clintons need more money. Remember how they left the White House flat broke??
The only category Obama doesn’t “win” is with his communications budget which is only $11,000, compared to George W’s nearly $70,000.
None of these figures include each former president’s Secret Service detail. Those are kept private, but likely cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
The award for sneakiest perk goes to President Carter, which The Times has kept a close eye on:
Because of an arrangement he struck to turn his home over to the National Park Service when he dies, taxpayers do upkeep on his house in Plains, Georgia, The Washington Times reported in 2011. In 2010, that cost came to $67,841, and included sweeping his tennis court twice a day, clearing branches from the estate’s walking trails, and cleaning the pool.