Former President Barack Obama is on the verge of becoming the most expensive ex-president in United States history, costing taxpayers $1,153,000 next year, according to a new Congressional Research Service memo looking at the official allowances for the five living former chief executives.
Obama’s $1,153,000 budget request for 2018 is more than $100,000 higher than President George W. Bush’s request for next year and nearly $200,000 more than President Clinton’s expected budget. President George H.W. Bush is slated to get $942,000, while President Carter will get less than half that, at just $456,000.
Every former POTUS gets an office, expenses and, in certain cases, an annual pension payment, thanks to a 1950s-era law passed after former President Truman struggled for income when he left the White House in 1953. (Related: Trump Pushes Tax Reform — Attacks Establishment Congress — GDP And Job Growth Shatter Expectations)
While most ex-presidents since Truman have found creative ways to make their life beyond the White House financially sound, the taxpayer-funded perks have, for some reason, remained — and Obama is the latest to take them. (Related: Secret Service: Not Trump’s Fault On Running Out Of Money – Face “Many Problems”)
By far the biggest cost for ex-presidents is renting office space. Barack Obama’s office — 8,198 square feet in Washington, D.C. — will cost taxpayers $536,000 next year, the most of any ex-president. Bill Clinton’s New York office is bigger, at 8,300 square feet, but slightly cheaper at $518,000. The younger George W.’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.
Barack Obama’s pension payment is also the highest, at $236,000 (Wait what? Didn’t he get 3 million for a speech in Milan?). Bill Clinton is second with $231,000, followed by the younger George W. Bush at $225,000, the CRS memo says, citing figures from the General Services Administration, which administers the 1958 Former Presidents Act. (Related: Think the Trump Presidency is Chaotic? Check out Bill Clinton’s Chaotic, Disorganized, Failing First Year as President)George W. Bush’s communications budget is higher than any of the others, at $69,000. By contrast, Obama is slated to get just $11,000. Bush W. will also get more money for printing and supplies than the others.
Jimmy Carter’s figure is so low because he only served a single term in the White House, his only time as a federal employee, meaning he didn’t put in the five years needed to get health benefits.
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