Why in the world would a former President of the United States need a pension, or any other financial benefits, for that matter? All they have to do is give one or two speeches per year and they will make more money than only the wealthiest of Americans. If they cannot make it on speaking and consulting fees or lucrative book deals, that’s just too bad.
We have an example being set by President Trump. He has refused to accept his presidential salary. No doubt that practice will carry over after he leaves office, taking the form of his refusing the presidential pension. While this won’t fix the deficit, it does point in the direction of the original idea that those in elected office should be citizen-leaders, rather than those looking for a lifetime income from their government “service.”
It turns out that Mr. Trump might not even have to make that decision to decline the presidential pension. The House just voted to cut the size of pensions for millionaire past presidents. It’s about time. If Mr. Obama is unhappy, he can get to work, although any “work” he might do is a far cry from what the vast majority of Americans do on a daily basis.
“The House easily passed legislation on Monday to reduce the pensions and federal benefits provided to former presidents.
“Before approving the bill by voice vote, lawmakers expressed agreement that modern-day former presidents don’t need financial assistance from the government if they already earn salaries in the millions.”
It’s interesting to note where this practice of paying past presidents pensions got its start.
“Under a law established in 1958, former presidents are eligible for an annual six-figure pension, plus funds for staff salaries, office space and other expenses.”
And here is where it is likely to get cut.
“Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), the author of the bill, questioned the necessity of providing funds for former presidents who can make millions of dollars from book deals and speaking engagements.
“‘Because of these opportunities, it’s no longer necessary to provide taxpayer-funded support to former presidents in the same way as envisioned in 1958,’ Hice said during House floor debate.”
Mr. Obama vetoed a similar bill, claiming concerns over the fate of presidential staffers and the security for past presidents. Whatever. This time around it will be President Trump who will have the opportunity to sign the legislation.
And there should be no doubt as to what this president will do.