Do Presidents Still Get Paid After They Leave Office?
The maintenance of ex-presidents over the past 19 years has cost taxpayers $ 68 million
The President of the United States is not only an honorable position, but also quite profitable: in addition to a good salary, American presidents enjoy many privileges and benefits even after leaving the White House.
Now the annual salary of the President of the United States is $ 400,000. During the entire existence of the institution of the presidency, the salary was revised only five times..
The first president, George Washington, elected in 1789, and the next 17 heads of state received $ 25,000 a year. The first increase took place only in 1873, when the presidential salary was doubled, to 50,000. In 1909, Congress approved a new increase to $ 75,000 a year..
After President Harry Truman was re-elected to a second term in 1949, his salary rose to $ 100,000. Twenty years later, that amount doubled: Richard Nixon, elected in 1969, became the first president with a $ 200,000 salary. The current salary was approved in 2001 after the election of George W. Bush.
Presidents enjoy many benefits: they have at their disposal – free housing in the center of Washington (White House), a whole platoon of service personnel led by a butler, a chef, a fitness trainer, a personal cinema and bowling alley, a country estate in Camp David, 24-hour security , plane, helicopter and limousine.
After leaving office, presidents continue to receive a pension of $ 213,600 a year for the rest of their lives – at the level of ministerial salaries. The regulation on the size of the presidential pension was adopted in 1958 by Harry Truman. Truman himself, after retiring, wrote a memoir and sold them to Life magazine for $ 600,000 (now this amount, adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to $ 5.7 million).
The federal budget also compensates former presidents for their business expenses – business travel and office maintenance. “Even after the president leaves office, he continues to have responsibilities to the state – this is the basis for reimbursing the costs incurred,” says Damien Brady, research director of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation..
During the first 30 months after leaving the White House, the ex-president can hire employees to his office, and their salaries will be paid from the federal budget – the salary fund limit is set at $ 150,000 per year. This amount is then reduced to $ 96,000..
Since 2000, almost $ 68 million has been spent from taxpayers’ pockets on the maintenance of former presidents, excluding security costs, according to the National Union of Taxpayers..
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Bill Clinton, who has received $ 21 million from the treasury since 2000, was the most expensive for the budget. At the same time, the personal fortune of Clinton himself is estimated at more than $ 70 million. After leaving the White House, Barack Obama receives $ 1.4 million annually in compensation, George W. Bush – $ 1.2 million a year. At the same time, both ex-presidents have multimillion-dollar fortunes.
Brady believes that such generous payments are essentially subsidies for millionaires: all former presidents make good money speaking at conferences, publishing books and doing other business projects. So, Barack Obama has established a production company and is now making films for Netflix – the premiere of his first project, a documentary called “American Factory”, took place on August 21.
“Nobody says presidents should beggar,” says Brady. However, he proposes to change the current rules for the payment of compensation to save taxpayers’ money..
An attempt to limit the amount of compensation for former presidents to $ 200,000 a year was already made in 2016, but Barack Obama vetoed the bill. In May, another bill was introduced in Congress aimed at limiting benefits for ex-presidents. This document is still being considered in the relevant committees of the Congress..
The President of the United States is far from the most lucrative position in comparison with the leaders of other states. The highest paid president in the world is the leader of Singapore – he earns more than $ 1.4 million annually. The Top 5 also includes the rulers of Iraq ($ 809,673), Cameroon ($ 620,976), Hong Kong ($ 568,400) and Austria ($ 410,000). Irish President Receives $ 1,000 More Than US President – $ 401,000.
However, the absolute record belongs to the King of Saudi Arabia – according to the Middle East Eye, King Salman receives a monthly salary of $ 800 million a month – that is, $ 9.6 billion a year..
Saudi King Salman is the world’s highest paid monarch
The head of the Vatican, the Pope, the High Ayatollah of Iran and the Prince of Liechtenstein, do not officially receive a dime from the budgets of their states. The salary of the President of Cuba is only $ 360 per year, the President of Laos is entitled to a salary of $ 1,630.
The official annual income of the President of Russia is equivalent to 136,000 dollars. The presidents of Suriname, Colombia and Uruguay receive about the same. Permanent leader of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, according to official statistics, earns $ 33,600 a year, and the annual salary of the President of Ukraine is $ 11,600 – $ 123 more than the President of the Czech Republic.
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