President Obama is asking for more money for when he leaves office, according to his latest budget requests.
As a future former president, Obama will benefit from his proposed hikes in the pensions and other lifetime benefits given to living ex-presidents in his budget requests for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
“The President’s FY2017 budget request seeks $3,865,000 in appropriations for expenditures for former Presidents, an increase of $588,000 (17.9%) from the FY2016 appropriation level,” according to a report from the Congressional Research Service published Wednesday. “The increase in requested appropriations for FY2017 anticipates President Barack Obama’s transition from incumbent to former President.”
“For FY2016, President Obama requested and received appropriations of $3,277,000 for expenditures for former Presidents – an increase of $25,000 from FY2015 appropriated levels.”
It doesn’t appear he needs the money, however; former President Bill Clinton earned $132 million from speeches given between Feb. 2001 and March 2015.
“Clinton received $924,000 in taxpayer dollars last year by way of the Former Presidents Act,” the Washington Free Beacon reported. “…Critics of the act argue that it financially supports former presidents who are not struggling.”
“Many of them, alternatively, have gone on to profit from writing books about their time in the White House or delivering paid speaking engagements.”
Enacted in 1958, the Former Presidents Act provides living ex-presidents with a $200,000+ annual pension, staff salaries, travel expenses, Secret Service protection and other benefits.
However, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has recently proposed legislation that would cut down a former president’s pension by a dollar for every dollar the former president earns over $400,000 in the private sector in a given year.
“You want a retirement and pension, it’s there, but if you’re going to go out and make enormous sums of money, then you don’t need taxpayer subsidies,” Chaffetz said. “The former presidents are making gobs of money speaking and writing books, more power to them, but that doesn’t mean they need more taxpayer dollars on top of that.”
“It’s embarrassing that they take that money.”