House Republicans And Democrats Agree To Shut Down Obama’s Pension

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” h

The Hill Reported:

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.

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.

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.

Benefits for former presidents cost taxpayers $2.84 million in fiscal year 2017, according to Hice’s office.

Yet the lucrative opportunities for former presidents and their spouses are well documented.

For example, former President Clinton — as well as his wife, former first lady Hillary Clinton — earned an average of $210,795 for each paid speech from the time he left office in 2001 until her 2016 campaign launch, according to a CNN analysis.

Former President Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama also inked book deals that were reportedly in the tens of millions of dollars.

The legislation would reduce the presidential pension by about $4,000 to $200,000 per year and cap the budget for each former president’s office and staff expenses to $500,000 annually.

Funds available for presidential office expenses would be reduced for every dollar a former president earns over $400,000. Eventually, the staff and office budgets would be phased down to $350,000 in six years and $250,000 in 10 years.

Former presidents and their families would still receive the same amount of security provided by the government as they do today.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

The House and Senate sent similar legislation to then-President Obama’s desk in 2016. But Obama vetoed the measure out of concern it would have unintended consequences by forcing out presidential office staffers without a transition period and possibly affecting government operations for former presidents’ security.

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.