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Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Old 10-14-18, 05:43 PM
  #1  
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Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Under a new proposal, ex-Presients would continue to get a pension, health care benefits, and Secret Service protection, but would no longer get millions of taxpayer dollars for other things such as office space.


My opinion is
Spoiler:

I strongly support this proposal.


What do you think?


https://townhall.com/columnists/demi...eform-n2527278

Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

October 13, 2018

Former presidents are among the wealthiest people in the country. The “poorest” of them, Jimmy Carter, is worth $8 million, placing him near the fabled “one percent” of richest Americans. Bill and Hillary Clinton earned a reported $229 million in the fifteen years after the conclusion of his second term as president. And despite this fantastic wealth, taxpayers subsidize former presidents to the tune of $4 million per year because of an antiquated benefit system.

Since 2000, taxpayers have paid out $63 million in benefits and office allowances to the five living former presidents (plus $5 million to President Ford and $4 million to President Reagan). President Clinton, worth an estimated $76 million, has received the most benefits, collecting over $21 million since the turn of the century. Obama is on pace to top that with annual payouts of $1.4 million.

The benefit system was set up in 1958 for President Truman, who was in financial distress upon leaving office. No one wanted to see a former president in poverty, so a law was enacted to “maintain the dignity” of the office. The Former Presidents Act provided benefits that includes funding for travel, office space, staff, and supplies to assist with remaining duties related to their time in office. The benefits also include health care and a pension equal to the pay level for cabinet chiefs.

But Truman’s situation was unique. The income-earning opportunities for former presidents in the 21st century have grown considerably. They can cash in on their historical significance, name recognition, and connections to seal multimillion dollar book contracts, content production deals with streaming media giants, or collect several hundred thousand dollars per event for speaking engagements.

Given the wealth and earning potential for modern-day former presidents, the time has come to reduce the burdens they place on ordinary taxpayers. Relief could come in the form of the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), and in the Senate by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).

The reform would limit the pension a president could receive to $200,000 annually (indexed to inflation) and cap expenses for office space. It would reduce this allowance dollar for dollar by the amount that a president’s adjusted gross income exceeds $400,000, while leaving intact current healthcare benefits and Secret Service protection. In other words, it would maintain a safety net for a former president in financial distress, while phasing out benefits for those with great wealth. A previous version of the reform passed both chambers of Congress in 2016, only to be vetoed by soon-to-be-former-President Obama.

The new bill, easily passed by the House, awaits action in the Senate. There are several indications that the current occupant of the White House would not veto it like his predecessor. President Trump is wealthier than any of his predecessors and has already donated all of his $400,000 annual presidential salary to various causes. The principles of the reform also align with President Trump’s recently announced government reorganization plan to eliminate waste and make government programs more accountable.

Our former presidents, among the wealthiest of Americans, don’t need taxpayers’ help to pay for an office or staff. The allowance reform would save $10 million over five years While that’s not a significant amount compared with the massive federal deficit, reducing a taxpayer welfare program for millionaires would be a noteworthy achievement, and send a sign that Washington policymakers are capable of cutting benefits for the elite so that they can focus on the problems that affect everyday Americans.
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Old 10-15-18, 11:24 AM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

What the hell was going on with Truman? Why couldn’t he have gone and been on the board of directors for several companies or something?
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Old 10-15-18, 11:26 AM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

I support it but like any real reform dont see it happening under this administration.
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Old 10-15-18, 11:30 AM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

From Wikipedia

Upon leaving the presidency, Truman returned to Independence, Missouri, to live at the Wallace home he and Bess had shared for years with her mother.[260] Once out of office, Truman quickly decided that he did not wish to be on any corporate payroll, believing that taking advantage of such financial opportunities would diminish the integrity of the nation's highest office. He also turned down numerous offers for commercial endorsements
Wow. Didn’t want to diminish the integrity of the office. So he made the tax payers give him a pension.

What a dick move.
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Old 10-15-18, 03:01 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Wow. Didn’t want to diminish the integrity of the office. So he made the tax payers give him a pension.

What a dick move.
Yes, having some dignity is really in short supply these days.
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Old 10-15-18, 03:19 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

“maintain the dignity” of the office.
I'll suggest the same thing I suggested for any politician:
- they get the average American income as their salary/pension (currently $57k)*
- they collect the same social security as everyone else
- maybe put a cap on how much they can draw?

*could even make this one interesting by using the average of the years that POTUS was in office. So for Obama, we'd take the average of 2009-2017 and that's his pension each year. Add in a 3% cost of living wage each year. Economy tanks under a POTUS and the average goes down? Well sucks for them and their failed economic policies.

Basically bring their positions/salaries & benefits down to the average American and then we might see people that want to work in government and not be there for the paycheck and doing nothing but pandering to outside interests to help enrich themselves.
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Old 10-15-18, 04:32 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Oh, I'm sure people leave their Wall Street executive positions to work for the government expecting to become rich from those federal paychecks.

What is the largest paycheck working for the government? $200k a year?
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Old 10-15-18, 04:39 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
What is the largest paycheck working for the government? $200k a year?

$11.1M/year
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Old 10-15-18, 04:44 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
I'll suggest the same thing I suggested for any politician:
- they get the average American income as their salary/pension (currently $57k)*
- they collect the same social security as everyone else
- maybe put a cap on how much they can draw?

*could even make this one interesting by using the average of the years that POTUS was in office. So for Obama, we'd take the average of 2009-2017 and that's his pension each year. Add in a 3% cost of living wage each year. Economy tanks under a POTUS and the average goes down? Well sucks for them and their failed economic policies.

Basically bring their positions/salaries & benefits down to the average American and then we might see people that want to work in government and not be there for the paycheck and doing nothing but pandering to outside interests to help enrich themselves.
I follow your idea, but I don’t think tying their pension to economic performance would incentivize them. They make 100’s of K’s writing books and making appearances and stuff.
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Old 10-15-18, 04:45 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Does the benefits payout outlined above include the secret service detail, because that has to cost quite a bit.

I have no problem with the Presidential pension as is, considering what a drop in the bucket it is and how it prevents, even if it's an unlikely scenario, a President from being destitute or poor enough that he has to do something like, I dunno, shill for a company. I look at it the other way, we should probably be limiting to an extent what politicians can do once they're outside of office, to prevent things like passing certain bills then getting rewarded by the companies that benefited afterwards. That would seem to allow people who aren't really in it for the money to get into office, because the salary itself has to be among the least of the perks financially.
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Old 10-15-18, 05:03 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Does the benefits payout outlined above include the secret service detail, because that has to cost quite a bit.

I have no problem with the Presidential pension as is, considering what a drop in the bucket it is and how it prevents, even if it's an unlikely scenario, a President from being destitute or poor enough that he has to do something like, I dunno, shill for a company. I look at it the other way, we should probably be limiting to an extent what politicians can do once they're outside of office, to prevent things like passing certain bills then getting rewarded by the companies that benefited afterwards. That would seem to allow people who aren't really in it for the money to get into office, because the salary itself has to be among the least of the perks financially.

Secret Service protection would continue, as would a pension and health insurance. What would go away would be the millions of dollars in other spending.
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Old 10-15-18, 05:15 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by grundle View Post
Secret Service protection would continue, as would a pension and health insurance. What would go away would be the millions of dollars in other spending.
I mean is the 4 million a year quoted including the health insurance, pension, and secret service?
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Old 10-15-18, 06:19 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Does the benefits payout outlined above include the secret service detail, because that has to cost quite a bit.

I have no problem with the Presidential pension as is, considering what a drop in the bucket it is and how it prevents, even if it's an unlikely scenario, a President from being destitute or poor enough that he has to do something like, I dunno, shill for a company. I look at it the other way, we should probably be limiting to an extent what politicians can do once they're outside of office, to prevent things like passing certain bills then getting rewarded by the companies that benefited afterwards. That would seem to allow people who aren't really in it for the money to get into office, because the salary itself has to be among the least of the perks financially.
I don't think there should be ANY post-service benefits for ANY politician. No pension, no secret service protection, nothing. As you pointed out they already make enough money from the connections they made while in office.
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Old 10-15-18, 08:33 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by sracer View Post
I don't think there should be ANY post-service benefits for ANY politician. No pension, no secret service protection, nothing. As you pointed out they already make enough money from the connections they made while in office.
Strike my post. This is more straightforward and to the point. I'm down with this.
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Old 10-16-18, 06:17 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by sracer View Post
I don't think there should be ANY post-service benefits for ANY politician. No pension, no secret service protection, nothing. As you pointed out they already make enough money from the connections they made while in office.
I’ll go one further. Whenever any federal politician leaves office, we drop them into a random village in a country that was affected by any policies (including treaties, wars, etc) that the particular politician supported while in office. No resources, just the clothes on their back.
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Old 10-16-18, 08:17 PM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
I’ll go one further. Whenever any federal politician leaves office, we drop them into a random village in a country that was affected by any policies (including treaties, wars, etc) that the particular politician supported while in office. No resources, just the clothes on their back.
Then we live stream the action and charge a pay-per-view fee to cover the damages/deficits they created while in office.
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Old 10-20-18, 01:52 AM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I mean is the 4 million a year quoted including the health insurance, pension, and secret service?

I don't think so.
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Old 10-20-18, 01:52 AM
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Re: Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
I’ll go one further. Whenever any federal politician leaves office, we drop them into a random village in a country that was affected by any policies (including treaties, wars, etc) that the particular politician supported while in office. No resources, just the clothes on their back.

That's an excellent idea!
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