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Now we know why elections cost so much: they're worth it.

According to the New York Post, Barack and Michelle Obama are "on their way to becoming a billionaire brand." The article notes the many ways the Obama's are turning eight years in the White House into an episode of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

Michelle earned a $65 million advance on her book, "Becoming." She's also making beaucoup bucks on a speaking tour. Ticket prices for her "Conversation With Michelle Obama" in Brooklyn next month range up to $4,070. There will also be plenty of money made on merchandise sales. The Obamas also signed a $50 million deal with Netflix to produce programs that "promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples and help them share their stories with the entire world."

The Post goes on to note that Barack Obama now commands $400,0000 per speech. Last year, he pulled down $1.2 million for three talks to Wall Street firms. Michelle can command $225,000 for a speech. Their nine-bedroom mansion in Washington, D.C., cost $8.1 million dollars. And Forbes calculates their net worth at over $135 million.

Last year, Obama's luxury living sparked complaints from the left. In his first six months as ex-president, Obama went to: Marlon Brando's private island, a Palm Springs estate, Richard Branson's private island, an exclusive country club in Hawaii, Tuscany, and David Geffen's private yacht.

Not bad for basically never having worked at a non-governmental job in his life. But as the Clintons -- another Democrat "brand" -- have shown, getting elected to high office can mean a fortune to the lucky winners of the political lottery. Maybe it's time to rethink, among things, the emoluments of the Former Presidents Act, including their $200,000+ lifetime pensions.