News & Politics

Oddly Enough: Obama Wants More Money for Ex-Presidents

Oddly Enough: Obama Wants More Money for Ex-Presidents
(AP Photo/Byron Rollins)

Once upon a time, Harry Truman left the White House and went home to Missouri with just the thanks of a semi-grateful nation. Today, presidents are well-paid while in office and taken care of royally after they leave; no wonder they fight so hard for the gig:

President Obama sought to increase the amount of money available for the federal government to spend on former presidents in advance of his White House exit. In his budget requests for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, Obama proposed hikes in the appropriations for expenditures of former presidents, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service published Wednesday.

The report, which discusses the pensions and other federal benefits offered to former commanders-in-chief by way of the Former Presidents Act, specifies that Obama’s 2017 budget proposes a nearly 18 percent hike in appropriations for expenditures of former presidents. He successfully requested an increase in such appropriations for fiscal year 2016.

“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. The increase in requested appropriations for FY2017 anticipates President Barack Obama’s transition from incumbent to former President,” the report reads.

And for this, you can thank the Former Presidents Act, signed into law by Dwight Eisenhower in 1958:

(a) Each former President shall be entitled for the remainder of his life to receive from the United States a monetary allowance at a rate per annum, payable monthly by the Secretary of the Treasury, which is equal to the annual rate of basic pay, as in effect from time to time, of the head of an executive department, as defined in section 101 of title 5, United States Code [section 101 of Title 5]. However, such allowance shall not be paid for any period during which such former President holds an appointive or elective office or position in or under the Federal Government or the government of the District of Columbia to which is attached a rate of pay other than a nominal rate.

Government programs never die, they just keep growing.