House cuts ex-presidents’ pensions

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to scale back the taxpayer-funded benefits that former presidents receive.

The new measure, the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act would cap ex-presidents’ pensions at $200, 000 with another $200, 000 for expenses. Additionally, those benefits will be deducted by $1 for every dollar they earn over $400, 000 and if they earn over $600, 000, they will get nothing at all.

The income of former President Bill Clinton has recently been a source of controversy in his wife Hillary’s presidential campaign.

Since 2014, Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned a combined $25 million from giving speeches.

Committee members were evidently keenly aware of the money that the Clintons were earning, while still taking government funds.

“The thing I like about this bill is that, if people begin to earn outside income trading on their office, the income that we give them begins to drop and hopefully it will restore some dignity to the office of ex-president,” said Representative Glenn Grothman (R.-WI), a committee member who later said that he was referring to Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton will have taken $16 million in benefits for ex-presidents by Election Day 2016. That money goes to his pension, staff salaries and travel.

Clinton will take $218, 000 this year and $221, 000 next year.

Former President George W. Bush has done equally well for himself.

Since 2009, Bush has earned $15 million for 140 paid speeches.


[Politico][Washington Post][Reuters]


  1. Florian Sohnke

    Grothman has a point: There was a time when ex-presidents left office and lived quietly in dignity, the extent of their income earning off the White House years was perhaps writing memoirs. Jerry Ford broke tradition, slightly, and began the questionable practice of “selling” the White House for money. Reagan took a a wad of cash from a Japanese firm, 1.8 million, all the while collecting pensions from the White House and the state of California.

    A new equilibrium was set by Bill Clinton: “Cashing in” on the White House was his goal from the day he left office. Clinton took $250,000 within the first two weeks after his departure; he has amassed a fortune in fees.

    Since decorum has been violated and using the White House to enrich themselves is the trend, why do taxpayers need to foot the bill for ex-chief executives?

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