So the debt-obsessed House just passed a budget deal. Not surprisingly, it delivers more bad cuts than a hair-cutting school that’s nearing bankruptcy. And as usual, it leaves out one of the easiest cuts that everyone could agree on – Presidential pensions.
Think about it. These guys (and hopefully women someday) have far greater income-potential when they leave office than before they entered. They don’t need a pension.
Former Presidents get paid big bucks for public speaking. Did you see the clip of George Bush doing a motivational speaking event for a group of “businessmen” shortly after he left office? It was held in some huge indoor arena in Texas where they played a Journey song as Bush walked onto stage. He grabbed the mic and then said something like “the thing about being in the Oval Office is that there are no corners to hide in.”
People pay big money to gain brilliant insights like that. Well, at least suckers do. Somewhere in Texas there’s a guy remodeling his office to eliminate all the corners.
And then there are the books. Publishers pay big bucks to former Presidents so they can feel like Winston Churchill recounting the war years and the struggle to save Britain. These books are a text-based facelift where the President gets to beef up the things that went well and ignore the stuff that didn’t. The resulting book, on which someone squanders $26.99, is like a 400-word Botox shot.
So, Bill Clinton gets paid big bucks to conveniently ignore the Monica Lewinsky affair. Remember when Clinton bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan so he could look tough on terrorists? Yeah, that didn’t make it into the books(s) either.
We should keep the Secret Service protection — there’s lots of wild-eyed guys who’d love to go all Second Amendment on a former President because their boss at Jiffy Lube is a dick. But it’s time for the pensions and all the mail/staff/office expenses to go. Obama talks about everyone “having skin in the game.” He’s right, and I’d love to see him prove it.