Obama Looks to Give Himself a Pay Raise on His Way Out The Door
The cold, hard statistics don’t lie and they aren’t open to spin.
In 2014, over 46 million Americans in 22 million households relied on food stamps every month to put food on the table, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. That figure is up seven million since 2009 – one million for each year of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The U.S. Department of Labor counted 94,610,000 Americans out of the labor force with only 62 percent of those eligible working or actively seeking employment, the lowest rate since 1977.
The September 2014 report from the U.S. Census Bureau puts the median household income at $51,939 statistically unchanged from the previous year, which was 8 percent lower than in 2007, the first year of the recession.
This is the Obama economy.
And, yet, while Americans continue to struggle to find affordable housing and pay more for groceries, often while combining two or more part-time jobs to take the place of a single full-time position, President Obama has put in his request for a pay raise when he retires next January.
The president’s wish-list budget for Fiscal Year 2017 includes an 18 percent increase in appropriations to former presidents that would kick in just as he begins the next phase of his career, which will undoubtedly include massive publishing advances for his memoirs, as well as those of Mrs. Obama, and astronomical speaking fees along the lines of those commanded by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Congressional Research Service reports that the request “anticipates President Barack Obama’s transition from incumbent to former President,” increasing the appropriation $588,000 for a total of $3,865,000.
The funding has been a part of the federal budget since the Former Presidents Act became law in 1958 to provide living presidents with a pension, as well as funds for an office and staff, travel, mailing privileges and Secret Service protection.
The Secret Service protection is deemed necessary to protect a former Commander-in-Chief from the possibility of kidnapping for ransom or for the purpose of gaining intelligence, but critics argue the perks are no longer needed by former presidents who go on to long, lucrative careers after leaving office.
Bill Clinton began making speeches the month after he left office, earning $132 million between February 2001 and March 2015, yet received an additional $924,000 in 2015 from the taxpayers in the form of Former President Act funding.
The Clinton’s adjusted gross income in 2012 was $19.7 million according to tax documents released by Hillary Clinton, an amount President Obama can expect to equal, if not exceed.
Taxpayers may well wonder why they have to pay for his stamps.