There are currently four living ex-presidents. All of them are wealthy. According to Politico, all of them are also accepting taxpayer largesse:
George W. Bush may have raked in $15 million from speeches alone in 2010, but he still expensed $1.3 million to taxpayers, including $80,000 in phone bills, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl reported in “Spinners and Winners.”And Bill Clinton also made it big on the speech circuit — bringing in $10 million — and billed more than $1 million in expenses to taxpayers. Jimmy Carter, meanwhile, received over half a million in expenses, including $15,000 for postage, and taxpayers also paid $830,000 for George H.W. Bush.
Entitlement reform is what it will ultimately take to balance the books, and should be one of Congress’ highest priorities. But wasteful spending such as George W. Bush’s phone bill should be reined in, too. Fortunately, a bill from Rep. Jason Chaffetz would end taxpayer giveaways to ex-presidents with incomes over $400,000 per year.