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Old 01-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bimmerfan08 View Post
Being the President of the United States comes with a tremendous amount of pressure and responsibility. However, the commander in chief does enjoy preferential treatment most of us will never experience.

Some of those perks include: having his limo transported by plane wherever he travels, getting to see first-run and not-released movies free of charge, never stopping for a stop light or sign and his own private zip code.

Which brings us to today's Just Explain It.

What's the value of the presidency when you add in all the perks for being Commander-in-Chief?

We may never be able to put a dollar amount on the value of the presidency. That's because some of the costs associated with the position are buried in many different budgets and scattered between different governmental departments.

Let's take a look at some of the presidential perks covered by your tax dollars. They not only make the president's life easier, they're for security and practical purposes too.

Number one -- the president's salary is $400,000 a year. The Chief Executive also gets a budget for entertainment, business and travel expenses.

Number two -- Transportation. To get the president from place to place safely, he has Air Force One, Marine One and a limo available at a moment's notice. A 2012 Congressional Research Service report found that Air Force One costs about $180,000 an hour to operate.

According to the Hawaii Reporter, one round-trip flight to Honolulu by President Obama last month cost about $3.2 million. But the president made two of them because of the fiscal cliff crisis. That doubled the price tag to $6.4 million.

Number three - The White House. For the 2008 fiscal year, Bradley Patterson, a retired Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, estimated the cost of running the White House was almost $1.6 billion. And that amount didn't include unpublished classified expenses.

The president's White house staff also comes at a steep price. In 2012, the White House reported its payroll grew from $37 million in 2011 to $37.8 million. The list includes 468 names. 139 of which make more than $100,000 a year.

Number four - Secret Service access. Protecting the President takes a great deal of manpower. The agency's budget this year is $1.6 billion. A portion of that will go toward protecting president while in office and for life.

And number five - Retirement plan. According to CNBC, President Obama will receive over $191,000 a year for life as soon as he leaves office.

A former president's net worth can grow substantially in retirement. After two terms in office, The Atlantic magazine reported Bill Clinton's net worth at around $40 million. The increase was due to numerous speaking engagements and book deals.
Just Explain It: Who Pays For Presidential Perks?
Your tax dollars do...

1. I wish this article would be more objective instead of specifically citing Obama.

In general, the Office of the President, and to run the country, is expensive.

Item 1: $400K salary. Don't really have an opinion on this, though I think the pay should be commensurate with the Office of the President. What that equates to, I don't know.

Item 2: Transportation. This "perk" is also force protection. A lot goes into protecting the president. With lessons learned over time, (e.g. Kennedy was in a convertible car, hence now presidential limos are closed roofed) has increased the cost of these protection measures, as well as the advent of better technology. Additionally, when the president is traveling (especially overseas) transportation means is not suitable to provide the protection desired. Therefor they need their own transportation and organic assets. Secondly, there is also communication systems. From Air Force 1 to the limousines, a whole suite of secure communications are outfitted to these vehicles for command and control purposes, and in the case of AF1, to run the country. Third is speed and efficiency. Presidents have a busy schedule throughout the day, and items on his calender are planned days, weeks, even months in advance. To meet requirements, and do what the POTUS needs to do, requires speed and efficiency in transportation. Hence the motorcade, or more often Marine 1 helicopters flying around.

Item 2A. Costs. While it all comes out of our taxes, there are some shared costs. For example, OMB allocates X dollars to the Air Force and XX dollars to the Marine Corps. The services take it out of their own allocated funds to operate and maintain Presidential transport (AF 1 and Marine 1).

Item 5. Retirement and Pensions. I'm not entirely sold if only 4 years in office should warrant a pension. But look at Congressmen as well, as well as voting to increase their own salaries. Kind of a conflict of interests to me. I guess if being a politician wasn't lucrative, no one would want to do it.

Last edited by MDydinanM; 01-18-2013 at 04:17 PM.
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