Is anyone’s speech worth $400,000? Apparently the Wall Street firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, must think so since that’s what they have agreed to pay Mr. Obama to speak to them later this year.
It’s a ridiculous sum of money for someone to earn for just one talk, even if that person is a past president. It almost makes you wonder if there is something else going on beneath the surface. But perhaps not.
If you are already a millionaire and can make money giving speeches at a rate of $400,000 per hour, do you really need to be taking public money in the form of a presidential pension? Apparently some legislators don’t think so since they’ve introduced a bill to cap presidential pensions.
“[Congressman Jason] Chaffetz and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, the sponsor of the companion Senate bill, say they will re-introduce the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act this month. The bill would cap presidential pensions at $200,000, with another $200,000 for expenses. But those payments would be reduced dollar-for-dollar once their outside income exceeds $400,000.”
So if this passes, a past-president would still get $400,000 per year from the government even if making another $400,000 per year from speaking or whatever work he might choose to do. That adds up to $800,000 per year before any reductions in the pension occur. He should be able to get by on that.
However, could Mr. Obama have tried previously to head off such legislation, perhaps anticipating the windfall he would get from exorbitant speaking fees? “Interestingly enough, Obama vetoed a bill last year that would do just what Chaffetz and Ernst are recommending.”
Some might say that he earned his pension, or that you should not change someone’s pension plan after he or she retires. And under normal circumstances that make great sense.
But this is not a normal situation. When someone can go about earning $400,000 per hour, presumably multiple times per year, perhaps the government can find something better to do with its money than use it to further enrich millionaires.
Pass the bill.
Source: Independent Journal Review