Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cheap at Twice the Price (H/T: Drudge) posts this nugget about Billy-Bob Clinton's post-presidential perquisites. Reportedly he pulls down a budget of around $8 million annually, which is fairly hefty when stacked up against $5.5 million for Bush 41 and $4 million for Carter. I'm not at all certain what the fuss is, though:

[Camera pans through various shots of a Manhattan highrise, Staples store, and stock footage of Clinton sitting on a runway getting his now infamous haircut.]

VOICEOVER: Highrise office space in Manhattan... $3.2 million

VOICEOVER: Other services, supplies, and "equipment"... $1.2 million

VOICEOVER: Post-presidential health care option... $10,000.

VOICEOVER: Keeping Bill Clinton out of public office...

VOICEOVER: Priceless.
In our federal budget, this business of millions of dollars for any one item is strictly peanuts. Especially when compared to certain pet projects Congress keeps trying to foist on us.
VOICEOVER: Bridge to nowhere... $320 million
So the idea of keeping a former president fat and happy in his supposedly reclining years doesn't raise my hackles, really. I mean, compared to what it cost us as a country to have him physically in office in terms of domestic spending and one very costly impeachment, a cool $8 million a year is probably cheap.

The article points out that all former presidents — Clinton included — have refused parts of their retirement packages at various times. In the last years of Reagan's life he reportedly eschewed the proffered health care benefit altogether. The article fails to say what Carter uses his benefits for; rabbit culls in the bayou, perhaps. Or maybe he needs the money to "encourage" publishers to accept his manuscripts.

I'm sure there are bigger — and costlier — fish to fry. I think needs a hobby. Maybe they could track the election for awhile?

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