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Old 01-21-2021, 06:36 AM
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Exclamation Rules Former U.S. Presidents Have To Follow After They Leave Office

Rules Former U.S. Presidents Have To Follow After They Leave Office
Titled: The Former Presidents Act
By: The Delite News - 01-21-21

The Former Presidents Act:

Before the Former Presidents Act was passed by Congress in 1958, America’s ex-presidents were largely on their own when they got out of office. George Washington enjoyed a lucrative career distilling whiskey at his Mount Vernon estate, Williams Howard Taft was appointed to the Supreme Court and Theodore Roosevelt turned to nonfiction writing, just to name a few.

But the sailing wasn’t always smooth for the nation’s most powerful politicians after they left the White House. Harry Truman was nearly broke after leaving office, living on his modest military pension from his service during World War I, partly as a result of his desire not to “commercialize” his former office by cashing in on the many job offers he was given. The Former Presidents Act was passed partly as a result of Truman’s financial struggles.

1. Perk: A Guaranteed Income

As a result of that law, which the administration of President Dwight Eisenhower helped champion, former commanders in chief were given a lifetime pension of $25,000 a year, which equals about $225,000 today when adjusted for inflation. The pension is equal to the salary of an Executive Level I employee, which was $219,200 as of fiscal year 2020.

Even former presidents who resigned from office, such as Richard Nixon, are eligible for the pension. Those who are removed from office via impeachment are not eligible for the fund, which is covered by taxpayers.

2. Perk: Permanent Secret Service Protection

Even if someone isn’t president anymore, they can still be a high-profile target for attackers. One of the most important perks provided by the Former Presidents Act is lifelong protection by the Secret Service. In addition to covering the ex-president and their spouse, the protective detail also extends to their children until age 16. This perk is available completely at the discretion of the former presidents themselves, as Richard Nixon dismissed his Secret Service protection about 11 years after he left office.

3. Rule: Driving On Public Roads

If you love driving on the open road, you should probably never even consider running for president. While in office, the commander in chief rides in a motorcade and in heavily armored vehicles any time they are on public roads, but the restrictions continue even into retirement. Former presidents — and even vice presidents — who make use of their permanent Secret Service detail are not allowed to drive on public roads and instead rely on Secret Service agents who are trained in evasive driving maneuvers.

In 2017, George W. Bush revealed that he hadn’t driven on a public road in nearly 25 years.

4. Perk: Daily Security Briefings

When you are the president of the United States, you have access to the confidential information gathered by the nation’s intelligence services. As a courtesy, former commanders in chief are still given access to daily security briefings when they leave office — under one condition. Whether or not a former president will be allowed to receive the briefings, which include confidential information about situations both domestic and foreign, is completely up to the sitting president.

5. Rule: Allow Everyone To Read Your Old Communications

This pesky rule is part of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, passed in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Every piece of official communication that comes from the president during their time in office must be kept, archived and made available to the public five years after their administration ends. Since 2014, this law has included all electronic communications related to official business as well, which is why private email accounts are a no-no for presidents when they are discussing business.

6. Rule: Pay Your Dues If You Want Government Health Insurance

Believe it or not, former presidents don’t automatically qualify for lifetime government health insurance. That benefit is only afforded to those who have spent at least five years as a federal employee. This means that one-term presidents who had no other experience in the federal government will be paying for their own healthcare once they leave office. This has been the case for Jimmy Carter and will also be the case for Donald Trump.

7. No Going Anywhere Alone!

In case you hadn’t noticed, privacy is a thing of the past for both current and former presidents. Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent told NBC News that having a Secret Service detail is “the most intrusive thing that anyone could ever experience.” To put it into context, Wackrow said to imagine you’re “at your home tonight and four strangers just show up and they’re standing around in your kitchen.”

As we mentioned before, an ex-president can refuse his lifelong security detail and therefore earn back some privacy, but there would be considerable risk.

8. Rule: Don’t Run For President Again

Given how difficult the job is, it’s unlikely that any former president would want to run for the office again but, in case they did, there’s a constitutional amendment against it. After then-President Franklin Roosevelt won the election in 1940 for an unprecedented third term in office — followed by his win for a fourth term in 1944 — the 22nd Amendment was ratified to keep any president from serving more than two terms.

This rule obviously doesn’t apply to presidents who serve only one term, meaning Donald Trump could run again in 2024 if he wishes.

9. Rule: Don’t Run For Vice President

When Joe Biden earned the nomination from the Democratic party in the 2020 election, there were rumblings that he could pick Barack Obama as his running mate — but that would’ve violated the 22nd Amendment. Given that the vice president is first in the line of succession should something happen to the president, it makes sense that former two-term commanders in chief should be barred from that position. Spending two terms as vice president before two terms as president is the closest to 16 years in the Oval Office anyone will get today.

10. Rule: Don’t Go Phone Shopping

Unlike sitting presidents, former presidents don’t have to worry about every phone conversation they have being recorded for public consumption, but they still have to follow some rules regarding their communications. The Secret Service has to approve all electronic communications devices used by presidents and former presidents, including their phones. So if a former commander in chief wants the newest iPhone, they have to run it by their security personnel first.

11. Rule: Don’t Expect Special Legal Privileges

When a president is in office, they hold the unique power to pardon anyone serving time for a federal offense. That could potentially include the presidents themselves if they were to be charged with a federal crime while holding the job. Once their time in the White House is finished, however, they are limited to the same legal rights as any private citizen. Unless they have a great friend in the the Oval Office — like Richard Nixon did in Gerald Ford — they likely can’t count on a pardon being granted for any wrongdoing.

12. Rule: Staying At The Presidential Townhouse

While this is not a hard rule, former presidents are heavily encouraged to stay at a specific property when they happen to be back in Washington. The Presidential Townhouse is located at 716 Jackson Place, which is approximately a 2-minute walk from the White House. This four-story townhouse was bought by the government in the 1950s and became a landing place for ex-presidents in 1969 under Richard Nixon. One of the reasons it’s an ideal place for former commanders in chief is that it has dedicated rooms in the basement to accommodate a Secret Service detail.

13: Perk: A Lengthy Retirement

Former presidents are living a lot longer after they leave office these days than they did in the past. The overall average retirement span for ex-presidents from the time they leave the White House until their death is only about 13 years, but that has increased significantly to 22.5 years for everyone since Richard Nixon. For comparison, the average length of retirement for other Americans is about 18 years.

Jimmy Carter has had the longest post-presidency life span in history, coming up on 40 years in 2021, while James K. Polk had the shortest retirement period, living for just 103 days after his presidency ended in 1849.

14. Keep A Staff, But Keep It Small

While former presidents are allotted some money for a staff every year, they’d better keep that team small unless they want to pay them out of pocket. When they are in office, presidents are used to having a staff of around 400 people and a budget of around $40 million to pay them all. When they leave office, they are only given $96,000 a year from taxpayers to fund a staff.

When Barack Obama was interviewed by Britain’s Prince Harry on the BBC in 2018, he said the “camaraderie” of his White House team was something he missed about the job.

15. Rule: Represent the U.S. Abroad

As far as soft rules that former heads of state are supposed to follow, being a lifelong goodwill ambassador is a pretty good one. In America, former commanders in chief are expected to travel the world, representing the U.S. in positive ways abroad, and they are given a healthy budget to do so. Every year, ex-presidents are allotted $1 million of taxpayer-funded cash specifically for travel, while their spouses are allotted $500,000 for the same purpose.

To make international travel a breeze, all former presidents have diplomatic passports, which means they don’t pay fees and can avoid much of the red tape that accompanies a normal passport.

16. Rule: Don't State State Secrets

Ex-presidents represent a potentially dangerous challenge for American intelligence services. By the nature of the job, they have a wealth of valuable information in their heads, which makes them a target for opposing governments to exploit or attempt to pay off in return for what they know.

When a president is in office, they have the ability to declassify and share any government information they wish, without penalty. However, when they become an ex-president, it is illegal for them to share classified information that they themselves didn’t declassify while in office.

17. Perk: Serious Earning Potential

While presidents earn a $400,000 salary while doing that difficult job, they have the chance to make a lot more money once they leave the Oval Office. In the first four years after he left office, George W. Bush made an estimated $15 million from speeches alone, while he also commanded at least $7 million from his memoir, according to CNN. Bill Clinton earned a $15 million advance for his memoir and raked in more than $75 million from speeches between 2001 and 2012.

“I’ve never had any money until I got out of the White House,” Clinton said in 2010. “But I’ve done reasonably well since then.”

18. Rule: Stay Mum On Your Successors

While not an official rule, this is one of those time-honored traditions that most former presidents have followed. Not openly criticizing your successors in office, or keeping your public opinions measured, has long been regarded as an act of decorum among former commanders in chief. However, plenty of former presidents have openly ripped a subsequent president over the years, mostly on matters of policy. Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Theodore Roosevelt all took shots at later presidents on the record.

19: Rule: Don't Expect Any Private Mail

Similar to approving a former president’s communications devices, the Secret Service is also tasked with monitoring their mail. This is obviously done for security reasons, but it means that any notion of private correspondence by traditional mail is a farce. The agency checks every piece of mail that an ex-president receives at a facility that’s off-site from their home for maximum safety. This means that it would be pretty tough to surprise your favorite agent with a birthday gift you bought online.

20: Rule: No More Avoiding Traffic

The presidential motorcade is a staple of occupying the Oval Office and it means you never have to sit at a red light. That all ends when you’re out of the White House, however, meaning you have to get used to sitting in traffic again. In 2018, Barack Obama said this was one of the biggest changes he had to get used to when his administration ended.

“I didn’t used to experience traffic,” the former commander in chief said. “I used to cause traffic, much to the consternation of any place I was visiting.”

21: Perk: A New Office

While it might not be an oval-shaped one, all former presidents are given the means to run a new office, thanks to the Former Presidents Act. The law covers the rent for each ex-president’s office, which can be located anywhere in the United States. It also provides money for staffing, equipment and office supplies.

As of fiscal year 2018, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had the most expensive offices of any living ex-presidents, with each billing more than $440,000 for their leases alone. Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter’s $112,000 office rent seems downright spartan by comparison.

22: Rule: Establish A Presidential Library

Another way ex-presidents are tasked with keeping their official records in public view is through the presidential library system. This method of archiving the communications related to the nation’s most powerful office was created by Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, several years after he’d worked to pass the National Archives Act in 1934. Since then, every former commander in chief has established their own presidential library.

It’s a bit of official business that’s as much about bookkeeping as it is about celebrating their legacy.

23: Perk: Some Stability For Their Spouse

The Former Presidents Act doesn’t only cover the politicians who held that job but also their spouses. In the event that the ex-president dies before their spouse, the spouse is eligible for an annual pension of $20,000, which is also covered by taxpayers. The spouse is only eligible for that modest pension if they relinquish any other pensions or annuities they might hold. As a result of that rule, neither Nancy Reagan nor Betty Ford accepted their annual payments after their husbands died.

24: Perk: A Slower Pace

While there are still plenty of things they can’t easily do, former presidents enjoy a lot more personal freedom as soon as they leave office. They are able to once again go to movie theaters, eat at restaurants and take commercial flights, for example. After he left office, Barack Obama said he enjoyed simply being able to make his own decisions about how to spend each day.

“It’s wonderful to be able to control your day in a way that you just can’t as president,” he said in 2018.

25: Perk: A State Funeral

While it’s not a perk they will be able to enjoy, exactly, everyone who has ever been president or president-elect is entitled to a state funeral when they die, as was the case for former President George H.W. Bush. These memorial services are often global events of mourning that are filled with elaborate ceremony and shows of reverence. The U.S. military has a 138-page planning document for presidential funerals that has rules on the maximum driving speed of the procession, the footsteps of the guard and the floral arrangements, just to name a few.

Additional note:

President (Donald Trump) — $400,000
Holding the nation’s highest office comes with some nice financial perks, the most obvious of which is a $400,000 annual salary. Along with that tidy sum, the president also gets a $50,000 expense allowance each year, a $100,000 travel account and $19,000 for entertainment, according to CNBC. Every president since 2001, when George W. Bush took office, has earned this amount.


Vice President (Mike Pence) — $230,700
Like his predecessor, Joe Biden, Vice President Mike Pence makes $230,700 every year. That number has been the same since 2010. Pence was due for a slight raise in 2019 that would’ve given him $243,500 a year but that bump was frozen in light of the government shutdown that was happening at the time. The veep has joked that he’s thrifty, despite his respectable paycheck, saying he buys his suits two for one.

Acting Chief of Staff (Mark Meadows) — $183,000
This is another tough job that comes with a generous salary. Mark Meadows’ predecessor Mick Mulvaney was one of very few current White House employees that made more than $200,000 in annual salary, earning $203,500 in 2019. Meadows is the fourth person to hold the title of chief of staff since Trump took office, taking over in March 2020. Obama had five different people in the role during his eight years in the White House, with Denis McDonough earning $176,461 in 2016.

Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy (Peter Navarro) — $183,000
There are 22 different White House employees that earn $183,000 per year under Trump and Peter Navarro is another of them. The Harvard-educated Navarro is the president’s top man when it comes to trade and manufacturing policy and he’s been part of the cabinet since the beginning. The Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, which Navarro leads, was created by Trump in 2017, so he has no predecessor with whom to compare salaries.

Chief of Staff to the First Lady (Stephanie Grisham) — $183,000
The spouse of the president also gets their own staff and the person who leads it gets a nice paycheck. Stephanie Grisham took over as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady and Spokeperson, assuming the chief of staff role in April 2020 after Lindsay Reynolds left the position. Grisham had held previous White House roles, including White House press secretary. In the Obama White House, first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff was Christina Tchen and she made $176,461 per year.

Deputy Director of the National Economic Council (Francis J. Brooke, Jr.) — $158,000
The National Economic Council has existed since 1993 and it serves the White House by providing leadership in all areas of economic policy. Trump has several employees with the title of special assistant to the president for economic policy, all of whom make at least $120,000 per year, but as deputy director of the National Economic Council, the young Francis J. Brooke, Jr., earns $158,000 — that’s slightly under the $168,000 Andrew Olmem earned in the same role. In the same job under Obama, Jason Miller made $149,654 in 2016.

Director of the National Economic Council (Larry Kudlow) — $183,000
If you look at the White House salary report, Larry Kudlow’s title is only listed as assistant to the president for economic policy, but he also serves as director of the National Economic Council. He’s had that job since April 2018 after working in President Reagan’s administration and as a host on CNBC. Kudlow makes $183,000 for his work directing the president’s economic policies. Under Obama, Jeff Zients was paid $176,461 for the same job.

Director of White House Information Technology (Roger L. Stone) — $168,000
Every workplace needs a crack information technology staff and the current White House pays its IT director $168,000 per year. That job has been held by Roger L. Stone since February 2019, after Chris Herndon left the post. The position was created by Obama, making it one of the newer positions in the White House. David Recordon held that position in 2016 during Obama’s tenure and made $121,752 to keep the office’s tech running smoothly.

Director of White House Travel Office (Bethany Pritchard) — $106,000
The director of the White House travel office is responsible for booking travel and accommodations for the gaggle of White House press corps members who accompany officials on trips, as well as receiving payment in return from various media outlets. Bethany Pritchard took over the job in April 2019 after starting as a staff assistant in Trump’s administration in 2017. Pritchard got a pay boost this year (her 2019 salary was $92,400), and her salary is quite a bit better than Ashley Tate-Gilmore’s, who did the job for Obama and was paid $77,625 in 2016.

Director of Stenography (Dominique Dansky Bari) — $98,900
The White House’s director of stenography is apparently one of the few positions not driven by political alignment. Before Dominique Dansky Bari landed the job for Trump’s White House in June 2017, she worked as deputy director of stenography under Obama starting in 2014. The job entails managing a staff of official White House stenographers, who take notes on all meetings and deliver transcripts to the press after official events. While Dansky Bari got a salary increase in 2020 up from $95,500 in 2019, the director of stenography under Obama, Margaret Suntum, made $117,846 in 2016.

Social Secretary (Rickie Niceta) — $168,000
The role of White House social secretary has been called the “least controversial” job in the building by the Washington Post. It’s a role that involves planning and executing the many social events hosted by the White House. First lady Melania Trump chose Anna “Rickie” Niceta as social secretary because of her two decades of experience as an event planner. Niceta makes $168,000 a year in the role, compared to the $119,723 made by Deesha Dyer in 2016 under Obama.

Advisor to the President & Senior Advisor (Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner) — $0
President Trump has been praised for keeping his White House payroll lean and that extends to two of his closest advisors. The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, hold official titles as advisor and senior advisor to the president, respectively. They are both listed in the White House salary report but there is a nice, round $0 next to each of their names, as both have chosen to forgo a paycheck for their role.

(Personal note: Nobody works for nothing - they got their share and more.)

Executive Assistant to the President (Molly Michael) — $158,000
There are several jobs that fall under the umbrella of Oval Office operations and Molly Michael (pictured on the left) has one of the most important. Her official title is deputy assistant to the president and executive assistant to the president and that includes a salary of $158,000 per year for essentially being Trump’s right-hand woman. Michael got a significant raise in 2020; her 2019 salary was $120,000. There are eleven other people in Trump’s administration with executive assistant titles, each of whom makes between $48,000 and $77,700 per year.

Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor (Robert C. O’Brien) — $183,000
Another member of the $183K club is Robert C. O’Brien, who took over as national security advisor from John Bolton in September 2019. The job involves reporting to the president on matters of national security and serving on the national security council, which produces sensitive intelligence information. Under Obama, Susan Rice was making $176,461 per year in the same position, as of 2016.

Personal note:

Folks this top heavy list of paid personnel is almost unlimited and we Tax Payer's are paying for their services and some of their dead wood habits!.

You wonder why they want to cut services to the American population so as to cover their expenses and I'm sure they are not thrifty shoppers!


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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