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George W. Bush tops list of ex-presidents’ expenses in 2012 at $1.3 million

 Dallas Morning News

By JOSH LEDERMAN

Associated Press

Published: 26 March 2013 06:47 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton’s 8,300-square-foot Harlem office near the Apollo Theater costs taxpayers nearly $450,000. George W. Bush spends $85,000 on telephone fees, and another $60,000 on travel. Jimmy Carter sends $15,000 worth of postage – all on the government’s dime.

The most exclusive club in the world has a similarly exclusive price tag – nearly $3.7 million, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. That’s how much the federal government spent last year on the four living ex-presidents and one presidential widow.

Topping the list in 2012 was George W. Bush, who got just over $1.3 million last year.

Under the Former Presidents Act, previous inhabitants of the Oval Office are given an annual pension equivalent to a Cabinet secretary’s salary – about $200,000 last year, plus $96,000 a year for a small office staff. Taxpayers also pick up the tab for other items like staff benefits, travel, office space and postage.

The $3.7 million taxpayers shelled out in 2012 is about $200,000 less than in 2011, and the sum in 2010 was even higher. It’s a drop in the bucket compared with the trillions the federal government spends each year.

Still, with ex-presidents able to command eye-popping sums for books, speaking engagements and the like in their post-White House years, the report raises questions about whether the U.S. should provide such generous subsidies at a time when spending cuts and the deficit are forcing lawmakers and federal agencies to seek ways to cut back.

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Report: George W. Bush has most expenses among former presidents for 2012

By Josh Lederman, Published: March 25

Being the leader of the free world is an expensive proposition. And the costs don’t stop once you leave the White House.The government spent nearly $3.7 million on former presidents in 2012, according to an analysis released by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. That covers a pension, compensation and benefits for office staffers, and other costs.

The costliest former president? George W. Bush, who clocked in last year at just more than $1.3 million.

The $3.7 million taxpayers shelled out in 2012 is about $200,000 less than in 2011. All of it is a drop in the bucket compared with the trillions the federal government spends each year.

Still, former presidents are able to command eye-popping sums for books, speaking engagements and the like in their post-White House years, and the report comes at a time when spending cuts and the deficit are forcing lawmakers and federal agencies to cut back.

Under the Former Presidents Act, previous inhabitants of the Oval Office are given a $200,000 annual pension — the equivalent to a Cabinet secretary’s salary — plus $96,000 a year for a small office staff. The government also picks up the tab for costs such as travel, office space and postage.

Departing presidents get additional help in the first years after they leave office, one reason Bush’s costs were higher than those of other living former presidents. The most recent president to leave the White House, Bush was granted almost $400,000 for 8,000 square feet of office space in Dallas, plus $85,000 in telephone costs. Another $60,000 went to travel costs.

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Expensive massages, top shelf vodka and five-star hotels: First Lady accused of spending $10m in public money on her vacations

By Daily Mail Reporter
Created 3:33 PM on 24th August 2011

The Obamas’ summer break on Martha’s Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.

But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances.

White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year.

Expensive taste: Michelle Obama, pictured yesterday in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, has been accused of spending $10m of public money on vacationsExpensive taste: Michelle Obama, pictured yesterday in Massachusetts, has been accused of spending $10m of public money on vacations

Branding her ‘disgusting’ and ‘a vacation junkie’, they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.

The ‘top source’ told the National Enquirer: ‘It’s disgusting. Michelle is taking advantage of her privileged position while the most hardworking Americans can barely afford a week or two off work.

‘When it’s all added up, she’s spent more than $10million in taxpayers’ money on her vacations.’

His and her jets: The President and his wife, who are spending nine days on Martha's Vineyard, have come under fire for travelling on separate planesHis and her jets: The President and his wife, who are spending nine days on Martha’s Vineyard, have come under fire for travelling on separate planes

The First Lady is believed to have taken 42 days of holiday in the past year, including a $375,000 break in Spain and a four-day ski trip to Vail, Colorado, where she spent $2,000 a night on a suite at the Sebastian hotel.

And the first family’s nine-day stay in Martha’s Vineyard is also proving costly, with rental of the Blue Heron Farm property alone costing an estimated $50,000 a week.

The source continued: ‘Michelle also enjoys drinking expensive booze during her trips. She favours martinis with top-shelf vodka and has a taste for rich sparking wines.

‘The vacations are totally Michelle’s idea. She’s like a junkie. She can’t schedule enough getaways, and she lives from one to the next – all the while sticking it to hardworking Americans.’

The Obama administration was forced to pull a warning about racism in Spain - just as the First Lady arrived in the country for a summer holidayTraveling in style: Mrs Obama during her $375,000 trip to Spain last year

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federal spending

Spending is at record levels and is still growing, threatening economic freedom.

Heritage.org

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    Federal Spending per Household Is Skyrocketing
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    Federal Spending Exceeds Federal Revenue by More than $1 Trillion
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    Federal Spending Grew Nearly 12 Times Faster than Median Income
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    Mandatory Spending Has Increased Nearly Six Times Faster than Discretionary Spending
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    Runaway Spending, Not Inadequate Tax Revenue, Is Responsible for Future Deficits
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    Medicare and Other Entitlements Are Crowding Out Spending on Defense
  • national-defense-spending

    National Defense Spending Would Plummet Under Obama’s Budget
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    Budget Control Act Sequestration Would Hit Defense Hardest
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    Obama Budget Would Make Defense the Lowest Budget Priority
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    More than Half of All Federal Spending Will Be on Entitlement Programs in 2012
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    Total Welfare Spending Is Rising Despite Attempts at Reform
  • federal-spending-dependence-programs

    More than 70 Percent of Federal Spending Goes to Dependence Programs
  • saving-american-dream

    Cut Spending, Fix the Debt, and Restore Prosperity
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    The two parties of Big Government

    NetRightDaily

    By Rebekah Rast — Would the author of the New Deal be pleased with the state of Social Security 80 years later?  Did President Johnson, when approving of the Medicare amendment in 1965, know of the volatility of such a program and the government dependency it would create?

    While Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Johnson did what they thought best for the nation at the time, they must have known that to inject even a little government spending into peoples’ personal lives would only lead to more spending and a new kind of government dependency.

    And that is exactly what has happened. Almost 60 percent of all federal spending is now dedicated to so-called “mandatory” spending, which includes entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.  In 1960, entitlement payments accounted for well under a third of the federal government’s total outlays, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    Because this government largesse can no longer be afforded, entitlement programs are in trouble.  Projections have shown that if not dealt with Medicare as we know it might not be around in the next decade, with the trust fund set to run out in 2024.

    Both sides of the political aisle see fit to fund a federal health insurance program for America’s seniors, and both sides champion a need for some kind of reform to save it.

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    Taxpayers subsidize big banks handing out $83 bln annually


    AllNewsPlace

    Published on Mar 25, 2013

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) grilled Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about the risks of having banks that are too big to fail on Tuesday. According to a recent Bloomberg study, some of the biggest banks are receiving $83 billion in subsidies each year. Bernanke appeared before the Senate Banking Committee and was forced to answer whether or not these financial institutions should be forced to reimburse taxpayers for the bailouts. Anthony Randazzo, director of economic research with the Reason Foundation, breaks down the numbers.

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