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Here’s How Much American Presidents Cost US Taxpayers

There are responsibilities that carry over after a president leaves office, which is the justification for providing an office allowance

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President Donald Trump delivers remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Feb. 23, 2018, in Oxon Hill, Md. Pixabay

Being president of the United States comes with numerous perks and the fringe benefits continue decades after the nation’s chief executives exit the White House.

Presidents are currently paid $400,000 annually, an amount set by Congress. The nation’s leaders have received five pay increases since 1789, when George Washington became the country’s first president.

Washington, and the 17 chief executives who followed him, were paid $25,000. In 1873, presidents got a raise to $50,000. In 1909, the presidential paycheck increased to  $75,000 annually.

When President Harry Truman started his second term in 1949, he got a raise to $100,000. President Richard Nixon was the first president to get $200,000 in 1969. The current rate of $400,000 took effect in 2001 with President George. W. Bush.

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US Presidential Salaries Throughout History. VOA

The perks of being president include a pretty nice place to live for free (The White House); a battalion of servants led by butlers and a head housekeeper; a trained chef to cook your meals; a fitness center that comes with a private trainer; your own private movie theater and bowling alley; a country retreat (Camp David); round-the clock security (U.S. Secret Service); use of an airplane (Air Force One) and a helicopter (Marine One) and your own bullet- and bomb-proof limousine (The Beast).

And the extras don’t disappear once a president leaves office. Former chief executives currently receive an annual pension of $213,600, which is what cabinet secretaries make.

Pensions and other allowances were set in place in 1958 after President Truman faced lean times after leaving office.

Unlike many other ex-presidents, Truman wasn’t rich and worried about accepting offers that gave the appearance of cashing in on the presidency. However, he eventually sold his memoirs to Life magazine for $600,000, about $5.7 million in today’s dollars, which allowed him to live comfortably in retirement.

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Five former President’s net-worth. VOA

Today, not only do ex-presidents draw a pension, taxpayers also give them money for post-presidential travel and business expenses like setting up their own office anywhere in the country.

“There are responsibilities that carry over after a president leaves office, which is the justification for providing an office allowance,” Demian Brady, director of Research with the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), told VOA by email.

“While staff compensation is limited to $150,000 for the first 30 months, then capped at $96,000 per year, there are no limits on the size or location of the office space. And the allowance is open ended.”

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Since 2000, taxpayers have paid nearly $68 million — not including the costs of secret service protection — to support former presidents, according to an NTUF analysis.

Bill Clinton has received the most benefits — $21 million — since 2000. Clinton has an estimated personal net worth of more than $70 million. When calculated by year, Barack Obama has collected the most — $1.4 million per year — followed by George W. Bush at $1.2 million per year. Both men are also worth millions.

Brady says these payouts basically amount to subsidizing millionaires given that today’s ex-presidents can get rich off speaking fees, book deals and other lucrative business deals.

“No one wants to see presidents in poverty, but that is not much of a concern in the modern era,” he says. “Reforms to save money here could look to providing a base amount for rent and furnishing and, consider putting a time limit on the allowance…If there are special circumstances imposed on a former president that would require additional time, this could be authorized through legislation.”

In 2016, President Obama vetoed a measure to cap office allowances for former presidents at $200,000 per year. A bipartisan bill to limit taxpayer benefits for ex-presidents was introduced in May 2019 and remains under consideration. (VOA)

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7 Jobs that You Should Outsource for Your Business

Know all the jobs that you need to outsource for a successful business

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Business
Here's a list of seven jobs that you need to outsource in order to make your business successful. Pixabay

As a business, your main goal at the end of the day is to be as profitable as possible. Whether that’s by bringing in more customers or releasing a new product, you want to make sure your business doesn’t approach the red.

Another key strategy is to ensure your expenses aren’t too high. Cutting costs here and there can do wonders for your bottom line. 

But, there’s always the catch that you have to spend money to make money. But when you spend money, you want to make sure that you’re maximizing your dollar.

One of the best ways to maximize your dollar is by outsourcing some of the work, which is happening more and more every year. That way you know you’re getting the best results without dumping your wallet’s content on the table.

If you’re expanding your business or looking for some help, we have a few jobs that you could outsource to get the best results possible.

Business Customer support
A customer support service is a must for a business. Pixabay

Customer Support

Even though it may seem like you should have your customer support in house at all times, many businesses choose to outsource their front-line. Many customer support agents and representatives work from home, further cutting down costs.

These people don’t have to be on the phone, as text and chat support is becoming more and more popular every year as it is quicker and simpler for many.

Data Entry

Although sometimes a menial task, data entry is one of the jobs that is commonly outsourced and can be done by anyone with a computer and internet connection. 

Many companies pride themselves on being cost-friendly and efficient, meaning you can get quick results for your necessary work without spending top dollar.’

Accountants

A much more specialized job, accountants can be outsourced for small size businesses. If you have less than 50 employees, you likely aren’t going to need an accountant at your office full-time.

But, it helps to have one you can contact easily with any payroll or tax questions that arise. You’ll also want someone whom you can meet with on a regular basis to ensure communication is both open and effective.

Web Design

Unless your company revolves around IT and web design, you can outsource this work to build your websites or work on behind the scenes tech items.

Web designers will make sure everything is running smoothly for your online world, not just your website. While there are more specialized IT reps out there, they can give you many tips and tricks to make sure your online presence is guarded and safe, while also making your home page look fantastic.

HR business
Every business is incomplete with Human Resource. Pixabay

Human Resources

Once again, this largely depends on the size of your business but small businesses likely don’t need an HR rep in the building at all times. That’s why it’s a great idea to outsource this responsibility to a company that can handle many tasks.

Many startups and small businesses have much more to focus on than choosing benefits or managing through a mountain of paperwork, so it’s best to let someone else take care of that so you can focus on growing your business. 

IT

Similar to web design, you probably aren’t going to need an IT specialist available at all times. They can handle more specific tasks like security, software development, and programming. 

Plus, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll run into a computer problem you can’t fix by yourself every day. If you have a bunch of new employees coming in, make sure to schedule their computer setup all in one day to make it easy for everyone.

Personal Assistants

Wait a second, isn’t the idea of personal assistants supposed to be they’re always there when you need them to handle calls and schedule appointments?

With so many of these processes being automated, it’s now becoming more of a norm to outsource personal assistants or even have a part-time remote worker to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

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They can do much more than handle calls, like setting up meetings or handling plenty of logistical questions. This also takes the burden off of your schedules, moving away from the nitty-gritty and focusing on the big picture of your business.