Skip to comments.Post-Presidency Perks Are Ripe for Reform
Posted on 10/13/2018 6:43:39 PM PDT by Kaslin
Former presidents are among the wealthiest people in the country. The “poorest” of them, Jimmy Carter, is worth $8 million, placing him near the fabled “one percent” of richest Americans. Bill and Hillary Clinton earned a reported $229 million in the fifteen years after the conclusion of his second term as president. And despite this fantastic wealth, taxpayers subsidize former presidents to the tune of $4 million per year because of an antiquated benefit system.
Since 2000, taxpayers have paid out $63 million in benefits and office allowances to the five living former presidents (plus $5 million to President Ford and $4 million to President Reagan). President Clinton, worth an estimated $76 million, has received the most benefits, collecting over $21 million since the turn of the century. Obama is on pace to top that with annual payouts of $1.4 million.
The benefit system was set up in 1958 for President Truman, who was in financial distress upon leaving office. No one wanted to see a former president in poverty, so a law was enacted to “maintain the dignity” of the office. The Former Presidents Act provided benefits that includes funding for travel, office space, staff, and supplies to assist with remaining duties related to their time in office. The benefits also include health care and a pension equal to the pay level for cabinet chiefs.
But Truman’s situation was unique. The income-earning opportunities for former presidents in the 21st century have grown considerably. They can cash in on their historical significance, name recognition, and connections to seal multimillion dollar book contracts, content production deals with streaming media giants, or collect several hundred thousand dollars per event for speaking engagements.
Given the wealth and earning potential for modern-day former presidents, the time has come to reduce the burdens they place on ordinary taxpayers. Relief could come in the form of the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), and in the Senate by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).
The reform would limit the pension a president could receive to $200,000 annually (indexed to inflation) and cap expenses for office space. It would reduce this allowance dollar for dollar by the amount that a president’s adjusted gross income exceeds $400,000, while leaving intact current healthcare benefits and Secret Service protection. In other words, it would maintain a safety net for a former president in financial distress, while phasing out benefits for those with great wealth. A previous version of the reform passed both chambers of Congress in 2016, only to be vetoed by soon-to-be-former-President Obama.
The new bill, easily passed by the House, awaits action in the Senate. There are several indications that the current occupant of the White House would not veto it like his predecessor. President Trump is wealthier than any of his predecessors and has already donated all of his $400,000 annual presidential salary to various causes. The principles of the reform also align with President Trump’s recently announced government reorganization plan to eliminate waste and make government programs more accountable.
Our former presidents, among the wealthiest of Americans, don’t need taxpayers’ help to pay for an office or staff. The allowance reform would save $10 million over five years While that’s not a significant amount compared with the massive federal deficit, reducing a taxpayer welfare program for millionaires would be a noteworthy achievement, and send a sign that Washington policymakers are capable of cutting benefits for the elite so that they can focus on the problems that affect everyday Americans.
Demian Brady is the Director of Research with the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to research and education about tax policy at all levels of government.
How much of Hillary’s wealth came in the run-up to the 2016 election from foreign governments
Great idea. No one ever gave Grover Cleveland $400,000 per speech.
Great idea if enacted immediately on all former presidents. They are all multi millionaires and can afford their own offices.
Start with Congress.
<><> limits the pension a president could receive to $200,000 annually (indexed to inflation),
<><> caps expenses for office space,
<><> reduces annual allowances (based on a presidents adjusted gross income exceeds $400,000),
<><> leaves intact current healthcare benefits and Secret Service protection.
<><> maintains a safety net for ex-presidents in financial distress,
<><> phases out benefits for those with great wealth.
NOTE A previous version passed by both chambers of Congress in 2016, was vetoed by soon-to-be-ex-Pres Obama.
This is a good beginning....but the Act must address:
<><> the crass exploitation of the presidency as the Clintons did, followed by Obama.
<><> outlaw "do-good" presidential foundations the Clintons (and Obama) used for get-rich-quick schemes.
<><> outlaw ex-presidents running shadow governments like the Clintons did.
BILL SPEAKING FEES
(HAT TIP COUNTRECOUNT) The get-rich-quick Clinton Foundation goes WAY BEYOND the original Foundation with multiple foundations and shell companies.
The list of 48 Foundations/shell companies owned by Clintons each with a fund-raising mechanism:
A) Clinton Bush Haiti Fund registered 1/28/10 and dissolved 12/27/12
B) Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI)
C) Clinton Development Initiative (CDI)
D) Clinton Family Foundation: in NY registered in 2001
E) Clinton Foundation: in AR registered 1998
F) Clinton Foundation: in Hong Kong registered 2014
G) Clinton Foundation: in Haiti
H) Clinton Foundation: registered to this address in Sweden: Birger Jarlsgatan 55, Stockholm, SW 11145
I) Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CFHAI): bogus co. run under CF
J) Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP): in Canada (Frank Giustra) many connections here.
K) Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI)
L) Clinton Global Citizens Award (CGCA)
M) Clinton Global Initiative (CGI): in AR registered 2005
N) Clinton Global Initiative Asia (CFIA)
O) Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU)
P) Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI): total fuckery on back-dating this one, but claim to be around since 2002. Registration in MA not until 2009
Q) Clinton Health Matter Initiative (CHMI)
R) Clinton Hunter Development Initiative (CSBI)
S) Clinton Institute (CI)
T) Clinton Small Business Initiative (CSBI)
U) Ciudad Verde Amarilo Triada Frailejon III: in Bogota
S) Clinton Institute (CI)
T) Clinton Small Business Initiative (CSBI)
U) Ciudad Verde Amarilo Triada Frailejon III: in Bogota
Y) The Clinton Initiatives (TCI)
Z) The Clinton Museum Store (TCMS)
AA) William J. Clinton Foundation (Kenya) Charity Trust: in Nairobi
BB) William J. Clinton Foundation UK: in London dissolved on 10/10/17
CC) William J. Clinton Foundation (WJCF)
DD) William J. Clinton Presidential Center (CPC)
EE) WJC Investments (William Jefferson Clinton, for profit)
FF) WJC LLC (William Jefferson Clinton, for profit)
GG) Too Small to Fail
HH) Onward Together: Hillarys most recent scandal
II) Haiti Development Fund LLC: in NY (50% ownership)
JJ) Acceso Fund LLC: in NY (50% ownership)
KK) Acceso Ofertal Local: in Colombia (fruit/veg supply)
LL) Acacia Development CO: in NY (investment)
MM) Acceso Worldwide Fund Inc.: in NY (investment)
NN) Fondo Acceso Sas: in Colombia subsidiary of Acceso Fund LLC
OO) Acceso Cashew Enterprise Ltd: in Maharashtra IN (cashew co)
PP) Tukula Farmin Company Ltd: operates in in Kasungu Malawi and Mchinji
QQ) Moyo Nuts and Seeds Ltd: in Limbe MI
RR) Moyo Development Company: in Africa
SS) Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corp: in Haiti (false address and doesnt exist)
TT) Acceso Boyaca SA: in Colombia (50% ownership)
UU) Chakipi Acceso SA: in Lima PE (50% ownership)
VV) Ruaha Development Co Ltd: in Upanga Tanzania
LEGEND-Donation to Clinton Foundation/Global Initiative (CGI)-followed by State Dept favor granted in return.
<><> Prince of Abu Dhabi and Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahayan and the Al Nahayan family of Abu Dhabi. <$5,000,000 Access to HRC at State Dept. and a $500,000 environmental speech by Bill Clinton given at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi while HRC was meeting in Washington with Shaikh Abdullah.
<><> Algeria <$500,000 State Dept clearance for U.S. arms sales to Algeria. Deal included biological and chemical agents.
<><>Australia, Commonwealth of <$75,000,000 to the Clintons got Strong State Dept. support
for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which stands to be a boon for Australian multinational firms.
<><>Bahrain, Kingdom of <$250,000 Muted criticism by State of Bahrains abysmal human rights practices.
<><>Boeing Corp.<$900,000 State Dept. clearance for $29 billion arms U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia, including Boeings F-15 fighter.
<><>Brunei Darussalam, Sultanate of < $5,000,000 State Dept. clearance for U.S. weapons sales to Brunei.
<><>Cameroon, Republic of <$100,000 Influence buying by the Cameroon government with the Clinton State Department.
<><>Canada $500,000 donation for State Dept support for Canadas Keystone XL pipeline, eventually vetoed by Barack Obama.
<><> Chagoury Group <$5,000,000 in cash and a $1,000,000,000 pledge HRC delayed designating Nigerias Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization because of Chagoury Groups investments and operations in Nigeria. Chagoury Group received the Sustainable Development Award from the CGI. Chagoury helped the family of Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha hide his wealth stolen from Nigerias oil revenues.
<><> Confederation of Indian Industry <$1,000,000 Access for Indian businesses to U.S. government officials.
REFERENCE: From 2001-2005 there was an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Guess who took over this investigation in 2002? None other than Comey. Comey was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from January 2002 to December 2003. A Grand Jury had been empanelled. Governments from around the world had donated to the Clinton Charity. Yet, from 2001 to 2003 none of those Donations to the Clinton Foundation were declared.
Then-State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman gave the Clinton Foundation a pass on identifying foreign donors in its charitable filings making it impossible to know if it got any special favors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, according to a Scripps News report.
Scripps News found that the foundation and its subsidiary, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, took in $225 million in government donations between 2010 and 2014. New Yorks charity law clearly states: Organizations that received a contribution or grant from a government agency during the reporting period shall include the name of each agency from which contributions were received and the amount of each contribution.
But both the foundation and the CHAI failed to do that, and Schneiderman, a member of Clintons leadership council in New York and a fierce critic of Donald Trump, did nothing about it.
Other charities complied, including the George W. Bush foundation, which reported receiving $5 million from Saudi Arabia and $500,000 from Kuwait.
On its website, the Clinton Foundation reveals its foreign donors, but using only broad ranges, such as $5 million to $10 million, without any time frames. The IRS doesnt require such disclosures.
Hillary and smirking suck-up, Eric Schneiderman (right). Schneiderman was recently ousted from office.
Several after women came forward saying he spat at, slapped, and choked them in his bedroom.
The tolerant and compassionate liberal called one woman of color his "brown slave."
Donors to The Clinton Foundation got lucrative Hillary/Obama State Dept arms deals. BTW, Obama got a nice cut.
Clintons ties with Lebanese-Nigerian donor Gilbert Chagoury deserved heightened scrutiny.
The fact that a major Clinton Foundation donor was denied entry into the U.S. over ties to the terrorist group Hezbollah is deeply troubling, especially when this individual had access to top aides at Hillary Clintons State Department. "Several of the documents showed that the Department of State considered buying land for a U.S. Embassy in Nigeria from Chagoury after Clintons tenure ended. Clintons ties to Chagoury, who donated more than $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, raised several red flags after it came to light that Chagoury had been denied entry into the U.S. last year because of a suspected affiliation with Hezbollah through Lebanese politics."
MONTAGE---hat tip NY post
I want an investigation into the tax payer slush fund used to fend off allegations of sexual harassment by congress creeps and their names
The Senate Waited Until Christmas To Reveal How Many Harassment Settlements Were Paid Out
Daily Caller | 12/25/2017 | Kevin Daley
FR Posted on 12/25/2017 by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas
GOP Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, who chairs the Rules Committee, said further particulars cannot be made public, in order to respect the confidentiality afforded to victims.While the Rules Committee has been eager to provide this information in a transparent manner, it has been our priority to protect the victims involved in these settlements from further harm, the senator said in a statement attending the report. (Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...
In a grandiose show of his "impending knighthood," Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), Rules Committee chair, graciously said that "further particulars cannot be made public, in order to respect the confidentiality afforded to victims of sex harassment by members."
MEMO TO SHELBY: you, sir, know dam well. Americans do not want the names of the victims. Americans DEMAND to know the names of the elected sex harrassers and tax dollars they extorted to silence their victims.
AMERICANS DEMAND TO KNOW THE SCOPE AND DIMENSION OF TAX DOLLARS EXTORTED FOR SEXUAL ABUSE PAYOFFS:
<><> tax-paid hush money disguised as bonuses
<><> tax-paid severances
<><> no-show jobs to silence victims
<><> tax-paid legal assistance
<><> payouts from the Office of Compliance
<><> payouts from tax-paid office budgets
<><> all other forms of tax-paid bribery
<><> all other forms of tax-paid hush money.
ACTION NOW-----Call President Trump: Comments: 202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414
CONTACT CONGRESS: Capitol Switchboard 1-866-220-0044
U.S. Department of Justice Comment Line: 202-353-1555 Switchboard: 202-514-2000
Cong Hastings Record sexual harassment settlement exposes byzantine congressional process
by LEIGH ANN CALDWELL / NBC NEWS
WASHINGTON With new harassment accusations being revealed on a nearly daily basis in Congress, documents obtained by NBC News from the Hastings case shed light on how taxpayer money ends up being used to essentially sweep such incidents under a bureaucratic rug with little accountability. On Capitol Hill, a sexual harassment complaint is a long process. The documents include drafts of a letter approving the settlement and a confidentiality agreement as well as an internal lessons learned memo written by a House employment lawyer. And while many of the accusations and details of the case remain in dispute, the eventual settlement is a case study of a process shrouded in secrecy despite being funded by taxpayers.
In 2011, Winsome Packer, a congressional staffer who worked for the United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (known as the Helsinki Commission) filed a complaint against the commission, alleging that its chairman at the time, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., made unwanted sexual advances toward her and that she was threatened with retaliation. The details of Packers specific allegations are recorded in the complaint she also brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Publicly filed court documents in that lawsuit show that Packer alleged that she was forced to endure repeated unwelcome sexual advances, crude sexual comments and unwelcome touching by Hastings. In describing the incidents, Packer alleged that Hastings had hugged her multiple times, sometimes in front of witnesses at public events, pressing his whole body against her, and his face to her face. Packer also claimed that after she complained to the commissions staff director, she was subject to threats of retaliation by both the director and Hastings himself, including threats of termination.
Hastings, who has been in Congress since 1993, has denied Packers allegations. He called them malicious and absolutely false in a letter obtained by NBC News. The Office of Congressional Ethics referred the matter to the House Ethics Committee in 2010. After reviewing more than one thousand pages of documents and interviewing eight witnesses, the committee closed the case after finding that while the congressman admitted to having made some unprofessional comments, it had found no additional evidence supporting [Packers ] allegations.
The federal court also dismissed the case, with prejudice, in June 2014. Both sides maintain they were wronged. But this case, which took four years to settle, shows the system is so flawed that even Hastings House-provided attorney issued a retrospective critical of the process. In an internal congressional document obtained by NBC News this week, Gloria Lett, an attorney for the Office of House Employment Counsel, offered some lessons learned from Packers case that recommended the adoption of new policies to handle such claims.
So how did Winsome Packer end up getting a $220,000 taxpayer-funded settlement in May 2014? And why was that payment, settling sexual harassment claims against a member of the House of Representatives, not included in a disclosure to the House Administration Committee of all such settlement payments in the last five years, provided by Congress Office of Compliance, the congressional office that approved the payment?
The puzzle of a byzantine process starts with what Packer says happened when she first made the complaint. Packer claims that from the outset she faced a system that was onerous and intimidating. In an interview, she told NBC News that the process is designed to totally demolish you and convince you to drop it. At the beginning, like any accuser who files a complaint with the Office of Compliance (OOC), Packer paid for her own legal representation while its the taxpayers who provide free legal counsel for the member of Congress or the office involved in the complaint. Packer completed an initial requirement of a 30-days-or-less, mandatory counseling period for accusers, and then proceeded to a second requirement of a 30-day mediation period. She called that process worse than the harassment. She and one of her lawyers describe an attempt to undermine her credibility and intimidate her. George Chuzi, who represented Packer in her first meeting regarding the complaint, said the House lawyers were unbelievably aggressive.
Two government-paid lawyers representing Hastings sat across the table, as did her immediate supervisor. According to Packer and Chuzi, among the first things the House counsel said is that Packer is a liar and an extortionist. Packer added that the House attorneys also made an initial demand: Packer had to quit. Chuzi said he was in shock about the treatment of the accuser. Packer continued to press her case in federal court for three years. How Congress is trying to expose sexual harassment payouts Packer eventually received a settlement payment of $220,000, an amount confirmed by documents reviewed by NBC News and the largest known about since the Congressional Accountability Act was passed in 1995. One document obtained by NBC News details early draft terms of Packers settlement, and it is one of few such documents that have become public.
The others have not been released because confidentiality requirements, established by Congress and signed into federal law as the Congressional Accountability Act, bind accuser, accused and other legal entities from disclosing any terms or details. Despite these confidentiality requirements, Packer said she had decided to speak out because the environment has changed for accusers and she has little to lose. Packer, 60, who worked for the commission from 2007 until 2014, said she has not worked since the settlement was reached nearly four years ago, and is now living with her sister in Florida. Prior to her work as a policy adviser to the Helsinki Commission, Packer worked as a GOP staff member on the House Homeland Security Committee from 2003 through 2006. But when NBC News directed questions about the settlement and the payment to the two congressional entities the documents showed were involved in establishing and approving them the Office of Compliance and the Senate Office of the Chief Counsel for Employment neither provided answers. In an email, the Office of Compliances media representative wrote that the Congressional Accountability Act requires that the OOC maintain the confidentially of contacts made with the office. The OOC cannot comment on whether matters have or have not been filed with the office.
The Senate legal office did not respond to questions including why it reached a settlement in this case even though Hastings is a member of the House. In the lessons memo written by Lett, the counsel representing Hastings side, she argued that the manner in which the case was resolved was not ideal, and, going forward, we strongly recommend that the commission consider adopting regulations or policies to avoid this type of situation. According to Letts memo, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who succeeded Hastings as chairman of the Helsinki Commission in 2011, did not favor moving forward with the settlement. Hastings sent letters to Smith and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who was the ranking member of the commission at the time, in 2012, saying, I strongly oppose any settlement with Ms. Packer that would involve her receiving any money or things of value, calling her allegations absolutely false.
According to the lessons memo, Packer contacted the Senate Chief Counsel for Employments office and indicated her interest in settling the case. A draft confidentiality agreement between Packer and the commission, obtained by NBC News, forced Packer to resign in order to accept the settlement. She also had to agree to never seek employment with the commission again. The agreement was also made with the commission, not Hastings, and required commission employees to attend a sexual harassment training session. Hastings was not required to attend. According to the settlement, the commissions harassment politics also had to be redrafted and distributed them at the seminar.
The Senate office didnt communicate with the House office that first opened the case on the terms and details of the settlement, according to Letts lessons memo. Other than a conversation between Hastings and Cardin in 2014 that a settlement had been reached, Hastings was never provided any details of the settlement until it was reported in the press last week. Until (last Friday) evening, I had not seen the settlement agreement between the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and Ms. Packer, Hastings said. At no time was I consulted, nor did I know until after the fact that such a settlement was made.
Look up "ex post facto" and get back to us...
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