The Presidents' Cash Out

According to an Associated Press article published by Yahoo News, the Bush family reported an annual income of $765,801 last year. Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Mary, reported approx. $1.6 million. I suppose I should not be surprised, and its understandable that families in such a position would have some serious investments (we all know about Dick Cheney's). Still, I find concern in these numbers being so high.

The Presidential salary is $400k. The Vice President makes $200k. Considering the time commitment these jobs require (or SHOULD require), it seems inherently excessive that so much extra money is being collected. When exactly are they taking a break to pursue other financial interests? SHOULD they be pursuing other financial interests? I imagine they have people working for them who do all of their investing, and that they probably don't forgo their administrative duties to direct these people. However, based on Cheney's ties to Halliburton it is not far fetched to theorize that such investments may affect policy decisions.

To put things into perspective, the Clinton's actually left the White House in debt. The Washington Post reported that they were approx. $12 million in the hole (due to campaign and legal fees) to be exact. Sure they're worth a combined $60 million now, but at least they waited until AFTER Bill's Presidential term to make that money (it came almost entirely through book deals and speaking fees for non-charitable events).

It seems practical that a President's financial sources should be limited to taxpayer dollars. It would certainly help to fix the problem so many have with lobbyists and the private sector holding too much sway over the federal government.


Obama's family income came in at $991,296 last year. This number, while also high, has been fully accounted for by the newsmedia. $506,618 are from book royalties, and the rest is largely salary money from him and his wife (who technically makes more than he does). I suppose its fair to say that transparency along these lines would be adequate and perhaps more ethical than restricting income for politicians.

1 comment:

Michael Corcoran said...

I suppose I agree that a sitting president should not make money outside of his job -- but really, this incomes seem remarkably low given the positions they hold, and their investment backgrounds.

While you are right to be skeptical on the issue of personal income, both Bush and Cheney's income in 06 seem like a far less significant concern than does the military industrial complex, or the fact that private drug companies are giving so much money to campaigns in both parties.