Editorial: Money talks for the president — and so do perks

The president of the United States of America is paid an annual salary of $400,000.


This is not chump change, but it’s hardly the reason candidates run for the highest office in the land.

The perks of being president are more plentiful than can be found in a coffee shop.

According to the Wall Street Journal, taxpayers have spent $6.6 million in airfare for President Donald Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago, his luxury resort in Florida, where he spent Christmas.

Before anyone thinks we are taking the opportunity to pile on Trump, taxpayers spent about $1 million a month on former president Barack Obama’s travel costs while he was in the White House.

Keep in mind, the president and whomever accompanies him on his presidential excursions (family members, friends, staffers, etc.) do not exactly travel in coach — and taxpayers pay every cent.

Then there is retirement — at least from the Oval Office. Obama is receiving a presidential pension of $205,700, the same amount of cash as his predecessors going back to President Jimmy Carter.

And consider this — presidents do not have to worry about the rising costs of health care in their advanced years. Nor do they have to worry about safety — as the Secret Service will see to it that the president and the president’s family are well protected after leaving office.

And these expenses are also picked up courtesy of taxpayers.

While presidents can also rake in a fortune writing books and making personal/speaking appearances after their time in the White House, such economic benefits do not come from taxpayers, but rather from supply and demand. So we don’t fault presidents for cashing in on their names.

However, the reality is that presidents receive perks and privileges (more than we could mention in an editorial and probably more than we are even aware exist), that most Americans could not afford.

Let’s not be naive when the relatively meager presidential salary is mentioned, because the salary has little to do with the mass amounts of benefits that come with being the president of the United States of America — and taxpayers foot the bill.