“There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president.”
These words, and variations of them,
authored by former President John Quincy Adams
show up in just about every major article on the subject.
But if you pay any attention to the news,
you’ll see that’s probably not the case.
Today,we’re exploring what life is really like for an ex-president.
Before we get started,
we have an executive order for you to subscribe to the channel
and let us know who your favorite president is.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the ex-Presidents of the United States.
Even if you were young and vigorous before your presidency,
by now, you feel like you’re in danger of collapsing into a pile of dust.
The stress that transforms a president is a force of nature.
Lucky for you,
there’s really no need to recover from it to survive.
Thanks to the 1958 Former Presidents Act,
the US pays ex-presidents a lifetime pension.
In 1958, it was $25,000 a year,
which works out to about $218,000 a year in 2019 money.
Today, they actually get a little less.
The pension of an ex-president with a clean discharge from office
is based on the salary of an active cabinet member– .
A healthy sum,
especially compared with what the widow of an ex-president gets–
a paltry $20,000.
Now, check this out.
Those who make, let’s say, a less glorious exit from office
— tricky Dick Nixon, for example–
still have a shot at that fat pension,
but only if they quit before they could be impeached for the crimes.
Provided they do resign in time,
they’ll still get $ 210,700 every year until they die,
which won’t be for some time
if they put their free health care and paid travel to good use.
It doesn’t matter what they did or didn’t do to lose their job,
because their new job is to save face,
and Uncle Sam is happy to let taxpayers foot the bill.
Bless his tiny little beard.
It’s not all endless money and rainbow golf at Camp David.
Being president means
you never ever,ever get to be alone
ever, ever again,
not even when you’re done being president.
2012 saw the passage of a law
reversing 1994’s 10-year limit on Secret Service protection for former presidents.
As of 2013,
the Secret Service is tasked with watching over every ex-president
until death do them part.
As with the pension,
this protection does not extend to the family.
Children are inexplicably left on their own after they hit 16
and,you know,begin driving places on their own
for the first time in their lives,
out in public, unescorted,
bearing the surname of someone who still merits an armed guard at 90.
First ladies are punished with the removal of all rights to protection
should they divorce and remarriage,
regardless of how much the general public hates them
or how their presidential partner treated them.
This is the very definition of a catch-22.
Shall we count the number of presidential divorcees? No
Bad luck, Melania. You’re stuck with him.
Although there is that $20,000 to look forward to.
What with the pension, the elite security detail,
and more things that seem just a little unfair
in this economy,or any other,
a library of your own
is a luxury this country can ill-afford, right?
Actually, this one makes more sense than the rest,
but it requires a bit of background.
FDR,known for applying a veritable alphabet soup
to reforms to American law books,
arranged for a library-slash-museum to archive
has many, many, many records.
We at Weird History have benefited quite a lot from that tradition.
Public officials used to dump their old correspondences and junk into boxes
然后塞进阁楼里 就像善良 理智的人一样
and shove them into attics, like good, sane people.
This deviation in the normalcy on the part of politicians
is a real heartbreaker for historians.
George Washington’s nephew reported that
his uncle’s papers were very extensively mutilated by rats
and otherwise injured by damp.
The world may never know what weird history was lost.
President Truman spent a great deal of time maintaining his library
after departing the Oval Office,
which was a very decent thing to do
considering how much time and effort those places demand.
There was a very good incentive
on the part of the president to keep his notes in good order,
as we’ll see next.
Let’s face it.
It takes a very special kind of person
to not only envision him or herself
as commander-in-chief of a nation over 300 million strong,
decide to go through with it,
campaign for office,win that office,
and stay in that office for four to eight years
without getting into serious trouble.
Most of us are not that person.
A lot of us would like to know what it’s like to be that person.
Decision Points,George W. Bush’s book,
sold 1.5 million copies and earned him $7 million.
Bill Clinton got a $15 million dollar advance
for his book, My Life,
which sold over 2 and 1/4 million copies
and won a Grammy in its audio book form,
narrated by Clinton himself.
the Obamas had already received $65 million in advances for their books.
Jimmy Carter, in true Jimmy Carter fashion,
wrote not one or two but 14 books.
He was flat broke when he got out of office,
according to historian James Thurber.
If you’ve been all judgey about ex-presidents and their ranches,
hold your horses for a minute.
You’d probably run off to live like a cowboy, too,
if the government took your car keys.
When your term is up, your driving days are done,
unless you have, say, a big ranch out in the country
where you can make some rooster tails and donuts in the backyard
until your heart gives out.
If you’re wondering how ex-presys get around off private property,
look no further than the guys in the happy, snappy black suits.
The Secret Service doesn’t just hang around waiting for bad guys.
They also become your private, armed chauffeurs
for the rest of your life.
Too bad no one told poor old Joe Biden.that
” There are a lot of reasons to run for president,”
he said,in typical Biden fashion,
“but there’s one overwhelming reason not to run for president.
I like to get that Corvette Z06 from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds.”
Someone has to tell him.
Anyway, we’re really very OK with this rule.
让那些总统 副总统或其他什么人 离我们的街道远点
Keep those presidents, vice or otherwise, off our streets.
At 77, the current model is already too doddy to drive as it is.
This one’s a no-brainer.
Obviously,a guy who’s spent the better part of the last decade
getting death threats is not going to check his own mail,
especially when he’s no longer sitting on four floors of the White House,
which brings us back to the men in black.
They drive. They sort mail.
They do everything that for an average Joe,
as opposed to Biden,Joe, is routine.
But never confuse routine for boring in this field.
The Secret Service’s intercepted pipe bombs
meant for the Clintons, the Obamas,
and other big figures in recent years
at the off-site facilities used to sort the ex-presidential mail.
A statement from the Secret Service made October 24, 2018 concerning the mail —
The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures
as potential explosive devices
and were appropriately handled as such.
Both packages were intercepted prior to being delivered to their intended location.
In the olden days before 1958,
when a man could do a day’s work for a day’s pay,
presidents left the White House with whatever they had when they moved in.
No fat pension, no guaranteed book advance deals,
just a suit and the best resume America can give.
And some of them used it.
We mentioned before that Harry Truman put in a lot of hours
at his own library in Independence, Missouri.
What we didn’t tell you was that he had an office there
where he worked for 19 years.
He’d had enough excitement for one lifetime.
It’s not a shocker that he’d spend the rest of his life working in a library.
Grover Cleveland, not having bombed even one country
during his non-consecutive presidential terms,
decided to play chicken with the stock market.
George Washington turned down an opportunity to be dictator for life
and set himself up in style,
opening a whiskey distillery at Mount Vernon.
Maybe that’s how his papers got all soggy.
Life is strange for an ex-president.
After the most incredible power trip available is over,
you have to go and live in a bubble for the rest of your days,
surrounded by people who won’t let you drive,
open your own mail,go anywhere on your own,
or say whatever you want on Twitter.
Not a lot of people can relate to that.
Only other ex-presidents, really.
So it comes as no surprise that many former commander-in-chiefs
and their former first families are friendly with one another,
even if they come from different parties.
George W. Bush, for example,
referred to Bill Clinton as his brother from another mother in 2017.
除了养老金 医疗保健 保镖
On top of the pension, the health care, bodyguards,
and paid official travel,
the government reserves an annual $150,000 budget
for an ex-president to spend on their staff for the first 30 months
–that’s 2 and 1/2 years– of their retirement,
after which they kick in $96,000 a year
because apparently they need that, too.
If that wasn’t excessive enough,
every office space is comped courtesy of us, the taxpayers.
Judging by the current president’s preferences and predilections,
we can reasonably expect the furnishings and staff of his future office
to be a solid gold fountain filled with blondes.
Former presidents can, and often do,
choose to have a state funeral.
All well and good.
It’s as nice a funeral as anyone could ask for —
five whole days of aircraft flyovers,
gun fire salutes,and parades,
and of course, flags remain lowered across the country,
even if we didn’t like you.
It’s a lot to plan for,
and the presys spend an extraordinary amount of time doing the planning.
For Richard Nixon, it was a chance to die with dignity.
He chose to opt out and be buried quietly in his library,
as befits a disgraced ex-president
who continued to draw a tax-funded paycheck until his death.
挺好 迪克 这不错
Not bad, Dick, not bad.
Considering how much of their job is talking,
it seems a little incredible that a president can do the bulk of the speechmaking
after the job is done.
But it’s true. Many speeches given by those
who have held that high office are given outside that office.
Take Bill Clinton.
He earned a whopping $104.9 million dollars
from 542 speeches
between January 2001 and January 2013.
“I’ve never had any money until I got out of the White House,”
he told Wolf Blitzer in 2010,
“but I’ve done reasonably well since then.”
The Former Presidents Act is at it again.
We’ve touched on the travel budget,
and now we’ll tell you just how things stand.
Each and every ex-president is entitled to up to $1 million dollars
in security and travel expenses each daggone year,
with an additional half mil for his spouse.
The only catch is barely even a catch.
They must be traveling as officials of the United States government,
and this stipulation came 10 years after the FPA was put into effect.
You’ve ruled a first-world country for the last four to eight years of your life.
And you come to the question, what next?
Where do you go from the top?
And if you’re unpopular,is there a chance to make people like you again?
Philanthropy, the Nobel Prize.
That’s the golden ticket to immortality,
the eternal love of the people, and a better tomorrow.
Or it backfires horribly
and turns into just more politics and a lot of comedy sketches,
as Al Gore might be able to tell you.
Jimmy Carter founded The Carter Center
to protect election integrity in democratic nations,
调解外交纠纷 抗击疾病 以及一些其他了不起的事情
mediate diplomatic disputes, fight disease, and other awesome things.
Or this– he justifiably won the 2002 Nobel Prize.
Michael Duffy, co-author of The Presidents Club,
said of Carter’s philanthropic work,
He’s made it difficult for absolutely everyone who’s come after him
because who can keep up? Who, indeed.
Who’s even trying,except Michelle Obama?
If there’s one thing we’ve learned today,
it’s that an ex-president’s life follows him.
After the choices he made, it’s perhaps not surprising that
when Harry Truman left the White House, he went straight to his mother-in-law’s.
亲爱的 小甜心 温柔的吉米·卡特
And dear, sweet,gentle Jimmy Carter
got a sensible two-bedroom house in Georgia.
Ronald Reagan, on the other hand,
returned to his 7,000-square-foot Bel Air mansion.
The Obamas and Clintons settled down in some lavish lodgings, as well.
Health care is a bit more confusing.
Jimmy Carter gets his health benefits from Emery College,
where he was once a teacher,
because he wasn’t a government employee for the minimum of five years requisite
to gain health care benefits.
But the bloated budget of the FPA allows for health care.
It’s health care, so of course it’s got to be archaic.
All former presidents and their spouses, widows,and children under 18
are entitled to treatment in military hospitals free of charge.
They can also enroll in private health insurance plans at their own expense,
if they want more than the occasional Motrin and they can afford it.
Ex-presidents are getting wealthier,
在养老金 演讲 书籍
between the pension,the speeches, the books,and the little odds
and ends we didn’t have time to deal with.
And the only way to live and struggle like regular folk is to choose to do so.
Jimmy certainly did, and we hope he gets a little more love for it
because it was one heck of a choice to make.
So what do you think of an ex-president’s post-presidential life?
Let us know in our comments below,
and while you’re at it,
check out some of these other videosfrom our Weird History.