- BILL Clinton has become the
most expensive ex-president in US history after it was revealed he will
cost taxpayers nearly $1 million a year, it was revealed yesterday.
- The globe-trotting former president will be given an
annual budget of $992,000 (£643,480) when Congress passes a bill
next week under the Former Presidents Act - which does not include the
cost of supplying the secret service officers who still protect him and
his daughter Chelsea.
- Mr Clintonís record-breaking budget, which is
expected to be approved, will easily make him the most expensive of the
five former presidents with George Bush, sen, coming in second at $623,000
- The appropriations bill - which will be voted on by the
House on Tuesday - also seeks an annual $554,000 (£396,000) for Ronald
Reagan, $508,000 (£363,000) for Jimmy Carter, and $497,000 (£355,00)
for Gerald Ford.
- The congressman who oversees spending on ex-presidents,
Ernest Istook, told the New York Post the allowances for Mr Clinton and
the other former presidents would be rubber-stamped by Congress and would
have to be signed into law by his successor, George W Bush.
- "One expects his (Clintonís) expenses to
be more because he is the most recent former president and the fact that
he has chosen an expensive location for his office," said the congressman.
- But it has been revealed that Mr Clinton, who charges
$100,000 (£70,000) to give a speech, has actually tried to save money
by renting offices that are $500,000 (£350,000) cheaper than the
accommodation he had originally wanted. The former president is to move
into stylish penthouse offices later this month in Harlem, in New York,
at the cost of $354,000 (£247,065) in annual rent.
- However, that is a huge saving compared to the $811,000
(£566,000) he originally planned to spend on an office suite in Carnegie
Hall Tower in the centre of New York.
- The $992,000 Mr Clinton is to be awarded will include
his annual pension of $166,000 (£115,900), the rent on his office
and salaries for his staff totalling $210,000 (£146,500).
- He has also budgeted for travel costs of $57,000 (£39,785)
and $65,000 (£45,370) on the telephone, postage and printing bill.
He will also spend $60,000 (£41,880) on "supplies, materials
and equipment" and a "miscellaneous" $80,000 (£55,830).
- His Harlem office on 125th Street - 8,300 square-foot
of accommodation on the 14th floor with sweeping views of Manhattan - will
be the more expensive than any of his peers. The next most costly will
be the ailing Ronald Reaganís in California, at $177,000-a-year
- Mr Clinton is also likely to boost his own income with
a lucrative book deal, which publishers have predicted could be worth up
to $10 million (£7 million) - as he long as he tells all about his
affair with Monica Lewinsky.
- It is a far cry from when President Harry Truman retired
in 1953 with neither a pension nor secret service protection, and he answered
his own mail and bought his own stamps.
- The Former Presidents Act was not passed until 1958 and
the basic pension of ex-presidents is currently pegged to the salary of
a Cabinet member with the huge allowances for staff on top of that, along
with many expenses that are chargeable.
- They are entitled to free office space, appropriately
furnished, funds for staff salaries and benefits, telephone, mail and office
travel expenses, and a library to serve as a repository for official papers
and study centre.
- Even the initial cost of a president moving from the
White House is covered by the Presidential Transition Act of 1963. The
expense of moving the Reagans back to California is believed to have been