Many of the men who have been elected President of the United States (POTUS) entered the office with their own wealth. Still more became wealthier after serving as POTUS. Business Insider reports that the president has a base salary of $400,000 a year, along with all the other perks of being president. After serving, the president is still on the federal payroll, receiving an annual pension as well as a yearly $50,000 expense account, $100,000 nontaxable account for travel, and $19,000 per year for entertainment.
George W. Bush served as the 43rd President from 2001 to 2009. He reportedly assumed office with an estimated net worth of $20 million, and saw that balloon to approximately $40 million over time. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that President Bush’s involvement in the oil industry, his previous role as owner of the Texas Rangers, and his political career have all contributed to his fortune.
President Bush also made plenty of money after his time in the White House. Toward the end of his presidency, Politico reports that he told journalist Robert Draper, who was writing the book Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush at the time, that he intended to give lectures like his father and other previous presidents. “I don’t know what my dad gets, but it’s more than 50, 75 [thousand],” he said. “Clinton’s making a lot of money.”
How George W. Bush made even more money after his presidency
Between 2009 and 2015, President Bush gave at least 200 private speeches that he was paid between $100,000 and $175,000 for (via Politico). Each speech lasts around an hour, which means he’s been able to pull in millions of dollars on a part-time basis. Not too bad!
Former presidents profiting after their time in office has been decried by some political experts. According to Politico, University of Houston professor Brandon Rottinghaus has referred to the practice as “the post-presidential industrial complex at work.” Still, former presidents who give lectures, and make plenty of money while doing so, robustly defend what they’re doing.
Former President Bill Clinton told NBC News, “I gotta pay our bills. And I also give a lot of it to the foundation every year.” The foundation he’s referring to is the Clinton Foundation, which he founded in 2007.
The Wall Street Journal also reports that Bill and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, earned nearly $30 million from speeches in the years 2014 and 2015 alone.
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