In the modern era, ex-presidents never have to work again.
It wasn’t always that way. James Madison left office and became rector at the University of Virginia. Millard Fillmore and John Tyler also ran universities. Andrew Johnson became a senator. William Howard Taft moved on to become a Supreme Court justice. And everyone knows Jimmy Carter left the White House and started building houses for Habitat For Humanity (although he also went back to being a peanut farmer).
But today, ex-presidents need never hold a real job again — and they get rich beyond their wildest dreams. Bill Clinton has banked more than $100 million since he left office in 2001, and he still commands up to $500,000 per speech (wife Hillary is on her way to banking $100 million, too). George W. Bush cashed in with some huge paydays for a couple of books. And Barack Obama has already signed a book deal for $25 million. He’s only 55, which means he’ll no doubt soar past the $100 million mark in no time.
So it’s always a little weird when former presidents are talking about us regular people, and especially — as Democrats and Socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders like to do — when they go on a rant about “income inequality.”
Obama did just that this week in a speech before the Chamber of Commerce in Montreal. He issued a stern warning again income inequality and derided the concentration of wealth that is occurring across the world.
“That’s a recipe for more cynicism and more polarization, less trust in our institutions and less trust in each other,” Obama said. “And it’s part of what leads people to turn to populist alternatives that may not actually deliver.”
Obama reportedly made $400,000 for the speech, according to The Star. And he spoke for just 30 minutes. That means he made $13,333 per minute.
But then, this is just how liberals are. They decry anyone who makes a buck (as Obama said, “You didn’t build that”), but then cash in every which way they can. Sanders, for example, made more than $1 million last year and owns three houses, The Daily Wire reported on Wednesday.
And we don’t begrudge them. Hey, nice work if you can get it. Just don’t preach to us, OK?