Politico reports Chaffetz has introduced a bill to end taxpayer funding for any ex-president who earns more than $400,000 per year. For example, George W. Bush earned $15 million for giving speeches in 2010 and Bill Clinton earned more than $10 million. Both claimed expenses of more than $1 million.
Bush billed taxpayers for more than $80,000 in phone calls alone. Jimmy Carter expensed $15,000 for postage.
“Look, presidents should get a compensation package. They should get a retirement, and they should get some expenses,” Chaffetz told (ABC News' Jonathan) Karl. “But if they’re going to go out on the trail, and they’re going to give speeches, write books and make money, then there comes a point where you say, OK, the taxpayer shouldn’t be responsible for also footing the bill for the office expenses, and the telephone, and paper, and the personnel to man those offices.”
“Does President Bush really need $80,000 a year for his telephones?” Chaffetz asked. “That’s a lot of phones and a lot of phone bills.”ABC contacted the offices of all the former presidents and reported that none would comment, but did point out that Congress is responsible for stopping such payments.
The George W. Bush center has not yet returned a call for comment from POLITICO.