In the Loop

Where do you put "former U.S. president" on a resume?

Posted at 11:25 AM on July 23, 2008 by Sanden Totten

George W. Bush is nearing the end of his presidency. He's sending diplomats all over the world to meet with other countries and hopefully improve his legacy. He's goofing around with his fellow world leaders. But is he spending enough time planning for his future?

Being a U.S. president comes with a $400,000 yearly salary. Not bad. But for high rollers like the "leader of the free world," it doesn't provide the kind of dough needed to retire comfortably. Just ask Harry Truman.

The Mental Floss blog has a post this week about what presidents do to make money when their big job comes to a close. For Truman, things weren't looking good:

"When Truman's presidency ended in 1953, he headed home to Independence, Missouri, but there was a nagging problem: he didn't have any money. His business interests from prior to his political life hadn't generated any sort of savings for him . . . His only income was a $112-a-month army pension."

George Bush Senior was knighted after his term and >Jimmy Carter went on to write some books. Bill Clinton turned his presidency which as you may recall ended on a rather sour note, into a serious cash cow. He can make about $250,000 just giving a speech.

So what will George Bush Jr. do? He's already managed a baseball team and worked for an oil company . . . so where to now? Somehow I don't imagine he will be hard up for cash no matter what he decides to do.

And as for former President Harry Truman, things for him got so bad that in 1958 Congress passed a law giving former Commanders in Chief a pension of $25,000 to help him and other former leaders out.

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