Burning question of the day: Why are we paying for Bill Clinton’s Skinemax subscription?
posted at 10:15 pm on January 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Just how much do we owe our former Presidents? Probably not a subscription to the DirecTV Premium package, according to Rep. Jason Chaffetz:
During a Tuesday afternoon interview with The Daily Caller in his Capitol Hill office, the Republican lawmaker criticized a system — in effect since the 1950s — that allows wealthy former White House occupants to accept post-presidency monetary perks, courtesy of taxpayers.
While he said both Democrats and Republicans deserve blame, Chaffetz specifically criticized former President Bill Clinton, who TheDC reported Tuesday is using taxpayer funds to pay for extras including a DirecTV package of premium movie channels including Cinemax, HBO and Showtime. (RELATED: Taxpayers pay for Bill Clinton’s Cinemax, Jimmy Carter’s Dish Network)
“Do you really need Showtime in your office?” Chaffetz asked. “I mean, no government employee would be able to get away with that.”
“There’s no incentive for them to be frugal and it’s obvious none of them are,” Chaffetz said, picking up a stack of papers detailing the expenses. “If I went through this, you can kind of pick on each president here.”
This system probably made sense in the 1950s, and perhaps all the way to the 1980s. Nowadays, though, Presidents get big speaking fees after they leave office, make millions in book deals, and really don’t need taxpayers to foot the bill for their Cinemax: After Dark. That’s especially true of Father of the Year Bill Clinton, too.